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The seven ages of plant

Posted by Dawn Isaac on 26 Oct 2009 at 05:36 PM


I have an issue with an aster.  It's in my garden and it really shouldn't be.  I mean I know it's my fault.  I brought the thing.  In fact I bought two, on impulse, at the local B&Q a couple of years ago. 

But now they've quadrupled in size and, in an overexcited period of plant propagation last year, I stupidly managed to divide them.  Now I have six of the monsters and I can't help feeling like Mickey Mouse in Fantasia.

Of course I should feel free to whip them out or 'gift' them to an unsuspecting friend or relation, but here's the problem.  The kids love them.  Well, why wouldn't they?  They have 'proper' flowers - and lots of them, all in a garish shade of purple with bright yellow centres.

Which has got me thinking.  According to Kate Fox in Watching the English, your garden is a reflection of your class (lavenders and box hedges for the aristocracy, lots of bedding - of the non-duvet kind - for the middle class etc).  But in the same way, does your choice of plants reflect your age? 

From my experience, kids will choose flowers over foliage most of the time and the nearer the blooms get to those in Mr Men books, the better.  Daffodils, dahlias, daisy-like blossoms and tulips are all sure winners.  In fact my son likes tulips so much, he does an impression of one.  It's actually quite good...

It seems to work for other age groups as well.  In a Blogging from Blackpitts post this week, JAS admitted to a growing fondness for alpines.  Is it a coincidence that this penchant emerges as he reaches his half century (yes, I know he doesn't look it, but you should see the portrait in his attic)? 

Do you fall for ornamental grasses in your twenties and discover the joy of veg beds in your thirties?  And is it obligatory to fritter away your pension on dwarf conifers?

As for the asters, I foresee an unfortunate accident with the lawnmower...

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