. . . I look down now. It is all changed.
Whatever it was I lost, whatever I wept for
Was a wild, gentle thing, the small dark eyes
Loving me in secret.
It is here. At a touch of my hand,
The air fills with delicate creatures
From the other world.
I walked by the White House a few weeks ago to look through the fence at the famous vegetable garden. Then I took a further look around and realized that all of the ornamental beds and pots on public view, on all sides of the house, were planted out in red wax begonias.
Just wax begonias combined with dusty miller.
And I thought, “seriously?”
I know they’re tough and look neat and give reliable color and my feet were hurting from too much walking, but how dull.
The kitchen garden looked fine and huge kudos, but next year, would it not also be educational for D.C. schoolchildren to learn to spell ‘Asclepias tuberosa‘ — as they tuck them in around the fountains with maybe some native switchgrass and goldenrod* — or even the family to which it belongs, ‘Apocynaceae‘ (formerly thought to be ‘Asclepiadaceae‘), and its subfamily, ‘Asclepiadoideae.’
Or maybe just the word ‘perennial,’ which I have to let spellcheck fix every time I write it.
* and even some scarlet rose mallow (Hibiscus c-o-c-c-i-n-e-u-s), which was planted at the Old Executive Office Building and looked great. (Addendum: I’m now thinking it could have been this.)