February 18, 2004

We visited the McBryde Garden of the National Tropical Botanical Garden with Robert and Jo last week. Took lots of pictures; hopefully some of them will find their way to the gallery.

The plants were lovely, naturally, but I found myself somewhat annoyed by the self-guided tour pamphlets' constant reminders of how rare and endangered the garden's plants are. It seems the precious status of the plants in a botanical garden would be a given, since there's probably a reason these specific plants are receiving that degree of care. No one puts dandilions in a botanical garden. Surely, there is more diverse and interesting information one could say about these plants then just, "This plant is endangered. There are four known individuals, and three of them live in botanical gardens."

I find I think a lot about gardens these days, the practical sort with vegetables and herbs and an apple tree. In assembling dinner, I wonder about growing grains and beans and if I could kill a goat for meat if I needed to. I wonder about finding the time to learn to put up summer's bounty for winter. It seems more than a curiosity, almost a mandate, and I wonder what that means.

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