Saturday, October 29, 2005

Drawing the Line at the Decorative Cabbage

My Fair Lady and I went to the Dallas Farmer's Market this morning to look around. Just because, that's why. Anyway, we're looking at the wide variety of pansies, ferns, ivy, and mums and she points out something specific. She identifies one plant as decorative cabbage. It was at this point when it hit me that sometimes plants have truly silly names. I don't look at something that reminds me of a big yellow weed and call it a mum. Nor do I look at a small green plant and immediately think of it as "decorative cabbage."

I don't think that's quite what the British used it for during the London bombings of WWII. Somehow, the image of Winston Churchill telling Londoners to never stop fighting, and never stop using cabbage to spruce up their bombed-out decor doesn't quite jive. But it's a novel idea. That being said, I couldn't quite bring myself to buy any because I have no idea how I would explain it to friends and family who would visit in the future. The conversation might go something like this:

Mom: Hello all. My, what colorful plants you have in your front yard. What is that?

Me: That's the decorative cabbage, mom. If you'll pardon the expression, we thought it added some flavor to the front of the house.

Mom: Isn't that what Londoners ate while the Nazis bombed them?

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