I have found yet another useful site in my neverending quest to identify the flora that visits my yard: Weed Science Society of America. Tocqueville was right; Americans will form an association for every conceivable object of interest. The Weed Society has some useful resources for plant identification, but they also wax nerdy, as science folks typically do. Mark your calendars; the W.S.S.A. will conduct its WeedOlympics at the University of Tennessee at the end of the month. The general student body at that state school may expect something rather different, though, when they hear of the event.
“When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant.” (I do not know the source of this wisdom, but it is rather true.)
During the spring of last year, I made a few ponds for my backyard. My family helped, and we were ultimately successful. There were some unfortunate moments. Many of them. However, our tales of woe are nothing when compared to the nightmare story related on Koiphen: “The 300,000 gal. mud pond challenge” Reading it made me count my blessings. I marvelled at the persistance of “Koigrl,” and I also wondered how wealthy must one be to fight such a good fight.
I discovered that Koigrl is novelist Maxine Paetro. She lives in upstate New York on a lovely piece of land featured on the Garden Conservancy. I do not know if Paetro founded her estate, but it carries the whimsical name Broccoli Hall. Check out photographer Jennifer May‘s shots of the gardens.
I do not know what Maestro’s books are like, but the woman knows how to use her fortune well. Her gardens are fantastic, and she is a serious breeder of koi. She reminds me of the talent, creativity, and well roundedness one often finds among Britain’s aristocratic classes. American plutocrats do not generally seem to be as thoughful with the luxuries of leisure, though I am glad to know that some rich folks continue to use their money to make the land and the nation more interesting.