"I've been letting my mind wonder at night. My thoughts should have a curfew." Am Kidd

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Miss Willmott

I have a tendency to fantasize (sometimes more than I should) about  things. For example, in the gardening world, I find plants' Latin names to be too scientific. I much prefer the common ones used by gardeners who, like myself, are probably unable to memorize or pronounce such words. I ask you, is there a romantic heart able to resist the charm found in names like "Sorcerer's Violet" or "Roaming Charlie"?  This brings me to Miss Willmott  aka potentilla nepalensis, a beautiful perennial with magenta colored flowers. As a result of my fanciful disposition, I envisioned the lady after which the plant was named to be a beautiful woman, quiet but passionate. I went as far as to imagine this woman's dwellings, a thatched roofed cottage hidden away in the gorgeous English countryside. I am saddened to have learned this could not be further from the truth. Miss Ellen Ann Willmott was in fact "a short-tempered nutter who berated her army of gardeners if she spotted even a single weed."

This discovery should deter me from fantasizing about people and the plants that are named after them, but I know the next time I visit a garden center I will stop in my tracks as I pick something called perhaps... "Love in a Mist"... and I won't be able to resist taking a trip aboard the Wings of Fancy.


  1. Oh, Alina, that is so funny! Sometimes, though, those cranky old souls turn out to have romance in their story too ... you never know! It's also funny that I saw the name and started thinking, "Oh, I know her! Now, who is that again?" Another thing that makes me laugh is that I'm the same with plant names - it suckers me in - also, paint chip names can totally sell me. I love them! In my family room, the ceiling is "sea salt", the beams are "Oyster Bay", the front door (and soon the back door that opens into the family room) is "Nantucket fog" and the lavendarish color in my living room is "overcast dawn". One time, I heard of a color called "something in the air"!

  2. Oh, I love paint names as well. They sure are a one way ticket to fantasy land! I would love to see what exactly is "something in the air" I'm picturing a soft purple-blue hue found only on a floating feather...

  3. Totally agree with Katy - I love paint colour names as well. Love in a Mist also sells me on flowers. What a beautiful name.
    I almost bought a wedding dress I didn't like because it had the same name as my husband (to be). It would have been INCREDIBLY romantic, don't you think? Unfortunately the dress wasn't my style. xx

  4. I managed to buy 2 clematis for my Granparents, one called "Margaret Jones" and the other "Willy". Everyone, children, grandchildren and granma herself called our Granpa, William Jones, Willy.
    They are planted together growing up the pergola in their garden. I love that I was able to find those 2.
    Plant names...Hmm, I like "Love lies bleeding".

  5. I totally agree with you about those latin names... until I'm looking for a particular plant, and then I'm forced to look up that formal name so I can order one. Sometimes I'm forced to make up my own names... as is the case with a particular rose that traveled across the United States in a covered wagon with my best friend's great-great-grandmother. The story goes that as she left her comfortable home in the east to travel west with her new husband, she couldn't bear to leave behind her beloved rose bush... so she brought it with her and planted it at the new farm in Northern California. It grew like a weed, but no one ever knew the name of it... so my friend and I decided to name it after her grandmother, Celia Jane. That remains its name until we can figure out the real name. She and I have since carted and planted it in our respective gardens where we each live now. I think that even if we find the real name... it will remain Celia Jane to us. (:

  6. Andi, it would have been VERY romantic indeed! xx
    Kath, it's memories like those what makes a garden so special.
    Vicki, I love that story. Miss Celia Jane would have never imagined her rose bush would have evoked such feelings. What beautiful legacy! xx

  7. That was neat. But I guess I'll still fantasize too.

  8. A beautiful flower and an inspiring post, Alina. I love the common names that plants and flowers are given and, like you, it always makes me imagine. Bright wishes. xx

  9. I rather like the sound of this Miss Ellen Willmott, being something of a "short-tempered nutter" myself (Lol)...!

  10. Sheila, your daily "drabbles" are already full of fantasy. I enjoy each and every one of them xxx
    Carol, I know you are busy writing your book, I really appreciate you taking the time to come and visit me. Thank you, my friend! xxx
    TGR, I do believe that in your case the "short-tempered nutter thing" is just a facade to hide a big hearted guy!


Albert Schweitzer said "In everyone's life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit" I thank you all!