Wednesday, May 23, 2007
A Herb or Not a Herb?
Useful plants is how I've always described herbs. My tree peony isn't useful, as far as I know, for medicine or flavoring or any of the other multiple ways herbies make use of plants. But there must a niche in the concept of usefulness that contains the usefulness of plants to memory, association and symbolism.
My youngest son brought me this 'Japanese tree peony' for mother's day, many years ago, before they became popular. It was the most unusual plant he could find at the nursery. I should have suspected then that he would grow up to be the wonderful and unusual young man that he is. If you were the mother of a strong willed child who marched to the beat of his own drum, then you will understand why I say that. But all of my children are unusual individuals.
See how this plant recalls associations for me? When it blooms every May, I always remember the day he gave it to me.