Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Cheryl Kennedy's Arkansas Gardens

Sensitive Brier, Shrankia nutallii
(photo courtesy and copyright 2006 www.cherylsgardenparty.com)

"If one is lucky, one is born with a gardener's heart." -- Saara Pelttari

A couple of days ago, I was looking at my site meter to see where blog visitors are coming from, and I noticed that somebody had reached my blog by Googling for "senstive brier," which had led them to one of my blog entries. Faithful readers will recall that my search for the truth about the geographical range of Mimosa pudica -- or was it Mimosa sensitiva -- led me to discover that the true name for the sensitive plant of my Ozark childhood is Mimosa nuttallii.

Curious about what else this Googler had managed to find, I clicked on the Google search results and discovered, as one of the items listed there, this lovely website devoted to gardens in Arkansas, with its many beautiful photographs of the plants that people grow.

The above image of the senstive brier appears on the website for June 11, 2005. You'll note that the scientific name given, Schrankia nuttallii, differs from the one that I had found, Mimosa nuttallii. In looking again at the Wikipedia site on Mimosa nuttallii, I see that another scientific name given is Schrankia uncinata, which is mentioned as a "former synonym."

Despite its character as a shrinking violet, this little plant has a promiscuity of names!

Anyway, for those interested in gardens and gardening, check out Cheryl's "Garden Party." You can also read a little about the 'gardener,' Cheryl Kennedy, by scrolling down on the left margin of her website and clicking on the item "About Cheryl," where you'll learn a bit about her gardening philosophy, which she learned from her parents already back in the 1950s:

Before Rachel Carson's radical Silent Spring revolutionized American thinking, my parents and grandparents hauled in truckload after truckload of chicken, cow, and horse manure to improve the ground, eschewing modern fertilizers that were gaining in popularity at the time. They grew cover crops in the wintertime to further enrich the soil and had them plowed under before spring planting. They used as few pesticides as possible, relying instead on predatory insects like preying mantises and ladybugs to help control problem bugs. As for rabbits and other four-legged predators, my parents simply planted plenty of vegetables for them and us -- plus neighbors and friends -- to enjoy.

You can learn a lot at Cheryl's extensive site, or you can simply "[d]raw up a comfortable chair, sip your favorite drink, and sit a spell" in her virtual yard, where you'll enjoy "the beauty, tranquility, and serendipity of gardens in Arkansas."


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