Sunday, October 19, 2008

Just A Pansy

Sometime last fall while working at a nursery with my brother, I waxed ebullient over a new shipment of pansies/violas and made the mistake of confessing: "I can't help it, I just love pansies!" within earshot of said brother. Now, I'm generally not one to fret over my projected masculinity, but in a nursery where my brother and I were the only young men employed and were (ostensibly) hired as grunt labor and extra muscle, I occasionally felt compelled to represent my demographic with a bit of swagger. Sadly, this slip of my tongue paired with the looseness of my brother's was to make any future display of testosterone moot as it would invariably be followed with a snickering "yeah, but he just looooves pansies". Before long, every employee, customer and neighbor within 10 miles knew that my favorite flower (and thus gardening philosophy, attitude and lifestyle) was eponymous with a timid weakling. To make matters worse, my brother ever after claimed that HELLEBORES were his favorite plant. Spoken with a gruff, manly voice, HELLEBORE sounds more like a futuristic siege weapon than a plant, and comes off as orders of magnitude more masculine than pansy.
I learned to live with it, and despite the fact that they are common and wimpy-sounding, I've learned to accept my love of pansies and violas. I will try to post a picture of my favorite for this year: Viola x williamsii 'Velour Blue Bronze'.

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