Saturday, February 20, 2010

You Say Potato, I say Potahto

This blog won't be about what you thought it was:

The other day, when I wrote Thistle While You Work, I had mentioned that I thought the thistle I had a photo of was pretty in it's own peculiar way. IG @ The Idiot Gardener left me the comment "It's odd; I guess I never considered that to some people they would be attractive."

I like comments like that, because they make me think. I do a lot of thinking. Thinking is one of those things I do best, like Winnie-the-Pooh. But unlike Mr. The-Pooh, I wear pants while I think.

Beauty is a very subjective thing. What one person finds attractive, the next person could walk right past without a second look. Or find it abhorrent.

I think this extends into the garden. I have a few flowers that I can't stand to have in my garden. There are a few that I can't stand to see in other people's gardens either. And then there are the ones that I can only describe as 'meh'.

Sometimes I hesitate to write anything that requires an opinion and may even lead to fisticuffs.

That harmless looking arbor started this one... O_O Sad, isn't it?

I have this weird thing about people pleasing, and don't want to offend anyone who is absolutely in love with any of the flowers/plants I will name. I will be brave in the name of science!

I'm going to tell you which flowers make me cringe or even utter the dreaded 'meh'! And in turn, I know there must be some that You would never want to have in your garden, and would like to tell me about.

First off...


I know all of the benefits of having Marigolds in the garden. They are a natural pest repellent. The problem is, they also repel me! I can't stand the smell of these things. They just stink to high heaven. I'm also like that about cut cucumbers, oddly enough, can't be in the same room....


Noelle, hope you're still friends with me. I know you're all about the desert plants!

Everyone has one planted in their yard here in Coastal NC. I don't mind the plant, but for some reason I just don't like the flowers. They sort of remind me of white pineapples. And why should this shape bother me? Oh, the mysteries of the mind!! :)

Dusty Miller

My mum used to love this plant. She had it all up and down our driveway border in Edmonton. She can't understand why I don't love it lol.

My friend Melanie's mum owns a garden nursery in Illinois. Melanie always brings back a trunkload of plants, and gives me some of them for free.

Being a very grateful person for these lovely gifts, I plant all of them. Unfortunately, Dusty Miller came as part of the package year before last. I thought, well, it will just die in the winter anyway.

But Kyna forgot that she's not in Kansas, er, Edmonton anymore. That thing grew all through the winter with zero die-back.

Long story short, I had to murder Mr. Miller in the springtime. I'm not a killer, but some things just have to be done.

Sweet Alyssum

I think Sweet Alyssum is very pretty. But I wish I had thought before planting these harmless looking little seeds. Sort of the same problem as Marigolds. The smell just doesn't agree with me. I heard it smelled delicious from other people. I went against my usual 'smell before buying' policy.

And of course it reseeds itself like a mofo, and I can't get rid of the stuff. I'm going to have to hire this job out!

All right, now I want you guys to show your cards and tell me what You don't like. C'maaaaan....there's gotta be something? :)


Mandy said...

I agree with you on all of those, Kyna. I've planted marigolds in the past because of their bug repellent, but I'm not a big fan.

Yucca is cool if you have all the landscaping to match, but I don't, and probably never will, unless I move to Palm Springs or Vegas or something.

Noelle said...

I love your post!!! Guess what?! I do not like Yucca and you will never see one in my garden ;^) I love hearing about people's opinions - it must makes life more interesting, don't you think?

Floridagirl said...

Well, I have to say I don't care for any of those plants either. And I could list a few more. Personally, I can't stand our native palmettos. All in the eye of the beholder! My neighbor, though, does have a gorgeous, ginormous Spineless Yucca that I very much admire. It is a splendid plant, at least 20 feet tall with tree-like trunks.

Anna said...

Vive la difference :) I'm with you on most of those but I am partial to growing a few pot marigolds (calendula officianalis) in my herb garden. To my nose alyssum is very cloying and definitely one to be avoided.

Curbstone Valley Farm said...

Personally, I don't like carnations. I don't know why, maybe I just saw too many of them early in life. My grandmother always grew them, and I was always tasked with dead-heading the bleepers as a child. Maybe that's why I hate's simply deep rooted gardening trauma during my formative years! Will never plant them in my garden...and I cringe at the sight of them in bouquets.

Cindee said...

Hi Kyna,
I absolutely LOATH Photinia. And I can't stand the cat-pee smell of boxwood.

Jim Groble said...

Plant your garden for you. My garden and blog reflects who I am. Pat says that she hears me talk when she reads my blog and my part of the garden reflects how I think. Oh, and dig out anything you don't like or want. Some neighbor could us them. jim

Kyna said...

Mandy: Yeah, I've considered marigolds in the past, but I just can't get past the smell. Maybe they smell extra-bad for me lol.

Noelle: Haha! I wouldn't have guessed you don't like them. I'm sorry, I didn't mean to put opinions in your mouth lol. I love hearing people's opinions, I'm just usually not the person to ask for them for fear of what backlash I might hear! I'm getting better with that as I get older though ;)

FG: Thanks for your contribution! :) Yeah, I don't know what it is about yucca. I've been thinking about it since I wrote it, I just don't know! lol

Anna: I'm glad I'm not the only one who doesn't like the smell of Alyssum. It almost has a smell like an over-sweet cleaning product or something O_O

CVF: You know, I'm not too big on carnations either, come to think of it. Thanks for sharing your story about the 'bleeping' things LOL I could feel your childhood frustrations...

Cindee: You know, I've heard about boxwood smelling like cat-pee. I must have never smelled one...or maybe I did and just thought it was cat-pee LOL

Jim: Wise words! You put it just so. I do believe in that way of gardening, I have ripped out quite a few of the things that were planted in the garden by Mr. A before I got here lol. I actually took some of the bulbs I didn't like, and put them across the street in the ditch, where they started blooming the next year! lol

Thank you all so much for contributing, this has been fun :D

Sunny said...

Love the bikini clad potato....probably an Idaho spud for sure :) .....I don't care for Marigolds much myself (they smell nasty and not that pretty) but I must say that nasty smell keeps the aphids and nematodes away. I plant them around the lettuce, spinach and tomatoes mostly. This may cause me to get disbarred from garden bloggerland but I don't really like roses...I don't know why but I'm into the less fancy, laid back flowers like the Black-eyed Susan or there you have dark secret is out. :)

Kyna said...

This is a safe place for sharing! I promise no Rose-Lovers will harm you here lol. It's probably good that you don't like them much, because they're such a pain in the butt to grow :P

Kelly said...

...cute post (and funny too...). I love thistle. I grow it on purpose in some spots because my goldfinch love it. They eat the seeds in the autumn and line their nests with the down in late's beautiful.

...loved your snow photos--8 inches of snow...yeah!

Msrobin said...

Can't stand yucca's either, but I grow marigolds only in the veggie garden for its pest repellent property. They are far away from the nose zone, and they actually give the veggies some pizzaz. There are plants that I am "supposed" to love that make me shrug with indifference, especially hostas. Meh. I don't see the appeal. But I have some, so go figure!

Kyna said...

Thank you for stopping by :D I'm surprised you can look at snow photos without being sick, after all the snow Ohio's gotten this winter lol

Kyna said...

Robin: If something smells bad to me, everywhere becomes the nose zone. I'm a smell-snob LOL. I like hostas, but not to the point that some people do. Apparently hostas are the tattoos of the plant world: if you plant one, you suddenly want to get 10 more LOL. Guess that doesn't apply to you ;) And that's...OK! :D

Jess said...

OMG you totally named two of my top DON'T LIKES: Dusty Miller and Marigolds! And I don't like Yucca either. :)

Frankly (if you can keep a secret), I really don't like any of the 'silvery blue foliage' plants. shhhh.

Jayne said...

First, I have to say I was giggling all through reading your post, starting with the potato in the bikini.

Second, I don't agree with you on all of those (but we can still be friends - the world would be boring if we all liked the same stuff)

I have allysum in the garden right now (and not much else) and I love marigolds. Mainly because they seem to grow and prosper, no matter how badly I treat them!

Not keen on yucca, but that's just because I've never had one and don't really have room for one.

debsgarden said...

I really enjoyed your post and all the previous comments! The one plant I most agree with you on is the yucca. That thing is dangerous. I don't like the smell of marigolds, but I do plant them in my vegetable garden for their pest deterrence and their cheerful colors. I generally don't like mums, dahlias, or grasses, but I keep an open mind, as there may be some varieties that i like.

gippslandgardener said...

It's Agapanthus for me. I think it's because they harbour so many slugs and snails. I look at them and all I can think of is the slugy muck beneath.

Liz said...

Hi Kyna,

There are a good few plants I would never be seen having and also make me cringe when I see them... Usually the flowers that only 'old' people have (by old, I do not wish to tar everyone, but a large majority of people owning these plants are elderly)

Ok, here goes...

Busy Lizzies (ewwwwww, hate hate!)
Pelargoniums (ditto)
Marigolds (ditto again)
Anything fluorescent or blousy, great big double fuchsias and so on.

I like simple, dainty flowers.

Oh and I hate Privet with a passion (including the scent) and would gladly rip out the hedge in my garden which we inherited when we moved here, if I could replace it with a ready-made 6' hedge... Sadly that isn't realistic so for now I have to put up with it.

Kyna said...

Jess: I can keep a secret ;) I'm not a fan of the silvery-foliage stuff either, not just Dusty Miller. I don't seem to be able to visually fit them into my garden scheme. I do like fondling the lamb's ears at the garden center though. I'm creepy like that lol ;)

Jayne: I'm glad it made you laugh! And I'm glad for the the disagreement, as long as you don't sic the scrappy kid in the arbor photo after me :D

Deb: You're right, I forgot about the dangerousness of the yucca! lol. My husband and I were taking a walking tour of all the historic houses in Wilmington, NC when I first came to visit. He had to warn me not to walk too close to the yucca, because the leaves were pretty darn sharp lol.

Gippy: I didn't really know anything about Agapanthus, I've only seen them at the nursery. Now I can only look at them and laugh at the memory of 'sluggy muck' LOL. That's probably what would happen here too...there are slugs galore on my property. O_O

Liz: I used to agree about Pelargonium. I hated them. For some reason I'm getting all old-peopley LOL. They look so bright in my garden from the street, that I plant them now. Not keen on them in hanging baskets though, which seems to be the medium everyone here wants to grow them in.
I had to look up Busy Lizzies on Google and laugh though. I guess they're impatiens? Love the name. I don't grow them, because I've tried and they're too fussy about water. And the colours never seem to mesh with everything else I have.

Never smelled a privet. Is it cat-peeish like boxwood?

Crafty Gardener said...

I don't like the smell of marigolds either and have to scrub my hands after touching them, but I do have them in the garden sometimes for their companion planting qualities. I hate red, therefore I have no red flowers in my garden (at least by my choice). I try to have long blooming plants, not ones that you wait forever to see and then after a day or so the bloom vanishes.
Another plant I don't like is geraniums and I only have them is someone gifts them to me. Don't really know why, I just don't like them.

Elephant's Eye said...

I'd follow my nose to cut cucumber. the smell of heaven! and I do love my dusty Miller, and silver foliage, in a hot climate. Don't like Anthuriums, to me that is a plastic flower made in a factory. Altho. I am coming around to the small green flowered ones.

Kyna said...

CG: I do agree with you about long flowering plants. I think the ones where the bloom time is short make me a little sad, even if they are beautiful. I feel that way about my bearded irises.
I love red, but for some reason don't put it in my gardens a lot. I may this year though.

Diana: Everyone thinks I'm weird for hating the smell of cucumber lol. I don't know why I don't like just seems to pervade everything. If it's in a salad, and I pick it out, everything still tastes like cucumber. Bleah lol.

Sue Swift said...

Oh dear - I love marigolds. And alyssum.

Are we still speaking?

leavesnbloom said...

Hi Kyna

I can't go anywhere near a Phoenix canadensis (Canary Date Palm)I can't stand those plants and can't understand why anyone would want such a lethal plant with those dreadful spines in a pot on their patio in the UK.

You sure made me think with this one! Rosie :)

Kyna said...

Sue: Of course we are! LOL Isn't there anything you don't like though? :)

Leaves: That was the point of this exercise! :) Thank you so much for your contribution :D

GardenJoy4Me said...

Kyna .. my god you made me laugh : ) I like my thoughts provoked ? hum ? no spell check with the pop out window .. yikes now everyone will know I can NOT SPELL ? sheesh ;-)
I can't believe you are repelled by cucumber, girl !! I love that smell but I also know another gal who can't stand it so you are NOT alone ! .. marigolds .. I agree about the smell for sure .. but oddly enough I put up with it for the bug repellent it seems to be for my roses and other plants .. sage can be an odd smell and I have lots of it around .. I absolutely love fennel and any anise smelling plant .. how do you feel about that one ? .. and dill also heavenly .. I think it is interesting to hear what other gardeners likes and dislikes .. I'm not offended if they clash with me .. I think it is fodder for debate ?? LOL
Joy : )
Do you hate "happy faces" .. i do too but I can't seem to stop using them .. I am under their power ... HELP !!!!!

Kyna said...

Joy: I'm so glad I made you laugh a bit :D Don't worry about your spelling, this isn't an English report :D (thank god)

I know! My husband thinks I'm weird about the cucumber thing. He LOVES them. He grows them every year. The only thing I'll have cucumbers in is tzatziki sauce, because the sour cream/yogurt covers up much of the aroma lol.

I do like the smell of anise! And dill is awesome. The smell of basil is probably my favourite for herbs....:D

I'm so glad that you left me your opinions, and I have the same 'smilie' addiction lol. I'm used to being on message boards, where I'm constantly using emoticons. It's really hard for me on here, so now I don't feel alone :D

Amy said...

Fun post... Marigolds are one of my least favorite flowers. I have never really liked them. One thing that I have found is that my tastes have changed. I used to think yuccas and agaves just were not pretty at all. Now, I really like their uniqueness and variety they offer to my garden. I enjoyed your post!

Kyna said...

Haha! I love the agave for how awesome it makes my margaritas! :D
Couldn't resist, sorry :) Thank you so much for your compliments! :)

ChickenFreak said...

The plant that I really really want to like, but can't, is daylilies. They're tough, they're friendly, they're cheerful, they tolerate neglect, I believe they're edible - I approve of their temperament, but I just don't like them. Once in a while I've seen one that's very simple, with really skinny petals in red, and admired it, but when it comes down to giving it space in my garden... nope.

Bernie said...

I'm with you on the Yucca, the marigolds (except the vanilla ones ... they're lovely!), have never tried to grow Senecio ... but I don't mind some Alyssum .. in pots only!

My pet hate ... well dislike really ... are roses! I grew up with my Dad's passion for roses but it did not rub off on me! I'm just not a fan!

Kyna said...

Cf: I'm just afraid daylilies will take over everything. :) I've never had any...but I heard they spread like a sonofabitch :)

Bernie: Vanilla marigolds? I've never heard of them. O_O I may try them if I ever see them lol.

Another one of my friends here commented about not liking roses! I do like them. But they really are fussy things. Like high-maintenance women LOL. I have two, but they take up way too much of my time. And they still look like crap :(

Di said...

Kyna, lol. I agree on the marigolds... do not, have not planted them, BUT I am actually thinking of putting in a few around our vegetable garden this year... whew! Ok, maybe I won't.

Yucca: we have one in our garden because a "friend" divided hers and thought I should have one. The very tight upright blossom reminds me of Hyacinths! which I have never had in my garden, and the yucca hates our wet soil.

Dusty Miller: agreed but Alyssum does great on our hillside that we ignore... don't have to smell it and does a good job covering some ground.

Wild Currant: I have a love/hate relationship. In the spring, the blossoms are so lovely but on our several acres they have reseeded and seeded and are everywhere... kind of like your alyssum only much larger. :)

Muhammad khabbab said...

I also like those comments which make me think. I plant marigolds just because i think they are bug repellent. I do not like yucca much. This is probably my first visit to your blog and this post was made me smile.

The Idiot Gardener said...

That potato is wrong is many ways, yet strangely, it's so right!

Deborah at Kilbourne Grove said...

Kyna, I had to really think on this one, but probably my least favourite is petunias. I hate the way the faded fower hangs on (although I understand the new varieties self dead head). Had to deadhead them at a garden centre I worked at, yuck, so sticky and hairy!

Jan (Thanks For Today) said...

I'm not a fan of dusty miller fact, that's a plant I just will NOT have;-) Never minded the smell of marigolds but have never been crazy about them either...although, the newer varieties that look a bit more interesting (to me) than the old standbys. Allysum is just 'ok' with me...not crazy about it, but would be alright with having it fill in some spots here and there;-)

Kyna said...

Di: Haha! I'm having that same conversation in my head about marigolds lol. Thank you for your contribution!

Muhammed: Thanks for visiting, I'm glad you enjoyed yourself :D

IG:If anyone can appreciate a potato in a bikini, I thought it would be you lol.

Deb: My friend Melanie said that exact thing! She had to do it at her mum's garden center and hated it. I used to loathe petunias, but I found myself using them more these days. They smell really nice wafting through the front window...

Jan: Thanks for stopping by! I'm surprised that so many people say Dusty Miller doesn't do anything for them. Thought it was just me lol.

Meredith said...

Great post! (Sorry I'm late to the party, but just catching up from being away.) I too hate marigolds, especially those big fat French marigolds, ugh. I hate their form (stubby, not full or graceful, stiff foliage, graceless buds) more than their scent, and appreciate their helpfulness to the vegetable garden, so this year I'll be trying little single-flowered versions, a less refined cousin.

Know what else I hate? Canna lilies. Which is bad news because those things are planted all over South Carolina, as I discovered to my horror when I moved up here. ;)

Kyna said...

I'd never seen Canna lilies before I moved here. They're just massive spreading clumps of flowers, aren't they? The neighbour keeps trying to get rid of his ex-wife's Cannas, but they just keep coming back lol.

Carol said...

Oh Dear Kyna! The olfactory dilemma again . . . what is sweet to one turns another's milk sour. You have mehed some of my beloved plants . . . well except for the dusty miller! I think it is fine that we all have different tastes in plants just as with everything in life. Cucumbers sandwiches . . . I should miss those! Thank you for the smiles! I love the potato swim suit and your title 'Thistle While...' !! ;>)

Kyna said...

I'm sorry Carol, but some of my favourites have been mehed by others in the comments as well lol. I'm glad we're all still friends. :) And I'm glad you enjoyed my posts!