Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Philadelphia Flower Show and Native Plants

One of my favorite blogs recently reminded me of Michael Pollan's "Anti-Nativism" letter to the New York Times. in their interview, they offered him the chance to repudiate or even to compromise his fairly extreme position. He declined. Okay. It is the nature of debate that there is polarization and that all participants fit somewhere on a scale from moderate to extreme. Yes, the extreme positions are always wrong on both sides of an argument, but for the dialectic to function, both sides need to exist. Almost all of us have been embarrassed by the extreme members of our particular team. Still, attacking our own side just shifts the balance in the wrong direction.

Which brings me to my point today; the pendulum seems to be swinging in the wrong direction, Anti-Nativism seems to be winning. I saw no displays of any consequence, and here I am being generous because I don't remember seeing ANY displays dealing with native plants. Indeed, even a wonderful feature explaining the importance of wetlands and beavers,... had specimens of Miscanthus sinensis, definitely an invasive in our fields. Wow!

I loved the show. It was themed towards Jazz and New Orleans; the exhibits were over-the-top colorful. The bromeliads were spectacular. And plentiful. Rich crimson decadence was everywhere. It was one of my all time favorite shows. But still...maybe we could have had some attention paid to good native garden plants.

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