An Umbel, You Say?


What an odd little gardening piece they ran on All Things Considered tonight. In the context of other 2009 forecasts,  Nicholas Staddon of Monrovia came on to give a gardening forecast–and it was?  The ‘Baby Pete’ agapanthus. Featured landscape plant around dentist offices and business parks throughout California. 

After all our dazzling predictions for 2009, is this really the best NPR can do?  A compact agapanthus that doesn’t drop seeds? Handy for containers?

The funniest bit, though, is the wide-eyed wonder with which the word ‘umbel’ is introduced and discussed. Check it out.


  1. What is going on with those folks? It was, no offense to the individuals involved, an entirely mindless segment.

  2. I’ve got nothing against agapanthus–they are exotic here in Buffalo–but yeah, that should just be a footnote or aside to a REAL gardening segment. Maybe it -will- take the Obamas and their White House gardening–if it happens– to kickstart quality coverage of gardening in the electronic media.

    Like Chuck, I can’t bear to check it out.

  3. In all fairness to Nicholas, he was probably given short notice and even less information as to what the clueless NPR “reporter” wanted. I bet it was something like, “We don’t have much time, just tell us about one plant for 2009”.

    ‘Baby Pete’ was probably a safe choice for him as a plant that hits on most of the trends Monrovia anticipates for the coming year, so I’m not going to hold his feet to the fire on this one. He is an extremely thoughtful and knowledgeable plants-person, and was not interviewed in such a way that he could really share his quirky wit or deep knowledge about plants.

    However, the “reporter” was absolutely appallingly clueless. And given an such an interviewer, he stayed on one, simple, accessible topic. Can’t blame him. Her comment on “downsizing” just about made me hurl.

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