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Plant Tales

What's the Name of the Plant?
By: Don Telge, Travis County Master Gardener

A gardener was cleaning his greenhouse one day and found a plant about two inches high growing under one of the benches. It was quite evident that the plant was new to this world but what was the name of this plant? He placed the plant in a container and left it on one of the benches. Time passed.  One day, the gardener was amazed to see this small, insignificant plant had grown into a beautiful plant, with branches extending out around the trunk. The plant continued to grow and thrive.  The gardener decided it was time to find out the plant’s name.

To free up the bench space for other plant specimens, the gardener carried the plant outside so it could enjoy some sunlight. The plant was so happy it began to sing, causing it to grow some more!  The plant struck up a conversation with a Knockout Rose, and, of course, the rose asked the plant to introduce itself.  The plant starting crying, saying “I don’t know my name!” The rose tried to comfort the plant but it would not stop crying. A nearby Hardy Geranium joined the rose in an attempt to make the plant happy.

The plant had grown too big for its small container. The gardener decided to dispose of the plant because he did not have time to research its name. He picked up the plant, walked out to the waste bin and threw the plant into a pile of pots, weeds and trash.

The plant lay in the trash pile, crying incessantly.  A beautiful Lady dressed in a long white gown and carrying a wand heard the plant crying and asked what was wrong. The plant said, “I have been discarded and thrown in this pile of trash.” The Lady said, “Stop crying! You are destined to grow beautiful multi-colored flowers that will transform you into the most beautiful plant.” The Lady waved her wand over the plant. In an instant, a sudden mass of multi-colored blooms appeared. The Lady said, “Happy Holidays to all Plants!”  She said “You see. plants always look so gorgeous at Christmas time, when homes decorated with plants provide elegance and beauty and increase the Joy of Christmas”.

The now beautiful plant was moved by a parishioner to a needy church. When the plant was placed in front of the altar, churches everywhere wanted Christmas plants in front of their altars, to bring peace and love to all. The Lady waved her wand over the plant and instantly, all churches received Christmas plants in front of their altars.

What was the name of the plant found in the greenhouse, you ask? You know the name of these plants: they are called Christmas plants, Easter plants, Sunday plants in a Church, and Sweetheart plants you give as a gift of love to your wife or daughter. What is the plant’s name you ask again? The name is Plant! It answers to…a plant for my loved one, a plant to a sick person, and a plant that makes everyone smile. So enjoy these plants, marvel at God’s creation, and care for your plants so they do not need to cry. 

©Zilker Botanical Garden,
Austin Area Garden Council