Editorial: In Which I Tell You The Names Of The Plants In My Garden And Why I Named Them So


June 19, 2016 - Local

By Howard Rosenthal, Sierra Madre

Orange Tree – “Erasmus” 

He’s large in stature but calm, quiet, and thoughtful in his demeanor like the great theologian.

Eggplant – “Porter”

Porter is a burly fellow who can rough it with any other of the vegetables. I call him Porter because he reminds me of a rutabaga I grew last summer who I also named Porter.

Basil plant – “Abigail”

This plant was named for my dear sweet Aunt Abigail, who always made me the most delicious pesto when I was a young schoolgirl in Vienna. Oh my how I miss her dearly.

Azalea – “Bessie”

Bessie is a kind and delicate young lass. She makes me feel soft and buttery when I whisper sweet nothings to her. I call her Bessie because that was the name of my ex-wife who died (I didn’t kill her).

Oregano plant – “Herm”

He just looks like a Herm. Sometimes that’s all it takes.

Cardamom – “Big Mama”

Short for Big Carda-Mama. Because she’s gotten so big since April! I also call her Janice sometimes.

Marigolds – “Leslie”, “Cranks”, and “Two-Butt Arnold”

Leslie is self-explanatory.

Cranks is named so because he never seems happy with the amount of sunlight I give him. I leave him out and he gets droopy. I bring him into shade and he gets droopier. Make up your mind Mr. Cranks! (I also call him Mr. Cranks)

Two-Butt Arnold looks like he has two butts. And Arnold is the name of my butt doctor.

Zucchini – “Reggie”

Reggie is a curious plant who is always asking me questions about the world. So I named him after the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s deputy who kept questioning me about whether I killed my ex-wife Janice (I didn’t).

Rosemary- “Wipsy-Dee”

Wipsy-Dee makes me feel all silly and giggly! When I light it on fire and inhale the smoke. It tastes bad in my food though. I should ask the sketchy teenager I bought it from about that.

Tomato plant – “Jessup”

I call him Jessup because he seems like a good religious man. Good men are hard to come by these days.

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