No Need to Name It!

Do we gardeners give a little more importance to plant names than is necessary or sensible; are we obsessed with names? Few things spike a gardener’s attention as quickly as the mention of a new plant name. There may be nothing especially good or beautiful about the plant but it is NEW! And we simply must have it! I have noticed this especially with snowdrops as I have a particular interest in them. There are now several thousand named snowdrops and I must confess to adding a few to that list myself yet more and more are added almost on a daily basis during the snowdrop season each year. Of course, from the nursery/seller point of view, a new name will almost certainly lead to new sales and for many that is what it is all about.

Knowing the name of the plants we admire and something of their background certainly adds an extra layer of enjoyment to the experience. However, there are times when it is very worthwhile to put the names aside, to dismiss our desire to label and categorise and to enjoy plants simply as plants, generic plants. We visit Mount Congreve Gardens regularly and have regularly searched out the names of plants which have caught our attention. This allows us to identify and label them in our photographs and it does add to our enjoyment to be able to visit plants we have known and admired for years. However, there are over 2,000 different rhododendron cultivars at Mount Congreve, about 600 different camellias, several hundred different maples and untold numbers of other plant genera also so naming all is quite beyond me and oftentimes simply surrendering to enjoying the plants for their beauty alone is more than enough. Plants without names are equally as beautiful – somewhat along the lines of “a rose by any other name etc”

So here, without names, are some views I enjoyed while walking around the woodland garden at Mount Congreve:

And finally, for there are so many pleasant views in the garden, a slideshow:


3 thoughts on “No Need to Name It!

    1. LOL But I really do like to know the names while, at the same time, sneering at the naming habit in the snowdrop world, for example!


  1. Beautiful! We’re close to Sofiero palace gardens – with over 10 000 individual specimens of rhododendron. As a child I grew up far from here – but my father used to drive us all the way to Sofiero every year in May, because nothing rivals the rhododendron bloom in that landscape of deep gulleys sloping towards the sea. He’d walk us through the flowering forest down to the beach, point across the Sound towards Danmark visible only a short boat trip away and say ’See that castle, the one just on the other side from this one? It’s the one Shakespeare based Hamlet on’. 😀 The golden azaleas were his favorites, for their scent – and he was thrilled when finally one year he could buy them at Sofiero. We’ve bought our rhododendrons there as well – and guess what – we don’t remember the names. But our golden azalea came into bloom today of all days!


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