I receive a variety of responses (comments) to the Flora Wonder Blog, some which enlighten me, some that correct me, some that support me and alas, a few that condemn me. I read the following three times...trying to make sense of it:
|Native Pseudotsuga menziesii at Flora Farm|
|Native Quercus garryana at Flora Farm|
“So what's so wrong about promoting sole use of our native plants? The nursery industry had [sic] made it fashionable to grow the exotic 'non-native' plants, for the most part replacing native plants that are critical for the survival of our native insects and animals...You seem rarely to speak about the virtues of our wonderfully endangered native plants now, thanks to your philosophy that non-natives are ok because people want them. This industry has failed in recognizing its duty to keep our environment healthy...Your list of offerings is based on their ability to generate revenues and that is based on the fact that you also control the offerings. Talk about the evils of Big Box stores...you are not much better.
|Exotics and natives coexisting peacefully in the Flora Wonder Arboretum|
Wow – I resemble that! This commenter is a male, I can tell, and he has certainly worked himself into a lather in Mom's basement, but at least he is devoted to saving our “...wonderfully endangered native plants...” Woah, is it wonderful that our native plants are endangered? Anyway, is there science that proves that planting a Japanese maple endangers our native insects and animals? In my experience the exotics and the natives coexist peacefully – at least in the Flora Wonder Arboretum – where our ruby-throated hummingbirds love to nest in the canopies of Japanese maples. I have never seen their nests in our native Acer macrophyllum, circinatum or glabrum, though I suppose that some do, but I have never seen it in my world.
|Buchholz preaching to the cognoscenti|
You know, I admit to preaching in the Flora Wonder Blog; I tell you my likes and dislikes, and I provide you with well-reasoned opinions as well as those that are admittedly half-baked. Not to come across as arrogant, not at all, but Seth and I produce the blog for ourselves, not for you. Well, Seth participates, when he would probably rather not, but at least he is usually a good sport about it. Since I “preach,” I guess it's ok that you readers can preach back to me. The difference is that I identify myself, whereas the pony-tailed basement dweller does not – he is Mr. A, Mister Anonymous, so I can't really embrace his nit-wit manifesto.
When the queerly-opinionated Mr. A. states that “I rarely speak about...,” the implication is that he is a frequent blog reader. Good God, A, why torture yourself? Yes, I am into and absorbed with exotics. My wife is Japanese and we have produced two wonderful hybrid children, both of whom have already – at one third your age – contributed more to the betterment of the world than you. Should I have instead saddled myself with a native Oregon woman? What is native anyway? Should my wife be native to the same state as me? The same city? The same street? Should I have mated with my cousin or my sister? What, Mr. A., is native? Is Metasequoia glyptostroboides “native” to Oregon? Of course not, you would say, it is native to China, and it should not be planted in Oregon. Well, I counter, it used to be native, as supported by the fossil record...so where do you stand on that? I have a Ginkgo fossil from North Dakota, and if I lived in Fargo would you be cool with me growing a Ginkgo there?
|Rubus spectabilis 'Golden Ruby'|
Hey, Mr. A. – I like natives at least as much as non-natives, it's just that I can't make a living with them. I do sell a few natives anyway, and the blog which you tarnished with your curious vision actually mentioned Rubus spectabilis and Thuja plicata. I also mentioned Oregon's pocket gopher – one of those animals that you so cherish – but I shoot them whenever I can as they damage the roots on my exotic Ginkgo biloba. Careful now, don't you pop up out of a gopher hole.
There are a number of nurseries that grow native plants only. These are usually supported by government projects, and those projects are supported by me, the taxpayer. Do you know that I am in the minority, that a greater number of American adults pay no federal tax at all? Are you one of them? So I guess I actually do support native plants, because I've paid far more taxes in my life than you ever will.
|Native plants at Flora Farm|
|Saya fishing the Tualatin River|
|A Monet moment on the Tualatin|
Besides, I own about 45 acres of fields and woods that are entirely native. The native deer come up from the woods along the Tualatin River and visit my apple orchard every fall. The trees are exotic, but the deer don't seem to mind. My woods contain a pack of coyotes – do you love them also? – which howl at night, and they even snatched the family cat on the front lawn, just ten steps from the door. My property hosts eagles and hawks and herons and egrets – and it's fun to watch the latter two perform their mating dance. Just before daylight doves begin to coo, and robins (Turdus migratorius) serenade me. Soon the frogs will also perform, basso profondo, in the morning orchestra. As ridiculous as politicians debating about who is the more religious, is your assertion that I haven't “recognized my duty about keeping the environment healthy.”
So you see, Mr. A. that I am not as evil as “Big Box Stores.” They pave thousands of acres and sell cheap stuff from China that is manufactured with polluting ingredients. A salesman once stopped by the nursery to promote plastic containers from China because they were less expensive. I wondered if each pot had its own DNA.
|Japanese maples in autumn|
Don't take this blog personally Mr. A., I'm just messing with you a little bit. You can use the roads that I paid for while you're trying to find a job. Keep taking your meds – your Mom thinks they are helping – while I'll go outside and hug a Japanese maple.
|The exotic morning sun coming from 92.96 million miles away|