Friday, July 25, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Turkey neck

Celosia is one flower I've never cared for. Astilbe is another. And shame on me, day lilies and most dahlias. People are going to throw rocks at me next time I appear in public. Truly, there aren't many. Please put your rocks away.

Turkey neck

Celosia is one flower I've never cared for. Astilbe is another. And shame on me, day lilies and most dahlias. People are going to throw rocks at me next time I appear in public. Truly, there aren't many. Please put your rocks away.

Celosia's other name is cockscomb, and I know there are people who love its primary color and velvety feel. I don't know. I call that cockscomb something more like turkey neck, a condition I hope to avoid for a few more years. Now that I write that, maybe my dislike is a primal thing that I should seek therapy for.

Meanwhile, Helen Pettengill, the floral designer I've been blogging about this week, knocked me out with this arrangement. Who can explain ...? It's just celosia with yellow magnolia and bittersweet in a long-stemmed shallow glass. But how cool.

Makes me want to scour my cabinets for antique wine glasses, something Helen would definitely approve of. And maybe, if I get really adventurous, I'll spring for some celosia at a farmer's market. Any of those still open? And find myself a magnolia blossom or a substitute.

It's the idea of combining the vessel with a - simply - magnificent specimen flower. Sounds so much nicer than turkey neck.

Virginia A. Smith Inquirer Staff Writer
About this blog
Ginny Smith, a Philadelphia native, joined the Inquirer at 1985. After stints as both reporter and editor in the city and suburbs, she’s been happily writing – and learning - about gardening full time since 2006. She’s won two silver medals of achievement from the national Garden Writers Association and in 2011, Bartram’s Garden honored her with its Green Exemplar award for her stories about “the region’s deeply rooted horticultural history, cultural attractions and bountiful gardens.” She plays in her own – mostly - bountiful garden in East Falls. Reach Virginia A. at vsmith@phillynews.com .

Virginia A. Smith Inquirer Staff Writer
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