Learning the lingo: Flowers, plants, latin and a few lessons from James Bond. June 12, 2016 08:57

I knew that eventually an (albeit tenuous) opportunity would arise to mention Daniel Craig / James Bond on the blog. Here goes..

I was at a friend's house the other day, admiring her garden and she was playing down her plant prowess. "I don't really know what I'm doing and I certainly can't spout out all that latin stuff."

Well her garden was, and is beautiful. But it is not the first time that I've heard people a little perturbed by all the tongue twisting trickery that comes with gardening. I am not an expert in this area by any means but here is how I decipher all those long names on plant labels, thanks to my fondness for Mr Craig's version of Bond...

1. The name is Bond. The first name you see on a label is usually the generic name or 'family' name. E.g. "The name is Bond."

2. Second Name on the label: This gets specific: "James" is the particular Bond in question. The second name often indicates something about the plant or flower: colour, habit, ideal environment etc... - For example, if the second word on your label is something like 'Compacta' you know the plant in question will make a small, petite addition to your garden. 

3. Cultivated Varieties. The above two points are the very basics surrounding naturally occurring plants. Cultivated varieties, those bred for a purpose, position or ability to do something different (e.g. thornless, survive in different conditions, produce a different colouring flower), will often be shown in 'italics'- e.g. '007 - licence to kill'. 

A classical education it is not, but it is a way to buy plants with a wry smile on your face while remembering the loveliness of Mr. Bond.