Thereby Hangs a Tale

Then there is the dandelion, a member of the daisy family according to botanists but known to children familiar with its history as a fairy-family. It seems that the huge feet of Man suddenly appearing on the earth caused panic among the little people. Elves and gnomes hid in caverns and hollow trees, but the little flower-sprites wanted to stay out in the sunshine. So they ran to the nearest plant stems and clung to them in terror. Those dressed in bright yellow sunbeam frocks found themselves the next morning clinging to a stem, staring wide-eyed at the sun. All the youngsters were in the center, with the adults around the outside for protection. Thus was born the dandelion. Any child can see that it is just as the legend has it-hundreds of tiny yellow flower-fairies making up the sunshiny head.

The fanciful folk-names given to many flowers can provide the motif for a very special garden. Most youngsters love names loaded with meaning. You may have forgotten, through long usage and acceptance, how titillating at first is the idea of a flower named "Johnny-jump-up" or "red-hot poker." But to many children a flower bearing such a nickname is highly per­sonalized or rather funny. These picturesque names were be­stowed long, long ago by folk unfamiliar with botanical nomen­clature, but the names have clung. As with all nicknames, the reason is delightfully apparent.

Here is a partial list of possible inmates for such a garden:

Creeping Jenny (Lysimachia nummularia) Shooting star (Dodecatheon)
Bleeding heart
Dutchman's breeches
Spider plant (Cleome)
Lady-slippers (Impatiens)
Balloon vine
Cathedral bells (Cobaea scandens)
Baby Blue-eyes (Nemophila insignis)
Black-eyed Susan
Paint-brush flower (Cacalia)
Foxtail lily
Firecracker plant (Cuphea)
Joseph's coat (Amaranthus tricolor)
Pincushion plant (Scabiosa)
Bouncing Bet (Saponaria officinalis)
Gas plant (Dictamnus)
Jacob's ladder (Polemonium caeruleum)
Floss flower (Ageratum)
Angel's trumpet (Datura)
Chinese lantern
Blue thimble flower (Gilia)
Wishbone flower (Torenia)
Bird of Paradise (Poinciana giUiesi)
Burning bush (Kochia)
Ice plant (Mesembryanthemum)
Painted daisy (Pyrethrum roseum)
Poor man's orchid (Schizanthus)