Now that it’s March, I’m getting eager for the coming gardening season. This year, I’ve got new plans for projects to help me grow more food and better-looking flowers.
My enthusiasm does not extend, however, to the latest petunia brought to the American home gardening market: The Fancy Dress Petunia – “new for 2010”! It’s a newly bred variety of petunia, see, with a different color pattern, and that means that… well, you’ll have yet one more sort of petunia to plant alongside all the old varieties, and alongside the many other sorts of flowers that already exist.
Why do we need a new variety of petunia? Would anyone outside the plant breeding community even be able to identify the new petunia, when lined up alongside the old petunias?
Here’s a test. Each of the following three flowers are petunias. One is the new Fancy Dress petunia. The other two are varieties developed for previous years’ horticultural fashions. Can you tell which one is the Fancy Dress, and tell me why it’s important to have that flower in the garden instead of the other two?