This is the VOA Special English Agriculture Report.
have a question from a Chinese student who is interested in floriculture. Wang
Yue wants to know what kinds of flowers Americans like to plant in their gardens.
of the most popular bedding flowers are chrysanthemums, impatiens and petunias.
Bedding plants are usually started in greenhouses. People buy them in
containers and replant them.
are also popular in American gardens. So are tulips, a welcome sign of spring.
At the Chicago Botanic Garden in Illinois, workers plant twenty-nine thousand
tulip bulbs every fall. The workers move in a long line as they plant row after
row of tulips.
Kris Jarantoski is the director of the Chicago
Botanic Garden. He says a flowering plant called agastache
is also popular in gardens. Hummingbirds love it. Salvia is another popular
flower that attracts hummingbirds.
Kris Jarantoski says
people also choose flowers such as the spiderflower for its ability to reseed.
Another quality that people often look for is the ability to resist dry
periods. Lantana is an example of a popular drought-resistant plant.
Where people live can limit the choices for their
gardens. The United States is a huge country with all kinds of weather
conditions, from desert heat to arctic cold. But something else can also limit
people's choices: a stormy economy.
a recession, people often "trade down." They buy a lower-priced
version of a product to save money. Home gardeners are no different. Alberto
Jerardo at the Agriculture Department says people still want
flowers even if they do not have much to spend. To save money, they may buy small
bedding plants instead of more costly plants or trees.
Agriculture Department says growers in California led the nation in the value
of floriculture products in two thousand seven, the latest year available. The
wholesale value was one billion dollars. Florida was close behind. The leading
states for bedding and garden plants are California, Michigan, Texas, North
Carolina and Ohio.
any American growers or home gardeners hoping for an early spring this year just
got some bad news. Monday was Groundhog Day and it seems that the famous animal
in Pennsylvania, Punxsutawney
Phil, saw his shadow. Tradition says that if a groundhog sees its shadow, that
means people can expect six more weeks of winter weather.
And that's the VOA Special English Agriculture Report,
written by Jerilyn Watson. I'm Faith Lapidus.