Advice for the Horticulturally Harassed


A rose by any other name might smell as sweet and all that, but it’s the hips that interest me. More specifically, with the winter season upon us, it is the Vitamin C in the hips (seed pods) that I want. Which rose produces the most Vitamin C?

All roses produce Vitamin C in their hips (as well as Vitamin A, iron and calcium) with the Rosa rugosa group especially outstanding in this regard. Rugosas are Asian species that are quite drought-tolerant in the maritime climates and virtually disease-free. The single or semi-double flowers come in shades of wine-red, pink and white, bloom repeatedly and are wonderfully fragrant.

The flowers are followed by masses of tomato red hips just packed with Vitamin C and quite edible unless you bathed them in toxins during the growing season. These horticultural and pharmacological treasures are available at a wonderful old Berkeley nursery near you.


I must tell this cautionary tale of typing the wrong email address:

A Minneapolis couple decided to go to Florida to thaw out during a particularly icy winter. They planned to stay at the same hotel where they spent their honeymoon 20 years earlier. Because of hectic schedules, it was difficult to coordinate their travel schedules. So the husband left Minnesota and flew to Florida on Thursday, with his wife flying down the following day. The husband checked into the hotel. There was a computer in his room, so he decided to send an email to his wife. However, he accidentally left out one letter in her email address, and without realizing his error, sent the email.

Meanwhile, somewhere in Houston, a widow had just returned home from her husband’s funeral. He was a minister who was called home to glory following a heart attack. The widow decided to check her email, expecting messages from family and friends. After reading the first message, she screamed and fainted.

The widow’s son rushed into the room and found his mother on the floor, and saw the computer screen which read:

“To: My loving wife

Subject: My arrival

I know you’re surprised to hear from me. They have computers here now and you are allowed to send emails to your loved ones. I’ve just arrived and have been checked in.

I’ve seen that everything has been prepared for your arrival tomorrow. Looking forward to seeing you then! Hope your journey is as uneventful as mine was.

P.S. Sure is freaking hot down here!!!”