While attending a marriage seminar on communication, Tom and his wife Peg listened to the instructor declare, "It is essential that husbands and wives know the things that are important to each other." He asked Tom, "Can you describe your wife's favorite flower?" Tom leaned over, touched his wife's arm gently and whispered, "Pillsbury All-Purpose, isn't it?" The rest of the story is not pleasant. —Author unknown


Botanical Latin: The new pickup line

Rosa rugosa.

Tulipa tardiva.

Gardeners, dust off your Botanical Latin. That’s how the conservative French President Nicolas Sarkozy wooed his left-leaning actor-singer-model wife, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy:

“When I met him, walking around the garden in the (presidential Elysee Palace), he keeps giving me all these flowers’ names,” she said. “He knows all the Latin names, all these details about tulips and roses.

“I said to myself: ‘My God, I must marry this man, he’s the president and he knows everything about flowers as well. This is incredible.’ ”

Prince Charles of England is also a passionate gardener. Perhaps he never hauled out the botanical Latin with Diana.

Did the Bruni-Sarkozys’ latest botanical discussion involve Amorphophallis konjac, the perennial voodoo lily? Carla is pregnant with her second child, the couple’s first.

Amorphophallis 'Konjac' at the Des Moines Botanical Center


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