Strange name, isn't it? But that's what she called herself. She said she loved annual plants that much. I asked her why, since perennials like peonies and roses, for instance, are such wonderful flowers.
"Sure they are," she said, "but who said anything about flowers? I mean annual PLANTS."
"But they only live one season, then they die. How good is that?"
She looked at me with pity in her eyes. "That's the whole point! Somehow annuals know there is no 'next year.' This one is it. As for the fragrance thing, obviously, the perennial flowers win the day. You can sniff their fragrance as you starve."
"Starve? I've heard of people who survived in the wilderness by eating rose hips," I told her.
"Sure, they give you vitamin C as you use up body fat, but you'll still starve."
"I suppose I won't starve if I'm depending on annuals?"
"Now, you're getting it," she said, in mock relief. "Look, annuals are our food plants, or plants that are grown as annuals. Think of the grains, like millet for instance. There's something you can really feed on. Ever tried a peony pancake?"
I am sensitive to sarcasm, and I didn't like her tone of voice.
She raved on. "Annuals are like racers when the gun goes off. They live to grow fast and produce lots and lots of seeds. In as little as 60 days many of them are giving you food, not just a bunch of flowers."
She had me there, but I said, "Some of us like beauty, instead of just a bunch of seeds."
"So, I'll send a bouquet of perennial flowers when you die of starvation. I'm sure you'll like them very much!"
Then she invited me to an upcoming flower show where she was to show off her Love Lies Bleeding flowers. "There's stunning beauty," she said. "They grow like perennials because they self seed. You only need to sow them one time. AND the seeds are very good food. They make tons of them."
"About this flower show? I've lived around here all my life, and I've never heard of it."
"How could you miss it?" she said with exasperation. "It's an ANNUAL event."