Ted Collins

Stump the Chump: September-October 2016

by Megan Frank on September 12, 2016


Its bean a long time since I’ve seen this one,
Not even at Palmiters, southwest,
Nor at the nearest herbarium,
Where I once was a frequent guest (pre Google).

Its leguminous, deciduous, entomophilous,
procumbent it is not.
It produces much better with some support
a reputation tasty its got.

Mike Viens and Greg Frank know the answer,
So they cannot participate.
Nor can Greg’s pal in Darien
Despite his status as tree potentate.

“Catalpa” said Greg at first viewing
and I laughed at his precipitous guess
Saying “Greg, you’re a super salesman,
But your mind’s a botanical mess.”

—Ted Collins, AKA Doc Lilac

The first person to answer correctly, genus and species please,
will win a $50 gift certificate to Aladdin’s. Please call 585/301-7181
or email megan@upstategardenersjournal.com to guess.

We will accept guesses starting September 19, 2016, in order to
give everyone a fair chance. Good luck!

 * * *

The answer to the July-August 2016 stumper: Syringa reticulata


{ Comments on this entry are closed }

Dear Jane:

I have long thought that you and your readers would benefit from a Letters to the Editor feature. I’ll wager that it would be as well received as Stump the Chump. I’ll also bet that a poll of your subscribers would confirm this belief.


Such an approach to reader feedback would soon allow you to gauge their sentiment on topics, authors, and even the UGJ’s layout. (I recall being stirred by articles on invasive species and would have welcomed a chance to vent by writing you.) In addition, any mistakes could be addresses, controversies aired, and helpful suggestions considered.


Replies from the editor, if used, might be equally interesting and educational and demonstrate that you indeed value response and opinions. Perhaps most important is that your audience would probably love it and participate enthusiastically. I know I would.


Ted Collins

Lilac Hill Nursery


Dear Ted:

Since you came up with the hugely popular Stump the Chump feature, we are inclined to follow your advice on other editorial matters. As such, we present Letters to the Editor, yours first.




The REAL heronDear Editor,


We were vigilant about protecting the Koi fish in the pond we landscaped into a bland back yard seven years ago. We took to placing plastic herons, territorial birds, to discourage other, air borne herons from swooping in and making breakfast, lunch and dinner out of our beautiful and much loved Koi. Endearing to us, many we had raised from sliver glints of metallic scales to gem sparkling 20 pounders.


Over the years we’ve scared off herons around the pond under the trees and as dawn broke, standing at water’s edge. Along with them we had hawks on the tree branches licking their beaks and raccoons rubbing their little hand-paws. Eventually, out of fear for our fish, we just netted over the whole pond and took less worry.


We were unworried until Cheryl Micciche, paralegal at Rochester General Hospital, pond owner, took this picture of the heron waiting and watching from a neighbor’s roof! Now we are back on Heron Watch again.  Cheryl, often in involved in reviewing liability at the hospital, is seriously wondering what the heron’s strategy is now.


Very Best,

William Page

Dear William:


Thank you for the interesting tale. We also would have liked a picture of the beak-leaking hawks. Maybe next time.





I’ve enjoyed your magazine for quite a while now. Or maybe it’s best if I say up until now. Yesterday I made four of the apple galettes using the recipe from the current issue. Each turned out tasting terrible although I used the ingredients as written. The end of a great meal for many friends was a huge flop. The problem was with the topping. It tasted doughy, lacked flavor and sweetness.


I just reread the recipe and figured out that there is an error in it. Please read #2 in the recipe for the filing. I only saw tonight that sugar is mentioned here although no sugar is listed for the filling ingredients. When I mixed together everything for the topping, I mixed together everything from the list of ingredients and added it atop the apples. No wonder the topping taste like buttery dirt! There’s no sugar in it! Even if I had noticed the error as I was making the topping I would not know the quantity of sugar to use.


Please tell either the proof reader or whoever was responsible this that the error cost me money, wasted my time and that this was the first time that people spit food out of their mouths while dining at my house.

Thank you.



Dear M.:


Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We are terribly sorry that the galettes were a failure and will run a correction on the recipe page, 17, in this issue.



The REAL heron