Hello magic beans, and happy Friday!

Welcome back to our Ask the Experts panel. Let’s meet the stars of the show. Hi Experts!

“Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiii Liza!”

Haha, you guys are so cute! From left to right, that’s Tina, Thack, EZ, Dottie and Lewis. If you’d like to know more about them, please click here.

I’m excited about this week’s panel, for reasons that shall reveal themselves as we go along. Here’s our question (which isn’t a question, but you know what I mean):

Q. I’d like you each to tell us a houseplant fairy tale.

I’m not sure what possessed me to ask this of my Experts, but I’m really glad I did. My panel is made up of a bunch of charmers – you’ll see.

Expert Tina is usually up first, but she’s unavailable this week. Too bad, so sad! Tina, we miss you. Let’s admire her adorable sunflower head:

And move on to Thack.

Expert Tim Thackaberry, here’s the “question” to you:

Q. I’d like you each to tell us a houseplant fairy tale.

A. “I have a 7-year old daughter, so I’ve had to invent many, many fairy tales in the last few years. This will be my first houseplant-related one.

Once upon a time, there was a beautiful princess, Princess Samantha, and she had a houseplant she loved very much. The houseplant was named Starburst.

One morning, Starburst was missing from her usual place on Princess Samantha’s nightstand. The princess was horrified, for she loved that houseplant and had nurtured it from the time it was just a seedling. The princess looked all around her room, and then the castle, but Starburst was nowhere to be found.

Princess Samantha ran out onto the castle grounds, desperate to find her beloved houseplant! She looked everywhere until, finally, she came upon her houseplant, planted in the ground in one of the castle’s many gardens. The princess was so excited! She dug up Starburst, put it back in its’ pot, and the 2 of them lived happily ever after!

Until the King, King Timothy II as it turns out, forgot to water it. But that’s too sad a story for a fairy tale. Let’s leave it at them living happily ever after…”

I’m so glad I asked this question! That was excellent, Tim. You definitely seemed well-versed in the world of fairy tales.

For your correct response this week, you’ve earned the title of King of the Experts for the next week, permission to refer to your house as your castle any time you’d like and a moat full of extra credit points. Thanks as always for being here!

Up next is Expert EZ Ed Johnson. EZ, here’s the question to you:

Q. I’d like you each to tell us a houseplant fairy tale.

A. Once upon a time, a butterfly approached a red flower and a blue flower, but before she could decide which one to choose, a bee intercepted her.

“Careful,” the bee said. “If you select the right flower, you will turn into a great eagle with powerful wings. But if you choose the wrong flower, your own delicate wings will wither and fall to the ground.”
The butterfly was paralyzed with fear.

“What should I do?” the butterfly asked.

“I can’t tell you that,” the bee said.

“Which flower would you choose?” the butterfly asked.

“Well,” the bee said, “red is a powerful color. Perhaps that is the one.”

“Yes,” the butterfly said. “I believe you’re right.”

“However,” the bee said, “blue is the color of the sky, so perhaps that is the correct one.”

The butterfly was more confused than ever. Then, in a sudden rush of judgment, she chose the red flower. After tasting the flower, the butterfly waited for what would happen next. But there was nothing. She did not turn into an eagle. Her butterfly wings did not fall.

“What happened?” the butterfly asked the bee.

“You did not have to choose,” the bee answered. “You do not have to choose.”

EZ, I can’t picture you working at the newspaper. You should be one of those great old sages sitting on some remote mountaintop dispensing parables and stories for those seeking higher knowledge. Aaah, so poetic!

Thanks for playing, as always. This week, you’ve earned your choice of choices, never-ending wisdom and a coupon good for holistic living. Nicely done, EZ!

For the past several weeks, each time we get to this point in the panel, I have to share the disappointing news that Expert Dottie was unavailable to join us.

Luckily, today, I don’t have to do that. That’s right, hang on to your hats everyone, Dottie’s back! (In my head right now I’m singing a song that roughly goes like “Yay, yay, yay, Dottie’s back, all is right with the world, yay for Dottie being back.” I didn’t claim it was a catchy tune.)

Sweet talented lady, here’s the question to you:

Q. I’d like you each to tell us a houseplant fairy tale.

A. Fairy Tales Indeed!  Having a father that was born in Ireland, predisposed me to many of the wild tales of the “little people” which included delightful fairy people as well as the ornery, trickster and sometimes evil Leprechauns.  When in Ireland, I was treated to the site of fields of lovely “4” leaf clover plants and it being May, they were in full bloom with their tiny, fragrant, tiny white blooms –one of my favorite plants and where the good protective fairies live!–but I digress.  One of the tales that frightened me the most is as follows:  Daniel O’Grady captures a Leprechaun while in Ireland, takes his gold and smuggles it back to his home in Ohio, unaware that the Leprechaun has followed him.  Confronting O’Grady and demanding his gold the Leprechaun is injured by O’Grady and sealed in a crate with a “four leaf clover,” though before O’Grady can kill the creature, he suffers a stroke.  Ten years later the Leprechaun is accidentally released by a lady named Tory and her new friends and goes on a killing spree in search of his gold, which two other men, Alex and Ozzie, had discovered.  After the Leprechaun reclaims the bulk of his gold, he is defeated when Alex shoots a “four leaf” clover down his throat with a slingshot and Alex’s older brother Nathan blows up the well the Leprechaun falls into. Strangely, Alex and Nathan are never able to claim the gold as it mysteriously vanishes from the pot and evil follows them the rest of their lives!  I was always warned not to “trouble” with Leprechauns as they are indestructible, never forget an unkindness and to bide my behavior as they were always watching me and carried the Luck of the Irish that dwells within the “four leaf clover”.   As a child growing up, I was terrified of the Leprechauns that I knew lived in the basement in hidden dark places.  To this day, I try to always have a full and healthy four leaf clover plant in my home (where I know the good fairies live ) to protect me.

Aw, that’s so sweet, Dottie! Your childhood delight and terror shined right through your answer. I love it!

C’mon, everyone sing with me, “Yay, yay, yay, Dottie’s back…” No? Ok, well, I can tell you’re as excited as I am anyway.

Dottie, of course it’s great to have you back. This week, I’ll award you one murder hit on the Leprechaun of your choice, an imaginary bag of gold that’s free from all evil, and a hundred billion extra credit points for having lived such a long, wonderful life and sharing some of it with us. I’ll also see if I can assign a full-time good fairy protection force to serve you – if anyone deserves that, it’s you! Thanks again for playing!

Expert Lewis, here’s the question to you:

Q. I’d like you each to tell us a houseplant fairy tale.

A. Why & I & Little Red

Why can’t I reach the sky, asked Little Red.
Why can’t I stand on the top of the world, asked Little Red
Why can’t I see to end of the earth, asked Little Red
Why can’t I taste the first rain, asked Little Red.
Why can’t I be a friend of the wind, asked Little Red.
Why can’t I feel old Sun, asked Little Red,
Why can’t I dance under Moon lite nights,  asked Little Red.
Why can’t I shine like a starry sky, asked Little Red.
Why can’t I laugh like the Golden Loon, asked Little Red.
Why can’t I sing like the Morning Dove, asked Little Red.
Why can’t I grow like the Wild Rose, asked Little Red.
Why can’t I help others catch the spirit of good health, asked Little Red.
Why can’t I give joy like the Rising Sun, asked Little Red.
Why can’t I spread Peace like the Setting Sun, asked Little Red.. 

Oh my silly Brother Little Red.

You can reach the sky, stand on the top of the world, see the end of the earth, taste the first rain, be a friend of the wind, feel old Sun, dance under Moon lite nights, shine like a starry sky, laugh like the Golden Loon, sing like the Morning Dove, grow like the Wild Rose, help others catch good health, give joy like the rising Sun and spread Peace like the Setting Sun.

For we are the mighty mighty Pomegranates Clan said

Big Red, Mid Red, Round Red, Great Red, Light Red, Dark Red, Red Red, Tiny Red, Slightly Red, Reddest Red, Almost Red, Tasty Red, Reddy Red, Happy Red, Dopey Red, Bashful Red, Sleepy Red, Grouchy Red, Smiley Red, DR. Red, Rudolph Red, Dasher Red, Donner Red, Dixon Red, I wish I was Red, Sally Red, Sara Red, Susan Red, Bea Red, Betty Red, Lea Red, Ruby Red, Freddy Red, and Reddy Fred.

Hahaha, you really have a thing for Pomegranates, don’t you, Lewis?

Again, I’m really glad I asked this question. You’ve all been creative, thoughtful and entertaining. Lewis, I loved your fairy tale – you have a knack for capturing the enthusiasm of Nature.

This week for making us all smile, you’ve earned a life-time subscription to The Pomegranate News (the only newspaper by Pomegranates, for Pomegranates), an A+, and the undying appreciation of Nature for being such a wonderful ambassador to her. Great job!

Also, I may need your services involving a certain Leprechaun…oh, wait, we’ll just talk about that later, k?

That does it for this week’s Ask the Experts panel. Thanks everyone for being here. My Experts will return in exactly one week, hope to see you back here.

Now, on to last week’s plant puzzler.

Name that Plant Problem!

Last week, I asked you to create a story to explain what might’ve happened to this Dieffenbachia:

One week it was fine, the next week, three broken stems. I asked for you to create a story because there’s no way for me to know exactly what happened. I have a pretty good idea, though.

Let’s see how you guessed:

The Plant Master wrote, “LOL… well maybe the night before was the roomates birthday. They had a big party and lots of people were there. Dancing was aso a part of the event, but when Bob decided to do the cotton eye joe…..he leaped in the air and jumped on the chair thinking he was mounting a bull for bull riding. He fell on the plant and broke of the branches. Must of been some party!!!!!”

Bueno, bueno, my friend The Plant Master, who’s our very own Expert Tina.

What’s funny about Tina’s story is that it’s probably pretty darn close to true. I believe someone fell on this plant and broke the stems. The reason I believe that is because the pot itself wasn’t knocked over – the dirt was intact. So the stems got broken where the plant sits, which is on a plant stand. The only plausible explanation that I see is that a person fell into it or swiped it somehow. Some party, indeed!

Congratulations, Tina, and thanks for playing! Because you’re the only winner, this week you’ve earned all the prizes, which include a trip for two to Never Never Land, a mobile party that follows you around, and a blessing from your Fairy Godmother. Well done!

On to the new puzzler:

???Real or Fake???

Are they both real? Both fake? One real, one fake? One fake, one real? One named Larry, one named Sue? Both figments of our collective imaginations?

Think you know the answer, smartyplants? Leave your best guess in the comments section. You have until midnight next Thursday, February 3rd, midnight MST (that’s 2a.m. EST) to cast your vote. I’ll reveal the answer and the winner after next week’s panel of Experts.

I’ll be back manana, hope to see you here.