I scream for sun screen

The little greenhouse from the insideIt’s probably too late for me. Smooth, milky white skin just isn’t in the cards. I’m young enough that I grew up wearing sunscreen at the beach – but old enough that it was bright orange oil called suntan lotion and had an SPF of 4. Now I slather on tablespoons of SPF 30 a few times a day until the titanium dioxide and zinc oxide turn my already brown skin a pasty shade of zombie. I’ve heard that if skin cancer isn’t a scary enough prospect, now we’re supposed to be worried about death and disease by nanoparticles in our sunscreen! What to do?! I had a chance to contemplate all of this while up to my elbows in greenhouse shading. Julie’s parasolPlants get sunburned too and Julie protected some of her children with a parasol. Now that the shading is on (again!), I might borrow the umbrelly for me… Most of the plants are out of the big greenhouse now and the little one will continue to be home to terrariums, some begonias and the cutting bench residents.

One way to avoid damage from the sun and scary sunscreen is to stay indoors. But that’s just not a practical option for us gardeners and garden appreciators. Think of all you’d miss! — like this Salvia lanceolata (left). Salvia lanceolataIt’s a short guy with greyer than greygreen foliage and an early flower (at least for us since it came out of the greenhouse). Symphytum x uplandicum ‘Axminster Gold’And Symphytum x uplandicum ‘Axminster Gold’ (right). It’s about 12″ tall now with 3-4″ serrated, pointed, variegated green and yellow leaves. Both might glow a little in the dark but the subtle details would disappear!

6 thoughts on “I scream for sun screen

  1. It is very hard to wear sunscreen when gardening as it is sticky and burns your eyes. I do wear it but opt for hats quite often or, visors. I love the salvia and the Symphytum is interesting. Sickly looking but interesting.

    I will have to do some research on the Persicaria. The growers catalogs still list it that way. Don’t you love the changes the taxonomists make? How confusing.

  2. Hats are definitely a good idea – I’m on the hunt for a new kicky cowboy hat and meanwhile can be seen sporting my redsox cap. Only trouble with that hat is it really only protects my forehead. I think the best thing would be a portable tent…
    The picture of the Symphytum is pretty accurate for color – the flowers are a very odd shade of pinky purple that clashes weirdly with the bright yellow. (I think the clash is why I like it!)

  3. Nanoparticles in sunscreen? I’ll have to look that up. I always where a 50 SPF sunscreen, and use a special sunscreen for faces that doesn’t burn when you sweat and it gets in your eyes.

  4. Carol, I was inspired to go on bit more about sunscreen in today’s post — What kind do you use??

  5. Kris – about the sunscreen…I use coppertone sport spf50 with uva/uvb protection. Only get burned when I forget to put it on. I’ve never of these nanoparticles either. What next? By the way, some of the photos are blocking your wonderful prose.

  6. Pam!! I’m so glad you visited! Thank you! Coppertone is great especially when the other stuff (the stuff with nanoparticles) falls off with the sweat – today is going to be a coppertone day… Stay cool! (I don’t know what to do about the pics – a mysterious formatting issue but they look ok on mine…)

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