I'm been very fond of ZINNIAS ever since as a kid I was impressed at the popular Italian tradition & adornment of adding this flower to their "Victory Gardens" during World War Two. Not far from my grandparents' rows of tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant & sweet basil were these beautiful, tall petaled-DISCS as BRIGHT as the CHALK & colored CRAYONS we used in Kindergarten. I'm still smitten by their bold beauty.
Recently a friend stopped by & noticing my zinnias, commented ominously: "Be careful, they're subject to a fungus!". (We live in tropical Mexico on its west coast & now is the time of the humid, wet monsoon season "when all AMBITION turns to a perfumed MUSH", as one anonymous travel writer described it.)
Now my zinnias were perfectly HEALTHY that day. Then CURSE! Three days later their leaves were all being chewed up -I found out it wasn't a fungus, but a worm (you have to hand-pick them off, they don't sting) so I e-mailed my friend (in SIX words, of course!) : "Please don't talk to my zinnias!"