Do Plants Get Confused?

December Daylily:

December Clematis:Photobucket 
Do plants get confused?  Daylily and Clematis blooms are a little out of the ordinary for December, even here.  The significant October rainfall did it.  The plants are not confused, rather, they are opportunistic, taking advantage of that sweet soaking rain to produce a few more seeds, a little more hope for the future.

Two of our Japanese Maples are leafless, while one is still fully leafed, with foliage that has turned quite a good red (for our area).  This is baby 'Emperor I':

Is gorgeous little 'Emperor I'  confused?   It is all of about 10 feet (3 m) away from the other two.  Ten feet can make a difference.  Two of the maples are in quite a bit of sun.  'Emperor I' is in the back gully, on the north side of a wall that towers 10 feet above the maple.  The soil is much colder and the area is in full shade.  Confused?  No, just living in a different micro-climate.  

The maple is at the end of the pathway, in a green wire cage so the rabbits don't eat it. 
In this garden, it's not the plants that are confused, it's the gardener.  After a lot of struggle with irrigation leaks, the drippers are all dripping, not leaking.  The fall project ready for the next step: a new pathway.  

The start of a sketch.  I'd love some of that orange dirt-spray paint to mark the path, but I really want orange spray paint on my soil?  Er, no.  I used the old edging instead.  Looks like I might have a drain (green dome grid) to move.

A straight path between gate "A" and gate "B" seems like the correct solution.  Except it's not.  A straight path would use up the sunniest part of the area.  The sunniest part of the area must absolutely be reserved for the vegetable beds.  Veggies need sun.  Visitors, on the other hand, need shade.   So it's not going to be a logical, rational straight path.  It's going to bend and follow the shade cast by the house.  I know:  not logical. Not the most direct.  But rational.  

How can logical and rational not be the same thing?  Sometimes they are not.  Why not?  I get so confused.  


  1. Confused vs. opportunistic...good point. Oct rain here caused Red Yucca to grow a flower stalk into November! Rational and logical - I think your ideal path location that shades people and gives sun is both. Perhaps logical is something deeper than one's first inclination or hunch?

  2. Confused vs opportunistic… Lightbulb ON (solar, of course!) Thanks.

  3. @Petal, the more I garden, the more I suspect plants are far smarter than we humans give them credit for.


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