No Use Leaving This Out To Fry

94F (34 C) predicted, 94F met by early afternoon.  Cutting a mass of roses and bringing them, in a vase, indoors, achieves two things:  first, plant stress is reduced because the plant doesn't have to support the flowers with moisture through intense heat, and second, pretty!
 Cultivars include the usual suspects:  'Yves Piaget', 'Firefighter', 'Red Intuition', 'Perdita', 'Belindas Dream'. 
 My love of bright garden color always inspires a meditation on DNA and evolution.  Our distant ancestors evolved to seek out the bright colors of fruit--bright color meant food.  The keenest seekers of color got the most and best food.  Many millions of years later, some gardeners (me) dote on color, while other gardeners prefer an array of greens. Are green-preferring gardeners passionate meat eaters, indifferent to bright color?  Did DNA make some humans hunters, others gatherers?  

While Echeveria coccinea is a fuzzy green, its flowers are bright red--must have been why I bought it, even though it wasn't in flower when I did.  The fuzzy coating enables it to take considerable sun, where it can form a large (for an Echeveria) shrubby mound.   
'Mini King' Protea flower has finally opened.  It does have fruity red bracts. 
 The first 'Pink Ice' flower never opened its bracts, remaining cylindrical.  I have to admit I'm slightly disappointed.  It doesn't ring the bell. 

I think the heat is getting to me. 
How did DNA evolve into the DNA that loves plants for their own sake?  Some of us have that DNA, surely.  The DNA that created agriculture ten or twelve thousand years ago.  We plant lovers were the cool people of ten thousand years ago, the Steve Jobs and Bill Gates of ten thousand years ago, making a stable food supply possible, all so we could stay in one place, well fed, and evolve into plant nuts, while the cool factor moved on to human different traits.

Several more 'Pink Ice' flowers are on the way, for me to be disappointed about.  Perhaps I'll learn to appreciate them eventually. 
 Near 'Mini King', Yucca 'Bright Star's creamy bubbling bells have opened.  Pretty, if not fruit-colored. 
 No colorful flowers, or flowers of any color from Dichondra argentea 'Silver Falls', which appeared in a space between stepping stones this spring.  Unhappy where I first planted it, cascading from a blue pot, dressing a blue Agave.  Sounds spectacular, but it constantly drooped with thirst.  I put the Dichondra out of its misery when I put the Agave into the ground, but 'Silver Falls' reappeared on its own exactly where it wanted to be, and has been happy, happy.  No frying.  Some plants pick their own spots, and get it right. 
 I had not intended to make the Dichondra miserable but did purposely place an Orchid where it would die.  It refused to.  I didn't know what would keep it happy, so I willed it to Nature to do with it as she wished.  

The orchid bet on me becoming a more competent gardener, and was willing to wait.  It survived several years, during our drought, on 4 or 5 inches of rain for the year.  Eventually it shamed me into providing a better spot--damp--where it's re-greened and grown.  No fruity-bright flowers.  Yet.  It's there, damp, snuggled among the Anemone leaves, vindicated.  
 This Hunnemannia refuses to die also.  I wonder what it is using for water.  It doesn't need me. but I need that brilliant chrome yellow in the flowers--my brain sings when I see that yellow.  
Left out to fry, the Hunnemannia blooms. It has no need of me. Late in the 94F afternoon, I splashed water into the concrete fissure.


  1. I read an amazing book this month you may have already read, Botany Of Desire, by Pollan. It describes exactly the evolution humans have had with plants. Then it specifically goes over 4 plants, apples, tulips, cannabis, and potatoes, and how we evolved together.

    Amazing pictures by the way!

    1. I need to read that. I've read another by the same author--can't remember which one.

      "The Orchid Thief" by Orlean is another interesting read--a bit about how Orchids may be evolving via more and more beautiful flowers, to manipulate humans into helping them...that is a really amazing idea.

  2. I do like that bouquet ... just reds and pinks. Lovely.

    You raise the most interesting questions. I never heard of the color and food finding idea before. So I looked up some more about it partly to keep my mind off this darn heat, 107 the high today and still extremely warm.

    You're asking about vegetarians vs carnivores, growing colorful plants vs green stuff. "Are green-preferring gardeners passionate meat eaters, indifferent to bright color?"

    This study suggests it might be that women evolved the better color vision because they were the gatherers.

    "The scientists speculate that enhanced color perception was important when women were the primary gatherers in the hunter-gatherer phase of human existence. It would have allowed them to better distinguish among fruits, foliage and insects. Therefore, nature supported the variation, despite some negative consequences to men.

    1. There are so many new areas of scientific investigation opening up, what a fascinating modern age we live in. :) The thought that plants and dogs may be manipulating us for their own advancement is particularly intriguing.

      Yes we're all inside these past few days, waiting until it cools off enough so we can go play outside again. Stay cool, the heat is starting to ebb..107, yuck. 94 was bad enough.

  3. Your roses are even more stunning en masse in a vase like that. You'd be appalled if you saw the condition of my roses - they make me sick at heart but I'm trusting that they'll come back when they get less heat and more water. Weather Underground says it will be MUCH cooler today but they've made that claim the last couple of days and they were wrong. We hit 101F briefly yesterday. We're hovering just under 90F now but I still have reservations about leaving the AC-comfort of the house. I wish I could emulate the Hunnemannia.

    1. 94 yesterday, a mere 91 today, already dropped to a brisk 89. The sea breeze is supposed to kick up tonight--here's hoping. Yes, tell me about AC-comfort--even the puppies don't want to go outside.

      The roses will come back. A good rainy winter....let's keep hoping!

  4. That Hunnemania image is strangely moving.

    'Pink Ice' is really not ringing my bell, either. Don't think I've seen pictures with it open much further anywhere, so it may just be how that cultivar is. And after such a long wait...

    1. The Hunnemannia is a great plant. I've tossed seeds everywhere, hoping a lot will grow this upcoming rainy (hoping on that, too) winter.

      I like the black smear in the center of 'Pink Ice', but it's not the thrill I was expecting. But appreciation may come with time.

  5. The image of your brain singing will stick with me.

  6. I really do like the Dichondra between the stepping stones, it looks so natural and what about all these lovely roses you put on a vase, great!

    1. Thank you, Janneke! Research I wish I'd done sooner revealed that D. argentea is native to Texas and Mexico. Here in California we were only familiar with a more delicate species from China/Japan. D. argentea is more resistant to heat, and I hope to use it more in my garden.


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