First flower from Iris 'Clarence' -- in November!
"Like the opposable thumb and language, emotions are tools for survival,
forged and refined over hundreds of thousands of years of evolution to
protect and ensure that humans can thrive. They do this by providing two
things: information and preparation." --"How to use Anxiety to your Advantage"
Emotions as evolutionary tools developed for survival, rather than as problems: a way of looking at emotions I've never considered.
Love of plants, happiness at the sight of them--something that evolved over hundreds of thousands of years. According to science, an emotion that helps us survive. How exactly does that work?
Love for, and happiness about, a plant's food potential--sure. But what about love of their beauty? Happiness at the thought of their existence? The joy of seeing them and watching them grow?
Every time I see a beautiful plant--either in my garden or anywhere--I'm instantly happy.
New growth on Podocarpus elongatus 'Icee Blue': happy to see you!
A mature specimen of Podocarpus elongatus at the
Pretoria National Botanic Garden in South Africa. Photo by "JMK":
Photo by Commons.wikimedia.org User "JMK"
Wow. What a thrill of a tree. Some creature might think it merely delicious. For plant lovers, something more. The thought of a little tree I planted potentially being someday a glorious mature specimen makes me happy.
Does happiness contribute to survival? Perhaps a happy person is a stronger, more resilient person better able to survive.
Mmm...this reminds me of lemon cake...
Or maybe plants just look edible, even when they are not.
This past week, not an overly productive week in the garden. Dental emergency (resolved). Covid-booster side effects endured (not fun, but better than Covid). Then I fell injuring my wrist and had to go get x-rayed (nothing broken, it's recovering). The green waste bins got emptied of Pittosporum choppings, and then filled again with more. One more week should get rid of the rest.
Nice surprise: down in the back gully, Lagerstroemia 'Cherry Mocha's foliage suddenly colored up. The coldest air that settles in low places in hilly areas did it.
Maybe nature is simply playing a long game. The emotional attraction to plants, whether edible or not, may spur people to cultivate them thereby supporting essential ecosystems above and below ground that we don't fully appreciate in intellectual terms. 'Clarence' is beautiful. I'll give the 3 "reblooming" Iris I planted last year (including 'Clarence') another dose of fertilizer and extra water tomorrow in the hope that one or more will deliver for me before the season has passed.ReplyDelete
I'm sorry you had a bumpy week but I'm glad all is well now. Best wishes for a happy Thanksgiving!
We are part of nature, however much we think ourselves separate from it--nature serving nature.Delete
The description of 'Clarence' did say reblooms in fall--I just wasn't expecting it after planting in August. There's a fragrance as well, but I'm not super keen on it.
Best wishes to you and your family Kris, for a lovely Thanksgiving
Survival by Iris... I love that notion.ReplyDelete
Stress hormones are hazardous to our health, and feel-good hormones (Dopamine, serotonin, endorphins, and oxytocin) do the opposite. I feel pure joy when I enter my garden (or any garden for that matter): an injection of 'happy' hormones.
Your Podocarpus elongatus is a beauty. How old is it? In other words: how long before it gets like the South African show stopper :-D
Bummer about your wrist, thankfully not broken and most major garden chore are done. No more falling, please: L. 'Cherry Mocha' coloring up would assist in healing every time you look at it.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving
Gardening is good for the health in so many ways--mental and physical.Delete
Podocarpus planted from a 5 gallon in spring 2018, though it sat in a pot a long time for before that. It's grown faster than I thought, >12" a year, 8-9' tall now. How long --20+ years at least.
I'm a klutz, fell into the Ligustrum hedge this summer and made a hole in it. Poor Ligustrum. I was fine.
Happy Thanksgiving, Chavli!
Hi Hoover, hooray for 'Clarence' blooming in November, just beautiful- I've been waiting for this photo :). Is Clarence a rebloomer, or was he just thrown off by our crazy weather? Something about a bearded iris is just so special to me.ReplyDelete
Emotions as tools for survival, both good and bad, not necessarily problems, I like it.
What a beautiful podocarpus, love the blue foliage.
Happy Thanksgiving and happy gardening!
'Clarence' is listed as a reliable rebloomer, I'd forgotten all about that. Fun surprise. They are real easy here--the tough part is digging up the mass of clump that forms to split/clean/replant. Supposed to be done in August when they are somewhat dormant, but August is too hot to be clump-digging!Delete
Happy Thanksgiving, Brenda!
Thinking of pollinators and native plants and climate change sometimes makes me forget how much I just love looking at plants, watching them grow (or not) and enjoying the big art project that is a garden. No snow this week and warmer temps, so it will be nice to be able to make a short T-day trip without worrying about weather. Enjoy the holiday.ReplyDelete
"The big art project that is a garden"-- well said! So it is for us all.Delete
Best wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving and safe driving: good roads and clear weather!
A beautiful garden is the antidote to anxiety for me. Without one, I don't know how I'd cope! Glad your wrist is ok. Podocarpus elongatus sure is handsome - I wonder how old that mature specimen is? Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family and hope you fit some gardening time in there too.ReplyDelete
Life is better with a garden!Delete
Really good information on P. elongatus here: https://pza.sanbi.org/podocarpus-elongatus.
I guess Thanksgiving is not much of an Australian holiday, so I will say Happy Springtime to you!
Thank you 😊Delete
Nature always tries to balance things so with emotions we also have the good with the bad. My garden causes me quite a bit of stress/strong emotion when dealing with climate issues, creatures and things outside of my control but at the same time I spend some of my happiest moments in the garden and amongst the plants that I have nurtured from seed and root. A precarious balance but wouldn't switch it up for anything.ReplyDelete
Balance, yes. We can also balance emotion with Reason. That helps, too.Delete
Sorry you had a rough week, but I'm sure all the beauty of your garden provided much needed distraction from the lows. I am a firm believer in that we need beauty in our lives. Maybe we can get by without it, but we will merely live, not thrive, without it. And - in my book at least - a life without beauty is not a good life. Happy Thanksgiving! Hope your wrist heals soon!ReplyDelete
Beauty, yes indeed. Though it's always in the eye of the beholder. Wrist feeling better, thanks, and Happy Thanksgiving back atcha!Delete
My first experience growing anything outside was with iris. I lived in Alaska, in a little cabin out in the boondocks. A friend dividing his Siberian iris gave me two big cardboard boxes of plants and dirt. His instructions were to get them planted right away. That's it. I had never grown anything in the ground before and wasn't real optimistic about their prospects for survival. Nevertheless, I planted them alongside the cabin and, much to my surprise, they thrived. No soil amending, no mulch, no fertilizer -- just a hole in the dirt and some water. They came back the next year. I was hooked. My friend gave me a life-long gift that day, and all he wanted to do was get rid of a surplus of iris. I will be forever grateful. There is a peace that comes with gardening, a thrill, and a satisfaction. Yep. "Hooked" is the right word. Best wishes for a wonderful Thanksgiving!ReplyDelete
What a cool story! The gift of extra plants can be a magic thing--as it was for you. I think that's how I got hooked too, by a Graptopetalum cutting and a lima bean seed when I was five. Lima bean into school lunch milk carton of soil--how does a hard dry lima bean become a plant!?!?! Magic! Hooked.Delete
My sister lives in Alaska. Gardening there is brief but rewarding--raspberries, peonies, Meconopsis, I am told. The rest of her year is either skiing or mud.
"Every time I see a beautiful plant--either in my garden or anywhere--I'm instantly happy."ReplyDelete
That's exactly how I feel. So beyond feeling happy when we see beautiful plants, like-minded people are also connected by our shared experience. That makes it even better!
Thanks for the very nice link on anxiety. Definitely getting out into nature, even for a little bit each day, is a giant help. So is the act of nurturing plants. Caring for something or someone besides ourselves can switch our focus from the pain of an uncertain future towards what is really important in the beauty of now.ReplyDelete
Yes I agree, doing something helpful for someone benefits both the helper as well as the helped. How cool is that? :)Delete