Sunday, March 28, 2010

Spring Lessons

Spring seems too slow in coming this year. I have so many little tiny plants that I started over the past year and I am impatient to see what they will do and how they will look when they leaf out and bud and flower. I want to see how much they have grown. I want to see how big my Paulownia trees will get this year, how quickly they will grow. How many of the wildflower seeds that I flung will come up? I wish that the plants in my yard could speak to me in a language that I could better understand. They have their own social structure and I can only guess about most of it. I read recently that impatiens (a flower that I have grown every year since first moving to the Ranch in 1991) grow roots rapidly when planted alongside genetically unrelated plants. Yet when they are planted alongside plants from the same genetic family (relatives) then they devote much less energy to root production. Scientists interpret this phenomenon as meaning that impatiens are hard-wired to share resources with family members while pushing strangers away through competition. Interesting, huh?

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