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Oops! Did it again

Went outback to close up the shed for the night, because, when we coincide in the predawn twilight in the garden, I’ve noticed a skunk expressing high interest in the space.

Though it hadn’t rained at the 6th Avenue Shala today, there was a magnificent double rainbow arcing over the north east sector of the sky.

Once again, Noah’s emissary was basking in the last rays of the sun on a convenient perch on the electric pole against a rainbow coloured backdrop. This avian neighbour was looking way too comfortable for me to think there’s a boatbuilding message, so let’s hope it’s the other one. Peace on earth and goodwill to all.

Since I was outback with the camera, I recorded the results of today’s dawn hours garden project: dividing and moving Hemerocallis and Iris Germanica from the front, to the back.


Though it doesn’t look like much right now, where the shallots were at the foot of the apricot tree will, next spring, be flowers (inshallah). Dare I confess to moving the Garden of Earthly Delights away from strictly food in this floral border making activity? In many respects I spent the gardening part of my day in service to the go forth and multiple imperative of Iris Germanica and Hemerocallis.


On my mind, this, from Michael Pollen, which has helped me frame my post librarian preoccupations.


Flowers changed everything. The angiosperms, as botanists call the plants that form flowers and then encase seeds, appeared during the Cretaceous period and they spread over the earth with stunning rapidity. Now, instead of relying on wind or water to move genes around, a plant could enlist the help of an animal by striking a grand co-evolutionary compact: nutrition in exchange for transportation. By producing sugars and proteins to entice animals to disperse their seed, the angiosperms multiplied the world’s supply of food energy, making possible the rise of large warm-blooded mammals.


Without flowers, the reptiles, which had prospered in a leafy, fruitless world, would probably still rule. Without flowers, we would not be.

(Extracted from Border Whores by Michael Pollen)


The Leucanthemum (Shasta daisies - probably Leucanthemum × superbum but I can never be sure of these things since identification and labeling is so unreliable at most plant sources available to me) which line part of this bed used me to move themselves from front to back when they were divided in spring of this year. God forbid that the reptiles still rule! Flowers! Let there be flowers!

There’s a subtle slope to this area of the garden. Janis truck and I need to do some more rock collecting, once the weather cools. The plan is to make slight terraces with rocks: curvy berms or swales, to hold the earth against the (rare but ferocious) monsoon deluges. Or just natural gravitational migration of moisture, nutrients and mulch.


Recommended reading: yes it’s an old one. But a good one.


Second Nature: A Gardener’s Education by Michael Pollen (1991)

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