Monday, October 6, 2014

How do they know?

How do they know? Because they do, they know. They know when I've mentally moved them to the "not sure they're earning their keep" side of the garden ledger. The first time this happened was in 2009 and I stumbled upon a much smaller Magnolia macrophylla with a flower bud. I left thinking, why hasn't my magnolia bloomed yet! The next morning I spotted the first ever bud on Clifford, our big-leaf magnolia. Coincidence? I think not.

My Clematis tibetana var. vernayi has been an extremely vigorous grower this year but without buds or blooms. Once it started to overrun the adjacent scheffleras (S. delavayi pictured here, but it's also tried to strangle the S. taiwaniana) I started thinking maybe it needed to go. After all the flowers are why I wanted this plant. No flowers = no point.

This is what I saw when we returned from vacation...

An invasion!

The entire plant is convered with green buds and yellow flowers.

How did it know?

The flowers are so "squish-able" they beg to be taken between your fingers and squeezed. Of course they bounce back, if you don't squeeze too hard.

This another of those plants that knew. Usually I garden for the foliage but occasionally I buy a plant just because the flowers rock. Such was the case with this Abutilon 'Red Tiger' - I wanted flowers! All summer it's grown like mad, but I've seen maybe, MAYBE, 3 flowers. Now there are 7 and buds everywhere. Just when I'd decided if winter didn't kill it it was still outta here.

They know...

Yes they do.

20 comments:

  1. I do sometimes wonder if plants are telepathic, and have some kind of brain. How else to explain the way weeds hide in plain sight, sometimes near or right next to plants with similar foliage?

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    1. Oh that one's easy (the weeds) because we're all just on a happy high looking around our garden. The weeds wait until someone else is visiting to become visible.

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  2. You can almost hear them saying 'spare me, spare me' :)

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  3. Both are wonderful. I'm glad they discovered a way to save themselves! The Clematis flowers look like little hot air balloons to me.

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    1. Yes! You're right Kris, that's what I was seeing without even realizing it.

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  4. Think I'm going to have to go out and threaten a few plants.

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    1. Do it, you'll be happy with the results.

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  5. There's a trellis under there somewhere, right? I agree with Kris: it's like a balloon festival in miniature! Such a late bloomer though -- is that normal for this species?

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    1. No, I usually have blooms in July.

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  6. With magnolias it goes beyond telepathy. They have to actually see you approaching with an axe.

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  7. That clematis is looking awesome with all those buds!! maybe your plants know you even better than you know them! that may be why they know!

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    1. Perhaps! They think it's the foliage, and 99% of the time they'd be right, but then they realize...damn, we need to flower!

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  8. The same happens to me too. Every time I've mentally got rid of a plant it's pulled its socks up and done exactly what its meant to do - spooky isn't it?

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    1. It is. Maybe I'd better finish reading that book "The Secret Lives of Plants"...

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  9. Strange how they know when they're about to become compost if they don't perform.

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  10. I agree! I decided to get rid of (or move) the Clerodendron next to the deck -- has no fall color and for some reason sparse fruiting. Then this summer it bloomed nonstop, filling the yard with fragrance for the entire summer, and is still going even now...

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  11. They are like the Emperor in Return Of The Jedi: "I can feel your annn--grrrr."

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  12. "...if you don't squeeze too hard." Haha, somewhere in that photo there's a crushed bud whose cute squishability was the cause of its demise

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