Thursday, June 24, 2010

From Seed

Does the perception and valuation of beauty serve any biological or evolutionary purpose in nature? I am sure the question has been asked, studied and answered in the affirmative.

Is beauty something the pollinators can perceive as they go about their work?

You see, the pollinators deserve some credit for the beauty we humans perceive in the wildflower surround of the roadside vegetable garden. Much of it comes from seed. There is some human assistance with the seeding and some of it was directly planted as plants. Mostly it is free range and the flowers move about as it suits them.

As much as humans may like to think we are removed or beyond the wiles and ways of nature, I could not help but ponder how beauty has moved the gardener to do the same kind of work as the pollinators in service to nature.

A long row of daylilies along the rickety split rail fence held together with old shoe strings and baling wire were all grown from collected seed then planted out when they had gotten large enough to be seen in the wild. What the flowers would look like was a total crap shoot. The pollination was handled by others. It was the anticipation of something good, something gorgeous, that motivated the gardener to grow and plant out close to 60 unknown lilies.

There are some winners in the batch.

Someone would even find this brown one pretty, no doubt.

In the abundance of more with ditch lilies, daylilies, stella's, diploids and tetraploids and in the absence of any naming or filing system, parentage is a great unknown. It is the great daylily melting pot. Merit comes solely from who you are, not who you come from.

The gardener is moved to action by the beauty.

Luther Burbank's Shasta Daisy involved a bit more oversight in the breeding and selection process, the motivation remained the same. Nature puts man to work. We are still connected.

In the vegetable garden food matters. Food that is visually appealing also matters.

So why is beauty so much more of a difficult and wrenching process in the growing of the cozy cabin?

One nice thing I discovered yesterday was socked feet don't feel the imperfections between tile levels that the eyeball sees while crawling around on my hands and knees. I even had to work at feeling the worst one that will be under the computer desk. This foot test is before it is even grouted. Standing up and without my glasses it is perfect.

Is there a beautiful wall color out there in the setting sun?

My colorist is on the job.


Siria said...

Good morning Christopher! Those pictures of the wildflowers and lilies on the outskirts of the roadside vegetable garden are beautiful. I know you had wildflowers in past years, but I don't recall there being so much color as in these photographs. The seeding must really be working! The gardner has done good!

Choosing a color for your cozy cabin is a big decision, but in the end, I know your color choice will look great. How can you go wrong with the pallette from that gorgeous sunset?! Hope you have a great day.

Cyndy said...

It is interesting to think how we gardeners think we're manipulating nature, but maybe it's the other way around!

Lola said...

Lovely morning to you, Christopher. That first pic is out of this world. What beauty. Surely out of all that you will find a favorite to please the eye every day of visual contact.
Uncle Ernie sure seems to be in heaven as he looks over his surroundings. The Gardener has done a great job.
Sometimes sock feet can do more than carry ones body from one place to another. My bare ones have been limited of late. After Sat. news will be given as to what course may be taken to help the movement of this gardeners ramblings.

Tom - 7th Street Cottage said...

Great post. I love to grow from seed. In doing so, I grow myself and my gardens. Nature isn't so much a part of me as I am a part of it.

And I understand about the tiles. I found a nail under one of mine last night. I had even scoured the floor looking for all of them with my fingers before laying the first one. I still missed it.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Trust yourself.

Anonymous said...

Just remember, if you plan to hang a lot of art then your background (the paint) probably needs to be pretty neutral.

Anonymous said...

What wonderful thoughts you have presented us with, Christopher. Nature leading us by the nose and eyes to do her bidding. The floor looks perfect and the offering of colors from the sky seem to speak to your heart. Earth color below must mean sky color above. :-)
The daylily breeders are obviously brilliant there. I love that brown one!