Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Agonal bloom

As the ground water rises and the light shortens, the dahlia patch enters the period of agonal bloom! The old plants have become exhausted,partially due to "seed production interruptus" from yours truly! Each time they produced a perfect bloom to perpetuate their species it got plucked. If it escaped the plucking when prime, it got deadheaded well before seed set! Now, in it's approaching agony, the plant throws itself into a desperate budding frenzy to reproduce, to no avail! Feeble little curlicue stems, petal deficient flowers,stem rot,color fading,nodding blooms, and a proliferation of unsightly "sports". "To everything there is a season............a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted", Ecclesiastes 3. It's inevitable, I guess, that we interrupt the natural history of the plant,or nature,or for that matter maybe of ourselves, in order to produce some sort of other gain. That's progress! No one asked the plant if it wanted to stay rooted in a spot that was drier in the winter and more clement, and if it wished to produce some serendipitous seed from a colleague,as well as perpetuating itself from it's tuber. Instead it may have got pruned to one or two miserable stems by a showman for another inch of bloom breadth and millimeter of stem width. Or it became the bride of a chosen groom's family by a plant marriage broker and shrouded in mystery until seed production! Or it was allowed to flower till "untimely ripped" for a vase, when in full pubertal beauty! We are plucking up that which is planted on October 25th. They will be buried in a straw cloister for the winter and frustrated again next summer! In my hands always the bridesmaid! Sorry, mea culpa!

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