Sunday, 28 April 2013

Grass, tools and evolution

I planted the lawn today.

  George now has no back garden for at least a week, maybe a fortnight.  I used aerator shoes to drive the seed in deep, like two inches deep.  Some's only an inch deep, having been raked in.  Some's at the surface, squashed in with my boots.  With any luck, a storm coming out of nowhere won't be as devastating a thing this year as it was last year.  We may end up with a half-decent lawn this Summer!  

  As thanks for putting the lawn in, I got given a lovely new edger.  I've never owned an edger before.  This one's a thing of beauty: dark hardwood handle, sturdy, quality lathework, and with a bright stainless steel blade.  I think I'm in love.  Can't wait to put in a proper border with it.  

Lastly then, the strawberries I planted last year are greening up and back on the grow.  More specifically: half of them are.  The other half are either dead or dormant.  Thankfully the surviving half are from all four cultivars planted.  This is a good thing because the weird second Winter we just had is not great for plants.  The limey London soil is definitely not great for fruiting plants (my strawbs are in compost, but there's soil beneath and the alkali is capable of creeping up).  

Those which survived are hardier to frost and more tolerant of the edaphic conditions than those which died.  

This is the basis of evolution.  Evolution depends upon life in the midst of death.  Those which survive go on to pass on those very genes which helped them survive.  This adapts the species to the prevailing conditions.  The surviving strawberries will propagate new plants - both vegetatively and sexually - until the Strawbrary is full.  Those new plants will be adapted to fit the prevailing conditions of my garden.  After a few more generations they'll have thoroughly evolved to fit the niche of "strawberry plant in Joey's Strawbrary", after which they'll need to evolve again before they'll be able to thrive half as well in any garden but mine.

Life plods on, as ever it has.

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