Yard Notes: We Heart Plants…Thirsty, Floating, Dark-loving, and Otherwise

    This week, it’s xylems a’flowing, cows a’bobbing, and dandelions a’jammin

    Plants are our joy, our knights in leafy armor. But sometimes, they just break our damn hearts! Scientists feel like they’ve struck out when they can’t study botanical bombshells and have to settle for sundry ones. And we can literally flunk our cardiograms when we don’t feast on leafy greens, says a study that found “people who consumed the most nitrate-rich vegetables had about a 2.5 mmHg lower systolic blood pressure and between 12 to 26% lower risk of heart disease.”

    We hunger for plants, although our favorites vary by where we live. (Vermonters dig heads of cabbage and New Yorkers breathe for a breath of garlic). We also crave the people who know how to take care of them, like this mom who longs for her son’s return to their quarantine garden, and the closeness it brought them: 

    “The plants do not need a constant supply of energy drinks; they do not interrupt my train of thought to mansplain protein. They don’t astonish me like he does, or envelop me in precious, casually bestowed physical affection—the pat on the head, the giant leg crushing mine on the sofa. But they do need me.”

    Plants do need a constant supply of energy drinks, though. Fun fact: trees with bigger xylems—the “straws” that suck up water—don’t sprout leaves until later in the spring when the danger of frost abates. Wait for those oaks and the pollen that’s coming for your sinuses! Even though we’re bad at measuring the allergens, it’s sure getting worse

    Plants also definitely astonish us…maybe even more than humans. Look how a farm can grow in a South Korean transit station (you can make your own dungeon burgeon, too!). If we tried to live in one of those, we’d definitely get depressed and wither for lack of avo toast (we now know which alligator pears can face the guac-ing block thanks to this fancy ripe-sensing technology). 

    Aquaponics have definitely gained popularity as a form of subsistence gardening, but be careful what other ideas you try to aqua-float, or you might end up bobbing for bovines in the Rotterdam canal to bring Pirates of the Cowibbean back to the farm barge. 

    It reminds us that while creatures are virtually invincible, we humans can make the wrong decisions on where to put the flora. Watch and learn so you don’t make that mistake: 

    Putting dandelions in a jam for an Azeri chicken dish is never a bad idea, though:

    And putting Judean-era palm seeds through a resurrection genomics machine can tell us how trees were swaying above Jesus. You don’t need faith or sun to resurrect these low-light leafy ones (like the prayer plant). However you fashion your passion for plants, be-leafing in yourself is the first step in gardening.

    Sway and swish out,


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