The development and dispersal of the first flowering plant on this planet changed this planet. (Botany rules, baybee! Don’t you be doubting me!) But, well, most of us see so many flowers in the course of a normal spring day that we don’t really see them. Not really. They’re just a part of the landscape: the landscape of a normal spring.
In times of high stress, though, many things hurry up and procreate. We notice things like post-war baby booms in our own kind; we also (and maybe not quite so obviously) tend toward sex, period, after traumatic events. I am certainly in no position to state that we are the only species who have recreational sex; I do know, though, that not all human sex is procreative in nature. Plants, though? Plants have no capacity for simple whoopee. It’s all business, all the time…at least when flowers are around.
And it is a stressful spring around here for many of my plants. Many of them that never normally flower, especially at this time of year, think the world is going to end so they’re making babies NOW. It must be the cold. Many tap-rooted things, like these angelica above, really don’t appreciate my having moved them earlier this spring. Likewise, if certain seedlings are chilled sometime during their development, they bolt into flower. (It’s called vernalization.) Many of the smaller brassicas (tatsoi, bok choy, rapini) are doing this now in my gardens (sniff!). Even my rhubarb has had it.
Not that I don’t like a flowering universe: I do. I’m just curious as to why NOW. Why this spring. Are they trying to tell me something?