Great Blue Lobelia, Lobelia siphilitica
Brilliant drops of blue sky with wispy white clouds.
All atop a native perennial, sky at my fingertips.
The best billboards for pollinator passersby.
Are you nature blind? Do you suffer from ‘plant blindness.’ It seems that many people have difficulty perceiving plant life in greater detail than ‘grass,’ ‘flower,’ ‘bush,’ or ‘tree.’ Perhaps it’s because we are hard-wired to focus on fauna in a backdrop of flora. Or, perhaps we’ve become caught up in urbanized society and disconnected from nature, especially plants. Either way, we should definitely make an effort to know more about plants.
In today’s world, it’s too easy to ignore the great detail and diversity in the plant kingdom. Our plant-based foods come pre-packaged and processed. Our building materials come pre-chopped-down and pre-cut. Our plant-based or plant-inspired medicines come in a pill. Our landscape plants come pre-identified and propagated. We aren’t really forced to deduce detail as a consumer. We choose plants for curb appeal, going straight to the garden center for whatever is in color or on ad. Great…but do you know what you bought?
We should definitely stop to consider plants in greater detail. John Muir, the father of our National Park system, found ‘botanizing’ and praising plants to be important. And furthermore, humanity has an inherent desire to connect with nature (see Living Walls and Biophilia). Next time you visit a park or assess your own landscape, consider exactly which plants lay at your feet and which trees tower above you.
Get outside, get curious, and get detailed! Nature will reward you with inspiration.
I took this picture a couple weeks ago as the local Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) population began changing into its vibrant red garb. Thank you, Nature!!!
Virginia Creeper often gets mistaken for Poison Ivy (Toxicodendron radicans), but is 5-leaved, whereas the Poison Ivy is 3-leaved. Both are native to this area, but I’d highly recommend Virginia Creeper for your garden or natural landscaping.
Just make sure not to landscape with Poison Ivy, unless you’re itching to repel your neighbors… Ha!
Picky young eater.
So no Milkweed, no Monarchs!
Grow native, save lives.