Gardening with Darwin

I think I have already mentioned my Darwinian approach to house plants on this blog. If you can’t survive a week of neglect, you don’t belong here. Only the strong survive at our house.

Charles Darwin

Up until last weekend I was extending this philosophy to my outdoor plants as well.  But, as I was crawling around underneath the overgrown rose bush trying to clear the old leaf litter from the front bed, I realized the flaw in my reasoning.

Years of gardener neglect (mine and the previous owner’s) have left nothing but a yard full of super hardy plants.  Plants that scoff at your puny pruning sheers and happily rip through your clothing to scratch the shit out of you when you dare to come too close.

I am starting to see the virtues of tender and delicate plants that need coddling just to survive, much less thrive.  Maybe I should rip out that rose bush and plant some orchids or something. Those seem tender and delicate.

Charles Darwin's actual garden, as maintained for posterity. Obviously, he didn't embrace my version of Darwinian gardening either.

Photos courtesy of the Auckland Museum and English Heritage.

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