It’s that time of year already. It may still be fairly cool outside, but it’s already time to clean out the little pots, cull through the seed packets, and press those tiny little lumps of dried plant material into the soil in hopes that tiny little lump will reemerge as a healthy little plant.
Have you heard of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault? Nicknamed the “Doomsday Vault”, seeds from all over the world are being systematically categorized and stored to ensure “conservation and availability of crop diversity for food security worldwide.” There is a strange contradiction in the globalization we experience that is evidenced by the plant world. In striving for diversity, we can inadvertently become more homogenized.
I recently finished the class for our local Master Gardener program. Many counties have this type of program. This one involves several weeks of classes, followed by a required number of service hours. A very important topic that was touched on several times is that of invasive species. Many plants and insects that I am very familiar with in my own landscape were unintentionally or intentionally introduced relatively recently. People introduce plants to control erosion, or bring in one insect to control another, and the consequences can be far reaching. I realized how unfamiliar I am with the native species of this part of Maryland.
In my own yard, we planted several Buddleia (Butterfly Bush). We love the continual bloom in mid to late summer, and just as the name implies, they really do attract lots of butterflies. But after a couple years we started to notice more and more of them. Turns out Buddleia is on the watch list our area, and already classified as a noxious weed in Washington and Oregon. We now have one more “weed” to control. They are still beautiful though.