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You know that all of this bountiful exuberance isn’t laid on just for your benefit, don’t you? The sensual, silken petals are flags to attract the attention of creatures with many more legs than you or me, generally speaking. The perfect perfume is there to encourage the chitin coated day trippers to bimble about, transferring male micro gametophytes which produce sperm cells, to the female parts of the blossom. It seems like a popular pursuit; I can’t walk around the garden without disturbing clouds of buzzing, humming, flying beasts, all intent about their business. It pays to keep your mouth shut when bending to inhale the scent of a lovely bloom. Bringing in cut flowers is fraught with peril, since the kitchen fills with fluttering, waddling, squirming squatters. If humans don’t consume them by accident, the bugs form the bottom of the chain that feeds the rest of nature.
Caryopteris (bluebeard) & bee
Caryopteris (bluebeard) & bee

All of this insect activity has borne fruit, literally as well as metaphorically. Strange shaped pods are ripening in the August sunshine and have started to rattle. I spread newspapers all over the dining table, to allow seeds to drop out of their cases. Outdoors, the stems cannot be shaken to remove any tenants, for fear of wasting the good stuff. So it is that Attila’s meals are made hazardous by wildlife, seeking only to make their escape to pastures less burnt.
Vitis vinifera “Purpurea” (ornamental grape)
Vitis vinifera “Purpurea” (ornamental grape)

Since Spouse is computer literate, I asked him to acquire some inexpensive manila envelopes in which to store my treasure. I declined plastic food bags which, although cheap as chips, would make seeds rot and risk suffocating the spiders not evicted or eaten by misfortune. We’re vegetarians, so he wouldn’t scoff them on purpose, I promise. He bought me specialist paper packets so alluring that I feel inadequate in their presence. Any more posh and gold plating would be the next logical step. I’ve filled them to bursting with incipient Aquilegia (columbine) and nascent annual poppies. Now I’m pimping around the district, pushing my largesse into the hands of those who will rear them well.
Euonymus oxyphyllus (Korean spindle tree) seed pod
Euonymus oxyphyllus (Korean spindle tree) seed pod

Anthers, stamens, pollen and ovaries, the flowers are all about the birds and the bees. In order to achieve fertilisation, some will do it themselves, while others must have another, to provide cross pollination. This is especially true of fruit trees. The only way to sort the men from the boys is to do a little light reading. Amongst my gardening customers I included a retired policewoman. General conversation on the subject lead her to confide about the time that she arrested a lady of the night, who was plying her trade in the high street. In the course of the takedown, the hooker mentioned that there were over one hundred sexual positions. The WPC declined to investigate the topic, which I regarded as a squandered opportunity. I would have requested some edited highlights, since an education is never wasted.

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