The first day of Spring! Aaa..chooo!!

Friday, March 20, 2015

 

why pollen is important

 

Oh Spring, you've been missed. Would have loved you more, if you choose not to bloom and send out the pollen all at the same time... but it would not be so beautiful!

Talking of pollen, did you know that the study of pollen is called Palynology and that each type of flower produces its own specific shape of pollen . . just like snowflakes?? I had studied this many many moons ago and it is fascinating! Truly - no geek talk here. A decent microscope, some simple dyes, a slide and a slide cover, some sunshine and you'll see all sorts of amazing shapes of pollen, and patterns on the pollen surface! It is a great way to get kids out in the garden too if they are not already covered in mud by now - as mine often is this time of the year.

Pollen is meant to help most plants propagate and make seeds. Plants therefore need either wind, water or a carrier (human / animal / bug / bird) to take pollen from its original flower to another, so seeds can be made, fruits and vegetables can grow etc. The shape of pollen and its overall patterns etc help it go from one plant / flower to another by either sticking to the carrier, having the ability to float on a liquid surface, or float - in the air until a few of them reach the desired target... meaning we are all sneezing and itching, because we are either breathing or carrying pollen during this time of the year!

 

The different kinds of pollen also helps us in the garden. Interplanting vegetables with suitable flowers (or even other vegetables) is always encouraged - so that it becomes easier for pollen to move between two plants. Some plants naturally attract bug-predators too. I often will plant zinnia's and marigolds with my tomatoes for a bountiful harvest. So, think of all these things when you are beginning your gardens!

 

In my garden - we are going to wait a little before I plant anything. I cant wait to find what survived this strange winter we've had in Georgia. Hopefully my peonies come back - they always do better with a little dusting of snow but we had a little more than that. I am fearful that my ginger-lilies did not make it, but have my fingers crossed. Our vegetables often serve as a salad bar for all the critters, so we may not provide those this year (also because I may be travelling during the summer), but instead I will be planting a handful of tall and colorful sunflowers along the deck, so I can watch all the birds come by.


I hope you are making some exciting progress with your gardens and enjoying the weather as much as you can! I know I am :)

 

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AUTHOR

Nandita Godbole

Once a botanist & landscape architect. Now a personal chef & author, an artist, graphic designer, blogger & closeted poet. Loves freshly brewed chai, the crisp salty ocean breeze, watching monsoon rains & walking barefoot through cold mountain streams. Believes in the strength, positivity of the human spirit. Is spiritual but not a fanatic. Mom of one. Two, if she counts her husband.

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