Friday, June 17, 2011
A New Twist on an Old Favorite
Paying attention to details is an important part of almost any creative discipline, and in many spiritual practices as well. A garden is a wonderful place to exercise this. There is always something new to see, from subtle shifts in color to explosions of growth to movement perceived only over the course of weeks, months or years.
Only yesterday did we notice a curious mutation on a Dusty Miller shrub right by the side of the pathway that leads to our office. It has clearly been at eye level for some time but nobody has noticed it until now. The stem is flat and wide, like pappardelle pasta, but inexplicably curled into a loop. The jacobaea maritima keeps its characteristic color and texture, just, you know, with a twist.
UPDATE: A garden specialist we work with explained that this phenomenon is known as fasciation, or cresting. It can occur in woody or herbaceous plants, succulents, and even cacti. Causes are varied, from genetics to bacterial infection, to chemical or physical damage. The Royal Horticultural Society of Britain has more information here. For more in-depth information (and pictures) see this article from Colorado State University.