The Plant Listener

Plants are talking to us every day...all we have to do is to learn how to listen

July 26, 2020

Not that long ago, we had a lightning storm. Lightning is such a rare occurrence in my neck of the woods that a few us gathered underneath a gazebo (with a well-stocked bar) to watch it.

Lightning happens when warm air hits colder air above it. The coming together of po...

April 29, 2020

But ground elder is least of my worries. Without me even noticing, a new invader has taken hold. All the way from the mountains of Western Asia, few-flowered garlic (Allium paradoxum) is quite an unassuming little plant on its own but, as a colony, it is capable of ove...

May 6, 2019

Herbaceous perennials are smart cookies. During winter, they retreat underground allowing them to escape the ravages of the weather and hide completely from potential predators. They can live for a very long time but rarely look as old as they actually are.

September 29, 2018

Deciduous trees, like The Big Guy, go through this autumn senescence every year. It is a natural, programmed response to the coming of winter in order to protect themselves from wind and snow.

September 8, 2018

And so it was, on the hottest recorded day ever in Scotland, I took Astrid out of the car, sat her on the wall in front of my house and promptly forgot about her. By the time I remembered to move her into the shade, it was too late for poor Astrid. She already had a ba...

August 7, 2018

How my injured shoulder may have consequences for a group of Small Blue Butterflies

July 10, 2018

My wee seasonal bedding plants on the beach road are in double trouble. Blasted by the hot summer sun and, with the salt-laden sea breeze sucking moisture out of them at an alarming rate, they must be feeling permanently hungover.

May 3, 2018

The Weeping Larch at Kelburn is one of Scotland's 100 Heritage Trees. It covers an area of around a quarter of an acre and is thought to be about 180 years old. Its massive tangle of arms lie across the ground and reminds me of a giant, sleeping octopus.

September 29, 2017

Giving a plant everything it needs to help it through its pregnancy will reward us with bigger and better fruits.Regular watering of pregnant plants is essential. Periods of drought will cause the fruits to shrink as they dry up, and swell again when they are next wate...

July 18, 2017

I consider myself lucky. My partner and I live with our windows looking onto the Firth of Clyde. In 2009, a kayaking neighbour told us about a solitary dolphin, living practically right outside our window. We bought binoculars, we graduated to a telescope, the dolphin...

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