Writing or gardening for fun?

Now that I spend part of my work week writing for a living, I find it a lot harder to sit down and write for this blog. Because it kind of feels like work. Especially if it’s about a topic that’s, well, work-related. (So no luck if you’re expecting a blog post about writing. Not this time.)

And then there’s also the plants beckoning on the other side of the window. I’ve turned into a bit of a plant freak I know. My latest discoveries thanks to planting a peanut from a bird feeder:

  1. Peanut plants fold their leaves together when there’s no light.
  2. They grow virtually straight up, even if they get sunlight from one side only.
  3. And if you put them right in the sun for a couple of hours, I swear you can almost see them grow.


Discovery #1 seemed weird. There must be a reason for this? Of course, if it rains heavily the water won’t hit the leaf surface and what water does hit the plant will run right off. Could that be it? I can’t see it working against plant eaters, leaves are leaves and these aren’t protected in any way that I can see. The first leaves don’t seem to fold as easily as the later, bigger ones.

Discovery #2 made more sense. Peanuts originate from areas closer to the equator, where leaning over to catch more light rarely makes sense. There are other plants that do the same thing. It’s just that I hadn’t expected it.



Discovery #3 probably has to do with the same thing: it’s (the species is, anyway) used to lots of sunlight. It can manage with a lot less, but given a chance it will grow its solar panels in a matter of hours. Which reminds me of something my father told me: be careful, peanuts are a disaster. Not sure if he was referring to his years in tropical regions or here in the temperate zone with rather less intense sunlight. We’ll find out. I love an experiment!

The peanut plant is still indoors (by the window, to feed on sun rays for another couple of hours) but fast outgrowing its little pot. I must admit to feeling a bit anxious when I think of the slugs and snails out there… but this plant obviously wants to go out and play. Like all the others do. I need to get them all outside!


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