dahlia watercolor

A favorite dark-leaved dahlia with fiery single blooms that pollinators love.

I don’t know about you, but it’s easier for me to do something every day than to maintain a habit on any other interval. Recycling every other week, is hit and miss. I wish I was better at birthdays. Don’t even get me started on paying my quarterly taxes.

Which is all to say, somehow I overlooked the fact that today is my day to post on GardenRant — preferably a wise, or at the very least observant, nugget about the garden and my role/responsibility (your role/responsibility?) in natural systems. Here’s a look into how my mind works. I first wrote the previous sentence to read “…my place (your place?) in nature.” It’s true, we do have a place in nature — we ARE nature — but the time has passed for us to think in a passive tense. 

While tax days, birthdays and putting stuff out for the recycling service I pay extra for in order to keep my personal hard-to-recycle materials out of the waste stream often elude me, for 5 1/2 years I have posted every day on Instagram. Everyone marvels when I share that, but you brush your teeth every day, right? So, forgive me for publishing today’s IG post – frankly, it’s all I’m thinking about these days.

a smokey sunset over Puget Sound

A smokey sunset over the Salish Sea is a terrible beauty.

Fire and smoke looks so much better on a dahlia than it does in the skies overhead.

Climate anxiety, and countless other environmentally-driven maladies are now a part of everyday life. But I can’t help thinking about the littles who don’t know otherwise. Or our elders who already struggle to keep up with a world that “moves fast and breaks things” — a demographic I’m fast approaching.

I know, and I’m sure you do too, people of all ages who fall into the “sensitive” category on the air quality app that I find myself constantly checking. Be safe my friends and take care of one another.

Smokey skies and orange shadows.

I wish I could say I knew the way forward. All I do know is opening my eyes and paying attention comes first. If there’s one thing we gardeners know in our bones, it’s that all conditions are local. Climate catastrophe may look very different where you live than where I reside. Constant rain and powerful storms are robbing us of far more than blight-free tomatoes. Drought-stricken regions are flooding.

It’s a lot. But, given that you’re already reading this page, I’d like to suggest making time to browse through, at the very least bookmark, past “Gardening on the Planet” posts here on GardenRant. Then share them with friend and family.

Boil it all down: No plants, No planet.