Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Daisy Ownership

Among the victims of this year's freeze were our bush daisies (Euryops pectinatus), which were about 2 years old and not exactly what you'd call robust anymore. They did fine in their first summer, with yellow flowers popping out non-stop, and living in dry part of the yard that had proven deadly to other plants. But then something happened--I'm sure it was my fault. Maybe I trimmed them when I shouldn't have (maybe they shouldn't be trimmed at all?).

Anyway, the frost did them in and this weekend I planted several new bush daisies in the yard. The big ones were about $10 each, so I have some incentive to capture some daisy seeds this year and grow some on my own. It's easy to do, and fun, and coincidentally is one of the oldest human activities--the gathering of seed. If I had done this before, I could have saved over $100 and would be planting my own bush daisies this year.

The plant nursery could care less if I gather the seeds, but suppose they wanted to find a way to make sure that I bought my daisies whenever I needed them. Thanks to the US Supreme Court, the nursery could just genetically modify the bush daisy seed, apply for a patent, and then they could sue me if I collected their seeds from the daisies that I bought. This is exactly what Monsanto has done with soybeans and other seeds. They now own most of the soybean seeds used in the world, and they aggressively sue farmers who attempt to gather and clean seeds from their own plants.

We also planted some clarendendrons (Clerodendrum quadriloculare), also known as shooting star, by the front door steps. These also were about $10 each and were in the process of blooming, though I'm not sure if they will have enough sun to continue blooming in that spot. These can be propogated more easily from the soft wood cuttings (instead of from seed).

I could tell Cheryl about the daisy seeds and she would roll her eyes, sure that I would never actually grow my own daisies, even to make a point about the evil corporations that are attempting (in their master plan) to own all lifeforms on earth. Well, I'll show them who they are messing with. I'm growing some daisies--BIG TIME...

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