Evolution 101

Evolution 101

Torn between chaos and orderliness, randomness and consistency. The way of things….in my life anyway. I like the whole concept of evolution as long as its movement is upward and for the better. Chaos and randomness scare me, but I embrace them. I do not like absolutes of any kind. Some people tend to take them and turn them into religions or truths, insisting everyone accept their truths.

Having said that, some things tend to evolve either naturally or with an intentional human nudge. My religious friends raise their heads at this point, proclaiming that it proves their God used evolution to create the world. Roman Catholics already have signed on to the theory. I used to be a Presbyterian (if you can pronounce it, you must be one) preacher in Canada and was amused to read this week that the Presbyterian Church (USA) had just ratified the theory of evolution as de facto the way of things.

Whether you agree with those silly Presbyterians or not (as if the planet awaited their endorsement), the world needs a burst of evolutionary advancement at this juncture. Especially the human species. And especially if we are to survive our own stupidities. But I have no say in how or when that may happen and no power to invoke such a change. Oh woe is me.

So, I do what I can in the environment in which I find myself and observe changes in my small part of the world….the world of Britain’s canals and marinas. Most of this evolution is us made (my best friend’s and mine) and the rest is more to do with genetics and the evolving ecosystem surrounding our little world.

Gardens. I have written about them before. In fact, a few Blogs ago I told you about the garden we began around our boat in the marina. Our neighbours have one too. On both sides. It spawned a flurry of gardens on the other side of the marina. But this is about the evolution of my best friend’s garden. She has added to it and nurtured it. I am an occasional waterer. I have also been known to pick off dead leaves and blooms here and there to preserve the integrity of the whole. Exactly….but not absolutely.

The gardens have evolved since their humble beginnings in the Spring. I neglected taking pictures of the very first garden, but believe me it was sparse. My best friend and our neighbour Miriam decided to go for broke, picking up neglected (cheap) flowers and plants from garden centres to nurse them back to good health. They did an amazing job.



I think the garden has finally reached the pinnacle of its evolutionary process as the summer draws to a close and it will soon be time for the Christmas decorations extravaganza. That’s my department. Evolution comes in all forms. No matter what time of year. This year Christmas will evolve further because our marina is having a competition. And I want to win. I am hoping to transform the boat into a beacon of colour and light. I have a feeling that may be scaled down somewhat. I’ll have to get creative.

Back to the garden. It won’t last forever. I’ll miss it when the blooms are gone and deep, rich colours have faded then disappeared. I suppose evolution is a rather misplaced word when it comes to the boat’s garden. Transformation is a much better word. After all, the geraniums are still geraniums and shall continue to be so. And the other flowers remain the same as they have ever been. I wonder, though, what geraniums were before they became what they are now. If you know, don’t tell me. I like the mystery.





That is all I have to say about this. Except for the last evolution/transformation that was planted just the other day. My neighbour had added some funky windmills to spice up her garden. The kids who walk by love them. I was jealous. I do like a bit of the tacky and quirky. I almost bought a couple of wind things while on the Isle of Wight. But I didn’t.

A friend of my neighbour heard my plight and came by the other day with a hand full of rainbow coloured windmills. The evolution is complete. The evolution of things is as it should be. Life is good.

But I save the best to the last. I think I told you about our beloved fuschia….my favourite of all our flowers. If I did, sorry. But I’ll tell it again. We have no luck with fuschias. Never have. They seem to be too delicate for the likes of us. Ours was going fine for a while until the inevitable struck. The thing, for no apparent reason, decided to give up the ghost.

So, while it thrived it held a prominent spot on the jetty, admired by all who passed by. When it began to deflower (can’t think of a better word), we demoted it to the front end of the jetty. There it sadly wilted though we continued to take care of it the best we could and as delicately as possible.

One day, when the wind was blowing quite strongly, we came back from shopping to discover it missing. Stolen? Not likely. The only explanation was that it had been blown into the waters of the marina. Gone to a watery grave. My neighbours both tried to fish it out with their boat hook. Eddie found a galvanised bucket, a rug (that he threw back in) and a hollow, ceramic jack o’ lantern.

A few weeks later we were imbibing with the neighbours at the end of their jetty when one of us spotted a green something floating several boats away. At first we thought it was someone’s watering can, but my best friend spotted a familiar pattern on the side and said, “I think that’s our fuschia!” I went over to the boat where it had appeared and pulled it out.

We did everything to try to bring it back to life but to no avail. Our other neighbour, Gary, came up with the idea that would be the evolutionary transformation of the day. “That stalk would make a great wand,” he said. Maybe with that we can magically keep the next fuschia alive and thriving….then again….nah.


The original fuschia to the left….after exile.


The future wand from the rescued fuschia.

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