Plant Intelligence, Clever Birds & Smart Gardeners

Being brainy in the garden -- that's what this issue of Salvia Guru is all about. We link you to a newspaper article about the new book on plant intelligence,"Brilliant Green." The Guardian points out that 19th century biologist Charles Darwin likened the root tips of plants to the brains of lower animals.

Other links lead to research about the cleverness of plants and hummingbirds. At least one plant species appears to remember and encourage a specific hummingbird. At least one hummingbird species has excellent reasons for living among hawks. And a master gardener notes that many, many mint family plants use their fragrance as a weapon to ward off predators.

This issue also focuses on making smart gardening decisions, such as paying attention to local growing conditions -- including winter hardiness zones -- and seeking gardening advice before planting. If you like to puzzle about plant names, the glossary link can help you. Last, but definitely not least, those clever Brits at the Royal Horticultural Society demonstrate why a mixture of native and nonnative plants is a wise choice for feeding pollinators.

We conclude with a witty video that quickly explains the importance of insects. Learning how to live with them, if not love them, is one of the most intelligent decisions a gardener can make. Here's another good decision: If you like this issue of Salvia Guru, please bug fellow gardeners about our free subscriptions. You help us grow.

In the photo: Top left, Salvia phlomoides; bottom, Origanum x 'Norton Gold'; upper right, Origanum 'Kent Beauty'. Credit: Alicia Rudnicki.

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