Life finds a way

Erin Etheridge - Burpee Home Gardens Guest Blogger
Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Jeff Goldblum once said, “Life…uh…finds a way.” When he said it he was talking about genetically engineered female dinosaurs whose DNA was extracted from an ancient mosquito and who somehow evolved rapidly to breed within the supposedly controlled confines of Jurassic Park, but it’s a useful line if you think about it. For instance, I find myself muttering “life…uh…finds a way” every time I walk through my garden.

Last time I checked in, I had replanted a barely thriving, half-drowned tomato plant from a supersaturated container into the sandy and unprepared soil of my backyard. I knew that repotting is a risk, but I had no choice. And guess what? Life…uh…found a way.

I couldn’t believe my eyes when I meandered over several days later and found a beautiful, deep-green shoot of healthy tomato leaves jutting from one of the sorry-looking branches.

Good news for my basil, as well, which also drowned. (I really do feel awful about it—drowning seems like a terrible way to die.) I did some research and discovered that once the now-dead flowered branches were totally dried out, I could twiddle the pods between my thumb and forefinger to extract approximately one hundred thousand poppy-seed-size basil seeds.

Which I will still certainly do, but life…uh…found a way around my ineptitude and I discovered tiny basil sprouts popping up not only in that container, but in the container of dead peas and the container of dead fern ("dead" is an unfortunate theme in my garden), which were sitting nearby.

Like the tragically short-sighted scientists manipulating the genetic structures of long-extinct mega species, I have been bamboozled by Life. Happily, my failed experiments aren’t redefining the food chain: I still get to eat them, instead of the other way around.

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