What do the plants know that I don’t?

All of the plants in our yard are in outrageous bloom or fruit this summer. Our ixora hedge (non-native) has never had so many lovely pink blossoms. Our areca palm (also non-native) has never thrown off so many juicy (but inedible to me and all the birds too) nuts; it took several wheelbarrows full to cart them off after I realized that they were never going to stop dropping onto our driveway, littering our sidewalk, and making it impossible to walk around in bare feet.

The natives are getting into the act as well. Our ground-hugging cocoplums are fruiting like there’s going to be no tomorrow; our American beautyberry is loaded; while our strongbark and bitterbush in the back yard are throwing up huge loads of drupes.

All of this activity is a bit unnerving. Part of me wants to believe that it just means I’m finally becoming a decent gardener. Another part of me, though, points to the years and years of proof to the contrary and looks for a different answer.

I wonder if the plants have some way of knowing that it’s really going to be a bad hurricane season, despite the eerie, El Niño-induced calm that has prevailed so far, and despite the recently lowered forecast by the god Dr. Gray. That would explain why they’re throwing all their energy into reproduction: somehow they know they’re not going to be around much longer themselves, and they’re doing their best for the survival of their genes…

Boy, I hope there’s another, less end-of-the-world explanation. Something like the fact that the garden has been in for a little over 2-1/2 years now, and the plants have finally settled in and are getting down to business? Nah, can’t be as simple as that.