Wednesday 8 February 2012

Eschewing speciesism*

It's been bugging me a little, on my morning walks, noting all the exotic plants that have invaded the bush here on Waiheke: escapees from gardens that, in the way of all introduced species in New Zealand, from possums to Pakeha, have proliferated like crazy. In amongst the natives are wild ginger, honeysuckle, agapanthus both white and blue, gorse, broom, jasmine, morning glory, wandering willie, inkweed, red-hot pokers, crocosmia, daisies, dandelions, buttercups, Scotch thistle and ragwort... the list goes on.

I tutted and frowned; until I decided today to look on Waiheke instead as an unweeded garden, not rank and gross as in Hamlet's use of the phrase, but as a place where the sombre greens and cream flowers of the native plants (except for kowhai gold and the crimson spectacle of the pohutukawa) have been brightened and lifted by the gaudy colours and tropical fragrances of the exotics. After all, I'm as happy to see blackbirds and thrushes as I am tui and wood pigeons. I'm not saying those dedicated souls who work so hard to slash and burn the invaders in order to preserve the endangered natives are misguided - just that here and now, on a holiday island, I'm going to let the campaign for biological purity lapse a bit.

Because there's no denying that a few colourful exotics sure do set off the locals beautifully.
*Bless you!

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