The Hops bine is trying its best to shade us this Summer.
Really, though, we must avoid the assumption that everything is here to benefit us, however homely the analogies of plant and human behaviour. Assumptions like that have taken us a long way down a very bad road.
The Hops bine is just doing what a Hops bine does and is growing out into the sunlight. Technically, it is following the light and a trail of growth hormones and making simple decisions based on their concentration, pumping water and chemical compounds up to that growing tip. We just see it as ‘growing’
There is intent here though, my intent when I planted the Hops and put up the cables to harness its intent to grow and reproduce. The bine intends to grow and reproduce and takes full advantage of whatever structure and resources I provide it but it would grow almost as strongly if I didn’t do anything. We can come to common ground based on that simple understanding.
As I nurture the plant, so am I nurtured, fed and protected by the plant being there doing its thing. We are both part of the ecosystem and mutually benefit. The plant benefits by not needing to struggle for water or nutrients, its pests are pretty well controlled and it is appreciated by us. We benefit from shade, medicine, food and beauty also and also from saving energy and reduced CO2 emissions. Not a bad arrangement.,