A Coterie of Cotelydons

cot·y·le·don

  http://sp.dictionary.com/dictstatic/d/g/speaker.swf[kot-l-eed-n] –noun Botany .

1.

the primary or rudimentary leaf of the embryo of seed plants.

Sometimes what you see is not what you get. Any goal has to have a beginning, and sometimes that start is not at all like what the final product will resemble. Take a walk through any garden in the early spring. Take a walk through a forest. Take a walk through a vegetable patch. I bet you see something in common. Green!

But it is not all just green sprouts that you are going to see. The initial entry into the world from the underground of any plant you may see is called a cotelydon. Just as in life, something you begin to work on, some project, for your job or personal life, may not resemble the final product, these shoots show us the way to fruition with their emergence. Take a peek:

 Ever wonder what a baby carrot looks like? I mean a really really young carrot. It looks like this. Two long strappy leaves give away its location. The skinny leaves give way to the fat, luscious salad ingredients we know and love.

 Brussels sprouts look a lot like their cousins, the broccoli. Probably because they are related botanically. They come on like gangbusters, and call for space, so they can develop into the late fall delicacies that they are. This is my first time growing these, and I hope I can get some nice plants to work with later on in the season.

Here is the broccoli! Known to take up a lot of room and need a lot of care while not producing very much until late in the season, broccolis can be a challenge in the garden. But I’ll be patient with mine, and put up with their ways. They do grow fast, and keeping up with them may be challenging for me.

Lettuce stays true to its form. The small seedlings are mixed in with some weeds here. I usually wait until they begin to grow some more before weeding and setting them apart. But if done carefully because of their really shallow roots, they will do fine. Mesclun lovers can eat them at any phase now. They are sweet to the taste.

Finally, spinach takes up the rear of my display. Like carrots, they have a very different looking cotyledon. They grow moderately fast, not as fast as their weed friends, but their leaves can be eaten right away and added to dishes. I like to wait until they are a bit older to start eating the leaves. I think they develop more of a taste that way. All in all, worth the wait at every turn.

Just like the plants which don’t necessarily look like what we see at the stores, something you are working on may not initially look like the final product. A photo destined for the wall of an exhibit may look like an ordinary snapshot. Add a few tweaks and it is a real show-stopper. The start of a meeting may just begin to drum up ideas. Just have faith in your goals, and you will reach them.

Just like the plants, sometimes goals take longer and sometimes they don’t. Each one is different, and the trick is to know the difference between the useful and the “weeds.” Keep working on those ideas, and the ones that are planted in fertile soil and allowed room and space to grow and develop, and you will be successful.

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