Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Growing where planted

One of the surprising things we found when we moved here was the mimosa tree. Its lacy leaves reminded me so much of the jacaranda trees that were in our neighborhood in Los Angeles. Many mimosa trees have sprung up over the years around the house. The tree does not live very long as trees go, which might explain why it reproduces itself like the proverbial "rabbit."

At the end of the summer, the delicate blossoms with the lovely scent, which are so attractive to butterflies and hummingbirds, produce many seedpods. The seeds fall, and they sprout readily where they are planted, including places where they really do not belong.

This old, old cactus spends the summer outside on the porch and lives in the pantry-study-exercise room during the winter. I was not very surprised, therefore, to notice in recent weeks that a mimosa tree has sprouted in its pot. Of course the tree cannot live in this pot, and if it were not already starting to die, I would pull it out.

I have had this cactus since the early 1980s when it travelled across the country from California in the back of my parent's car shortly after my grandfather died. It is one of the few things I have that belonged to him. He had an amazing cactus garden in the house he lived in before he became physically unable to care for the yard. He and his wife moved into a mobile home park in the mid-1970s, but many of those cactus were dug up and put in pots and went with him. If this was one of them, then the root could be at least 40 years old, or even older. Being aware that nothing lives forever - even cactus - I have periodically cut pieces off and made new starts, and have sent pieces of this old fellow to cousins so they can have a bit of grandpa as well.


The Weaver of Grass said...

How I love that mimosa tree - I would love to have one in my garden but can see at a glance that a sharp frost would kill it stone dead. It looks so delicate.

Leilani Lee said...

Actually Weaver, these trees survive quite well in temps down single digits (F)

Lil Sis said...

I remember seeing Grandpa's cactus garden, and not thinking too much about it when I was a kid. I'm sure his love for cactus grew when he lived in Arizona. Now, I can see the beauty in the different kinds of cactus. And it suprised me to see the one I have actually BLOOM.

Far Side of Fifty said...

That Mimosa trees blooms are beautiful! I think it is just great that you have one of your Grandpas cacti..and you shared with other relatives too! :)