Saturday, October 08, 2011
Beauty from bits and pieces
I have had some success in collecting new plants in this way from bits and pieces of other peoples’ plants, but plenty of failures as well.
Two years ago when I visited my family home in Gardena and saw my mother for the last time, I carried way pieces of some of the plants growing in their backyard, including pieces of the “orchid cactus” that she loved so much and which was continuing to thrive in the backyard under the apricot tree, and blooming so beautifully when we were there in June for my niece's wedding...
and which had bloomed some 50 years ago in my grandfather’s yard when he lived in the same neighborhood. All these went into moist sand... and they lived.
Some day I hope that it will bloom. The tangled waxy-leafed hoyas vine next to it, which on occasion has produced clusters of pink flowers, also came from a piece from my parents’ yard, years ago.
Earlier in the Spring, my friend Judy gave me starts of an impatiens plant that were starts from the starts from the starts from the starts (and perhaps a few more starts of starts) of a impatiens that grew in her mother’s yard years ago.
And so I found a big pot that had been used to grow tomatoes in last year and dutifully planted them.
I do not actually have a green thumb—nor a black thumb either, for that matter. Sometimes I can figure out what a plant needs—and provide it—and the plant does well; sometimes I make an effort and the plant decides it would prefer to have a new home in Heaven.
In this case, I guess I did the right thing, because the impatiens grew and grew – very much taller than the nursery-grown impatiens I have planted in the past in shady spots in our yard, and finally, just as the last day of summer turned into the first day of fall, they began to bloom...
There is still some time left before the first hard frost is likely to occur, maybe a couple of weeks, so they will continue to live on the porch for a while longer.