Saturday, October 11, 2008

I'm such a dork.

During my last two visits to my hometown I've been tested. I'm really getting to know the midwestern plants well, but when I'm in southern california it's like a different language. I have trouble identifying half of what I see, despite having grown up there. I didn't commit to loving my garden until I was in my mid-twenties, and already living in Wisconsin. I did my homework this trip, and felt better. My identification had improved, and my tastes had changed. I now found an appreciation for the arid climate staples, the cacti, succulents, palms, ferns, and many plants I must treat as annuals that are growing as larger perennials there.
While working in my grandmother's garden I snagged a few divisions of clivia. I also took what I think is going to be an amarylis. She has boston ferns growing wild in her backyard, so I dug one up also. From my mom's yard I brought home my long beloved orange bougainvillea, which is now blooming in my bedroom window--where it will spend the winter.
Of all the gardeners in the family, the least obsessed is my aunt Hannele. When I arrived at her house for a party she asked me to prune her roses. I gladly took the pruning sheers and set to work. I also admired her bird of paradise, agave, echeveria, money plants, and aloe... and she promptly sent me home with pieces of each. She snapped a few pictures of me taking a division of this bird of paradise. I imagine mine will take a long time to blooms. But, I'm patient.
I put all the plants I was bringing home in the one pot with the bougainvillea, smooshed as can be, but well watered, and covered with a fleece blanket for our two day card ride, so my son sitting just a foot away would not fuss with the plants. So far, everything is alive. Not bad...

1 comment:

cindee said...

I have not tried to grow bird of paradise yet but I want to. I think it would freeze here in Northern Ca. I see them at the stores every year though. They are so pretty. Bougainvillea is another pretty one and it blooms like crazy here in the summer too but freezes. It has to be an annual unless I kept it in the house. Its nice you got starts and will be able to watch them grow(-: