Tuesday, May 4, 2010

THE PATIENT GARDENER

Not many would be excited by what they see in the center of this photograph- unless of course they have sago palms. All over town these odd looking mounds, nothing but a mass of spikes and cut off fronds. Mine looked just the same. They lived in pots and graced the entry through the front wall, which happens to face North West. They took the brunt of the cold weather which turned every frond to brown. I finally cut them back last week. I thought they looked better with the fronds on than off. I moved them into a sunnier spot in the hope that it would stimulate them to burst forth. This morning I looked into the center and saw tiny new fronds.
I was a patient gardener.

The same is true of 3 Meyer lemon trees. They finally started to sprout and now have healthy green foliage. They are not as large as they were and they won't produce lemons this year, of course, but if I take care of them next winter by bringing them indoors they should crop the following year. I lost the Mexican lime and Persian lime.
I was a patient gardener.

The Confederate jasmine on the study wall lost every single leaf. It was cut back to bare wood. I felt pretty sure that it would recover from the brutal pruning and it did. It is now in full green leaf again and even has a few flowers!
I was a patient gardener.

When other Austin gardeners were eating beets and peas through the winter, my plants were sitting there doing nothing. This happens every year. It takes until April before they start to move. Now we have beets and beet tops aplenty, and I am picking peas every day trying to beat this heat. This will be the last week for peas and, unlike other years, I will be saving some of the open pollinated peas for next years crop.
I was a patient gardener.

Manfreda maculosa, the spice lily took a long time producing a stalk before the flowers finally opened. In the front garden I have 2 Manfreda sileri in the front garden, one of which has a 6' flower stalk. This, on a very small 9" diameter plant. At the top of the stalk are a few flower buds that have been there for weeks. When will they open? Eventually for.....
I am a patient gardener, most of the time.

9 comments:

  1. My cycad bloomed last year. There being no other Sagos within miles there was no pollen available, so there was this huge 'nest' with nothing to show for it. It made seeds, but I doubt they were viable. I planted them regardless.

    The cold left the poor thing looking pitiful. I cut off the totally dead fronds but left any with some green. It has that little cone shape in the center that takes forever to finally send up green.

    I'm ready to pull up the whole thing with a chain and the tractor. My patience is about exhausted.

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  2. Good things come to those who wait. I'm glad your patience is getting its reward.

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  3. Nel Jean- You may be surprised yet. Mine had no fronds left at all but I am hopeful for this new flush. i would love to see them bloom. I have only seen that in the prehistoric garden in Austin. Lovely cone.
    Pam- I'm glad too, Pam. It has been an expensive year and replacing the plants at the front was something I didn't want to have to do.

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  4. I planted my beets in november and they didn't grow at all until the end of March. and if I hadn't stopped my mother in law from cutting off the tops (as she thought they were swiss chard instead of beets), they never would have made it to our dinner plates.

    And the peas were very similar--didn't start getting pods from the november planted peas until March, just recently started getting peas from the ones planted in January.

    my captcha: deadign. I keep saying it as 'dead again'

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  5. Patience does pay off, sometime. My big sago is putting on new growth. I was afraid it was a goner. Since it's the centerpiece of our front bed, it was going to be an expensive replacement. Whew...dodged that one.

    We lost another good sized one, in the back. The 'cone' was soft, so it got tossed.

    My beets still haven't done anything. I've never planted them before. But, I think I'll try again this winter.

    I'm NOT a patient gardener. But, I'm gritting my teeth, and trying to do better.

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  6. Patience truly has its reward! Everything looks super! The spice lily is lovely!

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  7. Hello, you have a beautiful garden, which variety of plants, amazing, it's a paradise, and fantastic environments, poppies and roses .. a dream ....
    I will follow visiting

    regards

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  8. Katina- I'm not holding out much hope for the second crop of beets with the heat. (90s in early May- Yikes.
    Joseph- This is the first flowering of the spice lily and I love it. A hummingbird was at the flower the other evening.
    Mariella- thank you We do enjoy having all this nature around us. Thanks for visiting.

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  9. Wonderful post! This year we have to be the patient gardener more than usual. I feel so sad for the plants that people discarded prematurely. My cycad and confederate jasmine are already looking lovely again. I rather like being a patient gardener; it's like being a kid waiting for Christmas!

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