Monday, May 30, 2016
And More TransPlants
I've put quite a few more plants into the ground out here since the last post, but first a little update about some of the previous ones. The confederate jasmine fully bloomed a few weeks after I planted it:
I've never seen six-petal flowers on one of these before (typically it's five), but this one has several. Is this the jasmine equivalent of four-leaf clovers?
I mentioned in the last post that the first place I smelled a confederate jasmine was in the Italian countryside. Shoving my face into the open blooms of this new plant in my yard sent me back to Tuscany almost instantaneously. The place, the food, the people, the entire ambience of that time in my life flooded back to me with one smell. This is a way to travel faster than the speed of light. And through time. The drawback is that I travelled back home mere seconds later, and almost as fast.
It took a few weeks, but this vine finally latched onto a tree branch I had pointed it towards. I tugged gently on this twining thinking it might be easy to pull off, but it wasn't; it's already formed a strangle hold around that limb.
The raspberry bush has a few green raspberries on it; I'd say too few. It may be struggling for lack of sun.
I'm not sure I've ever seen baby figs, but I'm guessing that's what these little buds are:
Now for the new plants. I already planted one blueberry bush, but at a local herb farm I saw two different varieties that I decided to get. One is called O'Neal and is supposed to have especially large berries:
The other is called Legacy and is supposed to have especially sweet berries:
A few of the O'Neal berries ripened already, but the next day when I went out to pick them they were gone. I think cardinals ate them. I've caught cardinals loitering suspiciously near my berries on a few occasions.
Also from the herb farm I picked up another mediterranean native, a pomegranate. Group it with the fig for plants in my yard wondering WTF they are doing under a forest canopy in a temperate region of the western hemisphere. I'll tell you why - because I read about you in the Bible and have to have you; Jesus cursed one of your ancestors and now I have its distant progeny in my yard! For the past few weeks at least it has humored me and stayed alive.
Oddly the name of this particular variety of pomegranate is "Russian," though I have no idea why; it is, like the others, native to the mediterranean. It produces fruit, but not as large as that found at most grocery stores (which I think comes from the "Wonderful" variety).
Since the pomegranate has so far survived, I decided to go even further and try an olive tree. I had never even considered planting an olive tree here until I happened by a few at a local nursery and couldn't resist. At this point it has also survived for a few weeks and appears to be doing okay.
Perhaps being able to commiserate in displacement misery with its biblical neighbors is upping morale. Plant-group therapy.
Did I say fig? Now it's figS. When I bought the brown turkey fig, it was only because they didn't have a black mission. I prefer the taste of black missions. During my most recent plant shopping spree I found a black mission and so had to get it. It was the only one they had and wasn't quite as full and healthy looking as I would like, but it's also doing okay so far.
I wonder when fruit is supposed to mature on this one. The brown turkey figs are already coming in, but this black mission doesn't even have buds.
On that last shopping trip I brought home five other plants, and one was a tree that can grow 75 feet high. But more on that one in a moment. Two of the plants were azaleas - the other two varieties of giants that I didn't have yet (the first was a Formosa, with magenta blooms; the second was a Mrs. G. G. Garbing, with white blooms). One is called - serendipitously enough - Judge Solomon, and will have pink blossoms:
How nice to plant "Judge Solomon" - the builder of the first and greatest God-designed temple in history - in the courtyard of the Church House! Well, on second thought... Don't judge my architecture too harshly, Solomon. Don't look too close.
The other is called George Tabor and will have blossoms that are both pink and white:
So now, finally, after the first azalea was planted three years ago, the four corners of the courtyard are complete.
The three-year old azalea (upper right) looks a bit thin and puny even next to these infants. If it doesn't shape up I may have to replace it.
Two other plants I got that day are vines, with the intention of growing them over and eventually concealing a chain-link, barbed wire fence along my rear property line. It's an empty lot currently, but from old aerial photos it looks like it used to be a junk yard. Hence the security. So the fence isn't mine, but I don't imagine the owner will mind much if I grow a couple of gorgeous vines over a portion of it. Of course one is a jasmine. I may end up buying one of these every month if I'm not stopped.
And the other is the latest biblically-themed planting - a grape vine.
It's a champanel variety, which I've read is similar to concord. Makes good jam and juice. But I'll probably just eat them straight. I'll let my fenced neighbor know he or she can pluck a bunch on occasion too, seeing as how they unwittingly provided the trellis.
I saved perhaps my favorite planting so far for last. This is the future 75-foot tree - a sugar maple:
It's about my height right now. 69 feet to go! Like a lot of the other relatively rare plants I've picked up, I found this variety of maple at only one store. Lots of places had red maples and october glory maples and various others, but never sugars. Of course any of them would have dramatic fall foliage, and I'm eager to see how this looks five months from now, especially among its evergreen neighbors. But mostly I think I was attracted to this variety because I am a maple syrup addict. So in about 50 years I'll be able to tap this baby and make my own syrup! Can't wait.