Thursday, June 10, 2010

Growth and more Growth

The Satsuma Plum Tree The Caladium Garden inspired by the Amazon caladiums in Peru along the Tambobata River Mulberry Tree pics above

The beginning of summer and the heat of over 100 degrees with burning sun can be challenging. However, with a bit of planning, anyone can take nothing and make it into something. My patience is being rewarded by some really beautiful plants growing around the property. I am slowly adding a plant here or there and filling in smaller areas(and the large ones). The problem is that it is hot and I need to dig holes. Quite simply....desert ground is difficult to dig...it is sun baked and has the ability to break shovels and other garden tools. This weekend promises to be a cool one for us and so I will make my trek outside and get several more holes into the ground. I don't have many more tree spaces available so I am being really picky about what goes in the last 4 or 5 spots as they will create my canopy around the property. I have several trees in mind...one being the mulberry tree. A difficult decision. This short lived tree(25 years)is illegal in the city of Tucson as an ornamental, but the berry providing tree is not illegal. The leaves are beautiful and the fruit delicious....but the fruit can also stain sidewalks. I am planning on putting it further back from the sidewalk so we won't have the mess. I didn't know at first if I should plant this tree, but like everything, it has a cycle and will be enjoyed for years.....so why not? I found this article on why the ornamental is banned.... ABSTRACT: U.S. JOURNAL: TUCSON, ARIZ. about efforts to ban further planting of the fruitless mulberry tree in Tucson. The problem is that the tree gives off pollen, which is what a lot of people move to Arizona to avoid. People with allergies make up a sizable minority in Tucson, but people who don't suffer from them tend to take a humorous view of the subject. Ted Craig, editorial-page editor of the Tucson Citizen, began an editorial called "Mulberry Silliness" with the word "Ah-choo!" and ended it with the word "Gesundheit!"The argument against making any changes in the desert such as introducing non-native greenery, Craig wrote, "is just great if you happen to be a horned toad...and you like to breathe dust." Craig made a lot of people angry with his editorial, but that is not a new experience for him. While talking to Craig writer realized that the mulberry controversy had some elements of a class issue. The expensive houses have lawns landscaped in "desert style" but the poorer people haven't the money, or the taste or the natural setting to make that kind of landscaping possible. Craig's answer to people who object to introducing non-native plants into the area is simple: Tell them they're "non-native" themselves. End of abstract.

The plant itself is a beautiful tree that attracts native butterflies and produces a delicious dark berry off the tree. Above are some pics of the tropical looking tree but xeriscape friendly to the desert.

The citrus trees are performing well. The kumquat, lime, and lemon are all growing. However, the orange tree is being attacked by catepillars. The plant seems to be doing alright for now.

I also put in another plant well on the 922 side of the building in the courtyard. It looks great and I can't wait to put in the last two wells for that section. It will look really nice. Work continues slowly but steadily. As one section is finished, another one begins and it is constantly like this. I will say that I am seeing the changes and it is encouraging. It is beginning to feel like a woodsy, yet sunny, retreat with birds, crickets, and butterflies all around. When the final product is finished, it should be quite the show for all involved. Until next week.....I have holes to dig during this unexpected beautiful sunny and in the 80's weekend.
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