Sunday, March 28, 2010

"Spring"ing to Life

The Castor Plant.

Well, one week since posts and I am liking everything that is going on around the property. The live oaks have shed A LOT of leaves....I have mounds all over and I just keep blowing them into piles....and more piles. It truly does make a good's just not an attractive mulch. Soon the pollen will drop from these two huge can see on the branches and buds are swelling and about to's going to be a HUGE mess! Usually it will work this day nothing; the next a carpet of pollen all over the patio grounds. While it looks like a disaster struck, it can be quite pretty.

Also this week, I checked my elephant ear bulbs in the ground because several weeks ago, I found one rotten. It frightened me and I ran to their beds to check and see if the bulbs were still solid....and thankfully, several hundreds of dollars of Colocasia Esculenta were saved and more are still arriving. I ordered from Brent and Becky's bulbs. It was my first time ever ordering from a catalogue this year. I also purchased several seeds from Hint's Farms and I wasn't disappointed.

Today was an affirmation that what I am doing will be amazing for all. The smell alone of the plants carried this fragrance all around the grounds. Currently, the citrus trees are giving off the scents and it's a wonderful smell! The smells along with the blooms and the birds/hummers flying around the property are making me truly excited for what is going to be quite a show. The nectarines, plums, peach, apple, fig, and citrus trees are all beginning to bloom and leaf out. However, I see nothing on the persimmons tree, but I am assured that things will begin soon on this tree. The branches are bendy so that is a good sign. Another smell on the grounds is from the purple verbena plant. They look great and smell fantastic. During winter, they can look kind of weedy and ugly, but the minute the heat and sun come back, these things really clean up nice and make a beautiful addition to the garden.....and the smell!! Roses currently have buds on them and ready to open in about a week. I am sure many people are going to enjoy the color parade of these plants. Finally on growth....the Hosta plant and Hydrangea. People told me it was impossible to grow and yet.....they are growing wonderfully. They are both in total leaves every day and both are quite full. I look forward to monitoring their success because if they work, that will open up a whole new sector of plantings as we have extreme shade areas that can be easily watered. I'll keep you updated.

As for sprouting. The first castor bean that I planted has popped out of the ground as do I see the Pride of Maeira shooting up. It was planted in FULL sunlight and so I'll see if these can take our full sun load during our extremely hot months here of 110-115 degrees! If not, I have planted several where the morning sun will only touch them. Above, I put a picture of what the castor bean plant looks like when full grown. While it's a weed in most places, here it makes a catchy tropical view in the garden. There are several varieties and I have planted only 2. Rincus Comunis and the Zhanzibar variety which can grow up to 15 feet tall. It is my hope to harvest the seeds to plant for the next year. It is a poisonous plant(mostly in the seed)....of course, a lot of plants are, but what's unique about this plant is the way it can "shoot" it's seeds to spread out. I saw this plant for the first time down in the Lake Chapala area specifically in the retirement community of Ajijic. There was a forest of them and during the hot spell of the day, the plants made an exploding sound shooting their seeds all over the place. I thought they were rats running around because I had seen many of them. Being a little bit on the bad side, I brought several of them back with me to the US and planted them in the ground and it was quite fun to watch them pop up and work their magic. This may sound cheesy, but I wanted to create an active garden for people....of sort of Pandora(from Avatar) that comes alive and invigorates the senses. It's a garden for smell, birds and butterflies, people and their gardening needs, for inspiration and color, and most of all an escape from our busy lives.

That's all for this week. My new and exciting bulbs will hopefully be coming this of them is the Borneo Elephant Ear. It will grow to 15 feet tall with leaves 4-5 feet wide. These will be placed around our smaller pool and under our live should be quite a sight! The datura is doing well and appears to be growing so I will update on that as well. Until next week.....

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