Sunday, February 15, 2015

Good Luck Gardening

"Life, uh, finds a way." Dr. Ian Malcolm  (Jurassic Park)

When we lived in Hawaii we grew an avocado tree from a pit. You know: poke the seed with toothpicks, stick it in a cup of water, get it to root, and plant it in the ground. The tree grew to about 6 feet tall. It took about five years for our home-grown tree to fruit tiny little avocados. Then we tried to help the plant along by adding mulch. We were remodeling our house so we added fresh sweet sawdust.

First, the little fruit stopped growing, shriveled, and dropped to the ground. Then the branches withered and turned black. We watered more. The avocado tree stood there in the middle of the yard for months while we patiently watered and waited for it to produce more fruit. Then one day the two dogs ran into the tree, knocked it over, and carried it away. It was a stick, a dead stick.

I'm not sure when it dawned on us that we had killed the tree. Possibly, only when the dogs were happily chewing it into splinters. Unfortunately, the sprinkled sawdust was from HI-bor wood, pressure-treated borate lumber used for resistance against termites and fungal decay in Hawaii, good for a home remodel, not so good for an avocado tree. Poison.

Surprise: The lovely purple lisianthus survived our two weeks of winter cold and buds are already appearing on the little cared for plant.

Last Summer 7/13/14

Surprise: We have a daffodil in bloom. It's a first appearance for the happy yellow flower.

This week we welcomed two bare root apple trees to our home. The still dormant sticks will produce Fuji and Gala apples in three years. If they're lucky.

Our plants certainly seem to do better if we don't help them along. Our best policy for gardening may be to keep ourselves at a fair distance and let the plants thrive on their own.