Thursday, April 16, 2009

Strolling through the garden

While watering the plants and enjoying my coffee on the upstairs deck this morning, across the neighboring rooftops, on the next street over I noticed huge clusters of bold yellow flowers extremely high in the treetops. In my many years of living here, I had never noticed them before. Curious, I went for the field glasses, not satisfied with that magnified view, I then went for the digital camera. Combining the optical and digital zoom lengths still failed to satisfy my curiosity. After a delicious sushi spread for lunch, shared with Stephen and our friend, Gert, Gert and I took a trek over to the base of that unidentified vine. With some debate, we finally decided which of the various leaves on this vine-laden tree belonged to those bright yellow blooms that towered above us some 30+feet. We yanked on the vines, took a few cuttings, shot a few pictures and retrieved a lone blossom that had fallen to the ground. With loot in tow we headed back to the abode to apply a few different rooting methods to our clingy vine.

After our rooting efforts, we took a stroll through the garden admiring the colourful blooms, looking for signs of new growth on plants damaged by the winter freeze (which is not common here), checking the oleander for aphids (which I had super-sprayed from the plant yesterday), looking for signs of seedlings in newly sown beds and discussing possibilities in life.

We found the recently sown lavender, cilantro, chives and chamomile perching above the soil and a few sprigs of self-sown dill from last season. The garlic chives, some of the cuban oregano and the lemon grass made it through the unusual winter. I redesigned my herb beds this year and am just a wee bit anxious to see it all come together.

We spied a few more aphids on the oleander then discovered they were also on the mandevilla. Yikes!

The flowering maple made it through the winter and is blooming as well as the lady bank roses, the shamrocks and the jasmine. The Meyer lemon and satsuma have healthy blooms as well. The wisteria and Japanese lantern blooms have already come and gone. It seems I may have lost two hibiscus plants yet, others that are putting out new growth. I haven’t decided if the red ornamental banana tree will come through but, the green ones have new leaves opening up already. I moved a few of the baby succulents from pots into the ‘cactus bed’ while we were out roaming around. There’s new growth all over the garden, it sings of spring.

I was thinking the bright yellow flowers on our mystery vine would look fabulous in the tall pine cornered in the garden so, I did some research. Turns out the vine is cat's claw aka, yellow trumpet vine, extremely invasive and not well liked among gardeners. Though the bright yellow display is quite dramatic, it’s short lived and not worth the efforts it would take to control. I might try a bit in a pot just to study it’s growth for a season but, don’t think I’ll be planting it in the garden.

The sun’s down now and time for me to apply a soap treatment to the aphid infested plants.

Maybe I’ll get back to another post before too long. Until then...

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