All pics for this week's run posted small due to volume. Click to enlarge.
So! Back to the garden, mostly focusing on the front garden, starting with the things I call Those Sticky Things From Australia that were gifted to me by Mr. In Memoriam. That meant going back to ask what these things are actually called.
BGF: Those sticky things from Australia, what do you call them, again?
Mr. In Memoriam: <whips out the name>
BGF: ... So ... if you had to spell that ... how would you go about it, exactly?
MIM: "Euphorbia tirucalli rosea"
They're also known as firesticks and I *love* these things. In the fall of '06 he gave me two small cuttings, which I planted on either end of the brick bed I built along the length of the front of the house. Can't find the picture of the one on the right, so here's the one on the left, taken in Oct. 2006:
Here's what the one on the left looks like now, November, '08, minus an additional 1.5 feet culled from the top sometime in May '08:
What became of that bit from the top? Back in the spring/summer of 2006, when the overall garden project began full-tilt, I began the first of many failed attempts to get a patch of Japanese blood grass to grow in a space formerly occupied by an alleged bonsai juniper that had been extremely dead for who knows how many years. (Getting the Landlord to admit that the thing was dead, and further authorizing its removal, was a Delicate Task that took several weeks.) Wanted the blood grass because I like it and felt it would be a nice nod recognizing the history of my neighborhood. Here is the first patch of blood grass, installed in July '06. It grew - and then died. Four other patches also died, two of them not even bothering to grow first. By the end of 2007 I had given up and left that patch bare while researching and puzzling over what was going wrong. This was one of the rare times my professional adviser Shane, so codenamed because if you've seen that movie and met my adviser you'd understand how, spiritually, he's just like Preacher except that he's Mexican and a gardener, was of no help. His take? "It doesn't want to grow there."
(The aloe in the pot on the steps is one of the many cuttings from the redneck mother plant that went from teeny fingerling to over 50-lbs over the course of 18 years.)
This spring I realized it was time to do something about both of the Australia stickys because they were doing phenomenally well, which meant they were getting huge. So 1.5 feet was culled from the top of the one on the left and transplanted to the spot that was death to the blood grass. It was happy there! Here's what it looks like now, all 2.9 feet-tall of it:
I took about a foot off the top of that one, and the transplanted bit has grown faster than its mother plant. Here's what the cutting looks like now:
During this spring's culling of the two original stickys I ended up with 17 pots of stickys. I have eight left, and with those I've been experimenting by placing them at different spots in the yard to see if I can adjust the pink/red/green via length and strength of sunlight. Here's one of the experimental pots:
The story of the Australian stickys is not over. I have Plans for down the road. But that will have to wait for down the road.