Archive for July 2010

Bud drop   Leave a comment

We’re down to only one bud remaining on the cuttings. It measures 1.5 inches, but it doesn’t look good. It’s turning a sickly yellowish-reddish color. All the other buds, we had seven a week ago, have dropped off.  Was the soil too wet? Was it that strange “jumping cotton” pest I pinched off almost every morning? Was it the simple fact these buds were growing from leaf cuttings that had not yet rooted? We’ll never know. What I do know is that I pruned too soon. My eagerness to  share the wealth of the plant and to “improve” her shape got the better of me. In an attempt to reign in a straggly branch, I  lopped off a number of leaves that were just setting buds. They were too small to see. I’d left them to “dry” in the garage, and next thing I knew, buds were sprouting. Lots of them. What if I’d left the plant in tact? Would all these buds have survived to blossoming? Probably not. But a number of them would have, and it would have been quite a show. A beautiful shower of white and an infusion of fragrance that likely would have permeated the neighborhood.  We will not experience that particular inflorescence.  Still all is not lost. There are five healthy buds now measuring four  inches on the mother plant. It looks like these will hold, and we’ll have a late July blooming party one steamy summer night after all.

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Posted July 2, 2010 by Canio's in bud watch

Only White   Leave a comment

One of the effects of living with Blanca these several years and of only lately seeing her bloom, is that my visual color preference has simplified.  I find  white flowers mesmerizing. I have developed a devotion to them and hope one day to create a small white garden. Who needs color when white contains them all? Color  seems excessive, over-much, as if the natural harmony of all-colors has tilted out of balance. There are varieties of white, of course.  The deep purity and creamy richness of the gardenia is incomparable. A priest friend recently explained these are “St. Anthony’s flowers” associated with the saint of lost causes, origin unknown. So be it. We lose things in the depths of white, we suffer snow-blindness, and squint in white summer sunshine at noon when it’s just too bright to see. The simplicity of the lily-of-the-valley, Emily Dickinson’s white cotton dress; the extravagance of the Casablanca, even the elegance of an egret in golden-green marsh grass show us white is Everything. I’m fond of an old jasmine vine, its fragrant white whirls the perfect complement to its shiny dark green leaves. A friend gave me seeds of  white campion.  It’s classic contrast of simple white with silvery leaves seems to harken back to antiquity.  The whiteness of our night bloomer is a sheer white, some petals translucent, silken, delicate. One gets lost looking deeply within. One thereby enters eternity. For just  one night.

Posted July 1, 2010 by Canio's in Uncategorized