Archive for the ‘bud watch’ Category

Blooming alert   Leave a comment

Blanca’s three remaining buds are swelling, whites showing and very likely to bloom all three tonight. Flower fever!

Posted July 9, 2010 by Canio's in bud watch

Anticipation, expectations and a caution   2 comments

By 9 this morning, it was nearly ninety degrees. The largest bud now measures eight inches. Seems they’re growing almost an inch a day in this intense heat. At this rate we could have blooming as early as the weekend. Ray is preparing some fresh smoked fish for us. Friends are eager to see Blanca bloom before they leave town on various trips. Could you make it bloomer sooner? they asked expectantly. We haven’t done a thing but keep watch, and with not a little trepidation.  Blanca has apparently heard their call. She’s pouring out whatever she’s got that makes her fertile. Is  she getting too much sun? I worry. Will the heat abate, or exhaust us all? What’s become more obvious is that one bud, at just 5 inches,  is slowing down, lagging behind the others. It’s color is off. Gone to that reddish-yellowish we saw in the smaller buds that dropped off earlier. Interestingly, this smaller bud shares a host leaf with the whopping 8-incher. Can that one leaf sustain the two? We’ll have to wait and see. Which is what we do: wait and watch carefully. And maybe think about what snacks we’ll put out to celebrate Blanca’s first bloom of the season. First bloom. Will there be more come fall? We always want more…a sign of an obsession.

Posted July 6, 2010 by Canio's in bud watch

The practice   Leave a comment

Last fall I took  measurements daily. Kept track of bud length, temperature, made careful  observations, noted the presence of pests, weather, etc. This summer, I’m not as disciplined. Days slip by. The buds now measure between 6 and 7 inches. I’m less precise. We’re in for a string of hot days which may increase rate of growth, may tax the mother plant. I’ll have to be more assiduous. Am I already taking the blossoming for granted? I’m assuming it will come in  a few weeks, but still the buds could falter, be knocked off. The repulsive mealy bugs might triumph after all. The truth is we don’t know. We have to wait and see, and that’s the practice: waiting, observing, being surprised and grateful for what comes. Sense what the plant may need, and try to assist without getting in the way. Last year I got too close with the tape measure, knocked off a bud. Perhaps it would have dropped on its own. Still we humans are clumsy making our way. Our way proves destructive. Witness the violence unleashed in the Gulf of Mexico and our ineptitude, callousness, our cavalier attitude. Day by day, measuring, observing, the effects of avarice there.  Here, Blanca, in the back yard of the East End of Long Island has adapted a long way from Central America. How have we endeavored to accommodate her?

Posted July 5, 2010 by Canio's in about time, bud watch

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.

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