Y'all are going to think all we do is shop - but like last Saturday's rain barrel, this week's purchase was also a response to summer's toll. A year ago the peach tree so badly sited by a previous owner was still alive - growing at an angle, non-fruiting and smack under the shade of two pecan trees - but alive.We watched it decline and die inch by inch this summer and by the end of October knew it had to come down. Even before the saw came out of the shed, I'd decided on a replacement.
The Camellia sasanqua 'Shishi Gashira' which is planted next to the shed has done well with a minimum of watering, even through record-breaking heat. Two weeks ago I saw a white-flowered Camellia japonica 'Morning Glow' with a dozen buds and I bought it. The price was less expensive than a bouquet of flowers and I want to see what the flowers look like when they open. The plant should like to grow where the pecan trees add shade in summer with the shed wall to block intense, low winter sun. Philippine violets do well here and so do Oxblood lilies, paperwhites and small daffodils like this unnamed paperwhite above that opened over the weekend.
The trunk came down but the peach roots will take a long time to disintegrate. After the Arizona Ash was removed from the front yard in 2007, we helped the process along by piling on mulch & compost after the stump was ground and sinking container plants on top of the mulch. The water, fertilizer and compost that seeped through seemed to help the roots decompose more quickly. We'll see if a container and mulch will work on peach roots, too.
The shopping word in the plan was "container" - off to the nearby Countryside Nursery we went, in search of an attractive pot to hold the camellia. Countryside carries an assortment of natural and organic products like Medina and Cottonbur Compost. We buy plants there - it's where I found the 'Julia Child' rose you've seen in bud and bloom. And we buy pots there, like the big blue pot in the secret garden - still full of dark purple potato vine as winter approaches.Out on the lot we chose a slightly smaller version of the blue pot, liking it even more after Philo brought it up to the counter and the sale price was 20% off the label. I found more treasure inside the building. Every year I remind myself to order Hyacinthoides hispanica, so I can try to copy the Spanish Bluebell display at Zanthan Gardens. But once again I didn't order any - what a lucky break to find Spanish Bluebell bulbs on the rack at Countryside!
Back home I found a black plastic nursery pot of the right size. Philo sawed off the top few inches so it could fit inside the ceramic pot as a liner. That should make it easier when it's time to transplant the camellia into the ground. As always, I cut pieces of roll window screen to cover the holes in both ceramic pot and plastic inner pot. John Dromgoole says the screen helps keep ant colonies and pillbugs from invading containers. I removed the camellia from its starter pot and planted it with Lady Bug Brand Rose Magic soil mixed with extra peat, watering it in with Maxicrop Seaweed w/Iron. ( Products are named not because anyone is paying me but because my blogs have replaced my memory. If this idea works the names will remind me exactly how it was done.) I hope the Camellia buds open white as promised and I hope the plant can live and grow in the pot for a couple of years. By then the roots may be rotted and the ground mellowed enough to be ready to receive it. Then will come the fun of thinking up something new to plant in the blue-green pot.
2016 Spring Flowers
1 week ago