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Posts from the ‘gardening’ Category

I’ll Let You Know How It All Turns Out

So…my cutting from Aunt Winnie’s gardenia bush, of which I proudly blogged here, is now this discouraging stick.

And this morning we found our dear Elvira flopping down with an injured right leg. She seems to be in the same condition as happened to our precious Princess Puny when Puny was only a week old.

Here is what I have done:

Right beside my little stick of Aunt Winnie’s gardenia, I have placed this pot of a successfully rooted cutting from one of my own gardenia bushes. I thought it might encourage the stick. It does encourage me. Plan B will be to send for another cutting in the spring and try again.

Those of you who follow this blog may remembering our little Princess Puny, who at just over a week had an injured leg, hip, something that had her flopped over. This little photo is of when she could stand but not walk.

I went out and took a photo of Princes Puny now to remind me of miraculous recovery. 

I am deliberately expecting the best on both counts. I’ll let you know how it all turns out.

It’s a funny thing about life; if you refuse to accept anything but the best, you very often get it. ~ W. Somerset Maugham

The Lesson from Aunt Winnie’s Gardenia Cutting

I love gardenias. I am likely supporting the gardenia nursery industry with my love. I’ve ceased to count how many gardenia bushes I have bought, and killed. There is one now in the corner of my flower garden that I nursed for two years. Last month I gave up and said, “Die then.” It did.

Didn’t keep track of the name of this one, but I recall it gets large and seems it is from a bush over at a Louisiana plantation.

Still, I have managed to keep three bushes alive in my yard, even if none of them bloom very proficiently. Encouraged the past spring on Nell Jean’s blog, Secrets of a Seed Scatterer, that gardenia bushes are easily rooted from a cutting, I broke a piece with a blossom off a bush at a house that once belonged my Great-Aunt Winnie. I stole it.

Here is how it happened: It was during the cousins reunion in Savannah. We were visiting Cousin Janie’s house. Cousin Janie is Winnie’s daughter, and they had houses built right next to each other, with a connecting walkway. I followed the walkway, likely drawn by the voices of relatives that seemed very close after all the hours of talking about them and seeing their faces in faded photographs. In my mind, I was seeing my grandmother talking to Aunt Winnie. The two had been good friends. I suppose I saw their shadows in the screened porch at the end of the walkway.

Then I spied the window-high, sparkling gardenia bush studded with white blossoms. Just the sort of bush for which my heart longs. I quick as a wink broke off a branch with a divine blossom from ‘Aunt Winnie’s bush’. The next instant reality hit: “This is not Aunt Winnie’s bush anymore…I don’t even know the owners of this house!” I ran like the thief I was back to Cousin Janie’s house, the gardenia cutting firmly in hand.

I kept the branch wet and brought it the two-day trip home and put it into a vase. This was all the way back in April. Weeks, months passed and no sign of a root. I refreshed the water a number of times and would look for signs of a root. Seeing none, half a dozen times I went to throw it out. But when I saw a tiny green leaf come, and the stick remained green, I would hope. Then, last week, when cleaning the kitchen, I finally decided it was time to give up. But I took a final look– and saw a miracle had occurred. There was a long root!

Sometimes things you want take a lot longer to happen than you anticipated. Sometimes there is being worked out within, where it isn’t visible to the eye, all manner of miracles. How many times, I wonder, have I killed ideas and hopes simply by giving up before the miracle happened?

I don’t think those who succeed in gardening, or writing, or any endeavor, are necessarily the talented ones. They are the ones who persevere, who wait and keep on watering their ideas and dreams with work and hope, until growth happens.

All the performances of human art, at which we look with praise or wonder, are instances of the resistless force of perseverance. ~ Samuel Johnson.

An old wives tale: it is said that when a cutting is ‘stolen’ it is almost guaranteed to grow. My mother’s neighbor, Mamie, used to say to my mother, “May I steal a piece of your wisteria?” She swore that was the only way it worked.

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day!

Rain lilies, magical delights! I had never heard of them before moving to Alabama. Watering won’t do it, but directly after a rain, up come they shoot and last for days.

Another magical delight!

I think this daylily may be ‘Happy Returns’, but I won’t swear to it. No matter my good intentions, I can’t keep track of varieties.

Beloved crinums. They began to bloom in earnest when the rains came.

I have seriously neglected my grandmother’s old roses this year. Yet…

…still the bushes produce blooms that fill the air thick with the sultry old-rose fragrance. I am a girl again back in North Carolina, stepping out on my grandmother’s back porch, where the roses bloomed just the other side of the screen.

The water lilies are hardy, keep on going. This year they are filling the pond.

I finally got purple cone flower. This bee was unmoving, yet twitching. As I don’t spray with anything, perhaps he was just satiated with pollen.

August Beauty gardenia, I think. An unexpected bloom. I plucked it and tucked it behind my ear, wore it all day. Each time I turned my head, I caught the drugging gardenia scent. Thank You, God!

Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything that is beautiful for beauty is God’s handwriting – a wayside sacrament. Welcome it in every fair face, in every fair sky, in every fair flower, and thank God for it as a cup of blessing. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Much thanks to Carol at May Dreams Gardens for hosting GBBD. Pop over for links to other gardens all over the world.


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