Sunday, June 20, 2010

New things in the garden...

so, last Thursday I got a wonderful box in the mail from Julie, over at A Succulent Life. It contained Gloriosa lily plants... (follow the link to wikipedia for pics & info) Three to be exact... and I've planted them in the strip garden out by the carport.

I know, it's a supremely crappy picture... but I'm 95% sure that it will be fine. I planted it by the metal post of the carport, on a trellis made of that wire lawn border stuff they sell that is absolutely idiotically useless as a lawn border, but if you stretch it from the ground to the carport roof makes a decent trellis for vines such as gourds, morning glories and such that don't need permanent trellises.

It shouldn't take long for the leaves to start climbing, and hopefully I'll get some of the blooms soon...

I also have a few more plants that I need to get in the ground and maybe make a few posts about, but I'm just having a hard time getting anything done around here... it should be better though. I'm not working at the flea market after church on Sunday anymore, which puts me back to a 5 day week. That's a good thing. Trust me. I wasn't making enough money in the 4 hours to warrant the stress level I was going through, that four hours will be better spent doing something useful. Like laundry. I'm realizing, rather late in my life, just how important laundry is. You'd have thought it would have dawned on me earlier, but there we are.

But this is supposed to be a garden blog, right?

So here's a garden tip:

You know those tree seedlings that get in your flowerbeds, and along fences? The ones that are too big to pull up by the root, so you cut them down, and they grow back, bigger and stronger than ever? Here's a good way to get rid of them without resorting to toxic poisons. I've done this myself, so don't think I'm talking out of my hat.

Aquire some large flower pots that DON'T have drainage holes. Terra cotta, decorative foam, plain black, it doesn't matter. All that matters is that no light gets through in any way shape or form. Thin white pots won't work... light gets through.

Cut your 'trash' tree down, leaving a 6 inch stump. This is not difficult, because that's usually what ends up after you cut them down. If you don't leave the stump, the tree will sprout from the roots, possibly several feet away, that stump means that's where the new growth will come from.

Turn the pot upside down over the stump. Pressing it into the soil if possible. In our heavy Texas clay, it's not always possible, but try...

Now, what happens is that the tree resprouts, and finds no light to allow photosynthesis. Eventually, it uses up all the reserve energy it has in its roots, and it starves to death. I know, bad plant karma... I'll probably burn in hell as a horticultural serial killer. At least there won't be any mulberry trees in my flower beds...

Of course, now you have the problem of upended flower pots sitting around for the 6 to 18 months that it will take for your suffering victim to give up the ghost. Use the pots as podiums to display other potted plants, maybe a cactus dish garden. Or garden art. Or pretty rocks. Or put a pretty glazed dish on it and use it as a bird bath... Anything really... but I'm thinking that a 3 foot tall plastic gargoyle would be perfect! Not only does it display things at a level above the flower bed, but the growing tree underneath can be pretty vigorous and lift up the upended pot. The weight of your average terra cotta pot full of echeveria is usually more than sufficient to hold it down. And if it isn't, retrim the growth underneath and start over... the resprouting stump is by then seriously weakened and you shouldn't have to retrim more than once.

Now, of course, I suppose it would be much less time consuming to spray Round-up around. I just don't roll that way.


  1. Anonymous11:39 AM

    Dear Claude, It is always exciting to receive gifts of plants and such fun to decide where to place them. However, it is important to plant fairly quickly otherwise one is left with rows of things, many no longer identifiable, waiting for attention and a pleasure turns into a chore.

    Your tip on the removal of saplings is a good one - most unwanted plants deprived of light will fail.

    Yes, laundry is an aspect of life needing to be dealt with on a regular basis.

  2. I had a oleander that grew close to the foundation of our home. After years of trying everything to kill it- I blocked it from light with a bird bath---It worked-----like minds......

  3. Great tip, Claude! Wish I would have done this with a few trees already! I was gonna kill a Surinam Cherry that started along my one little short peice of fence, but now will leave it to cover the fence there. Messy little bugger! OH well...

    So glad your Gloriosas arrived in satisfactory condition. When I got the box to the post office, it was leaking a little water out the corners. Luckily I am friends with the woman who works there and she taped the hell out of it to cover the watery areas...and shipped it on for me!!! I was worried she wouldn't be able to accept it. She is a gem. These plants will spread too...Moms front garden is FILLED with them this year. I will get some pics maybe tomorrow to show on the blog for ya!

  4. I'm soooo trying that flower pot trick.