Tuesday, June 7, 2011


Behold the purple petunia. 

Well, that was the intention. I set off this morning to stomp about and jostle the brain and encountered one of those THOUGHTS which tend to occur only while in open motion (as opposed to pacing about the living room).
I will, I said to myself, transplant the key lime and the honey bell orange to a single large pot (I don't know which is which anymore and won't until the maybe some year when one or the other of them sports a fruitie) and I will stick the newly sprouted moonflower seedlings in the middle (where Vinnie and Shakira are maybe less likely to peck them to death) and since this will be rather dull until the moonflowers flower I will find some deep purple petunias, the ones that smell so hauntingly sweet, and I will poke them here and there in the pot and it will all be a very nice addition to the naked corner of the aviary/greenhouse where I've stuck the orange paper parasol.

This exercise will cost me maybe $2.98 or near to it, I triumphantly added as I flip flopped into the Frager's hardware garden center.

$45 later (including tax) I now own a standard kumquat (meaning it's trained as a small tree). I really cannot be blamed, as it was completely smothered in little white flowers with a near paralyzing scent. And $45 (including tax) is really a BARGAIN I said to myself, for such a lush and healthy specimen.

That I don't like kumquats is irrelevant since I don't like those bitty bitter oranges either. I just like the smell. And so what If I don't have the sun for any of these tropicals and I nurse them along for years and they never do squat. Oh, yeah, I forgot about the Annual Lemon. 

Hey, some people pay forty bucks for a bunch of roses that plotz in a week. 

Pause to research. Purdue's horticultural website (certainly more authoratative than I) says the Nagami Kumquat (which I totally inadvertently purchased "...require(s) a hot summer, ranging from 80º to 100º F (26.67º-37.78º C), but can withstand 10 to 15 degrees of frost without injury. It grows in the tea regions of China where the climate is too cold for other citrus fruits.... The trees differ also from other Citrus species in that they enter into a period of winter dormancy so profound that they will remain through several weeks of subsequent warm weather without putting out new shoots or blossoms. Despite their ability to survive low temperatures, as in the vicinity of San Francisco, California, the kumquat trees grow better and produce larger and sweeter fruits in warmer regions."

This is fine! I can certainly provide sweltering summer heat --and keeping it in the aviary/greenhouse in the winter will allow for those larger sweeter fruits (not that I care). 

"For pot culture," the site continues, "they must be dwarfed; must not be allowed to become pot-bound, and need faithful watering to avoid dehydration and also need regular feeding."

Much of the time I can manage the above.

For those who might have interest (Kristen), there's one more plant left.


  1. Please name your next bird Kumquat.

    You can always use the fruits for centerpieces. One year I sugared kumquats for some Jewy holiday or somesuch.

  2. Yes, it was baby that had the sugar the kumquat notion. Kumquat is an excellent name for a bird. Or a pug.


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