Friday, July 29, 2011

The Kumquat is in Bloom Again. And Other News.

I had this disoriented feeling, at 5 this morning, like seeing the sun and the moon in the sky and not knowing (in my woozy, what the hell am I doing out of bed state) whether it was dawn or sunset. The kumquat has new buds--at the same time that it's sporting what appears to be a bumper crop of little fruities.

As this is my first kumquat, and I have such lousy luck with fruit plants (though I persist in buying them) I have no idea if this is an aberration. But we have Carol--The Prince's ex-girlfriend thrice-removed-- arriving tomorrow morning and staying with us for a week and so I am particularly pleased at this development. I'm never more attractive than when I'm looking modest. I'll lower my lashes as she enviously sniffs the delicious scent of the opening blossoms that I've had absolutely nothing to do with producing.  

I don't think I can call up a blush. My tan this summer is so dark that the other day, traipsing home from it doesn't matter where, a guy standing on a corner called out "Hola!" And when I ground to a startled halt, turned and grunted "Huh?" he said, "Oh, sorry! You're so brown I thought you were Latina." 

To which I called out, "Gracias!" 

The interesting (to me) part of this is that I was listening to Juanes on my ipod at the time, swishy bopping along... I guess I had the rhythm down. La Camisa Negra, by the way, is a most moving song for walking, painting walls, mopping floors, and other energetic tasks. It is terrible background music for writing.

I'm looking forward to Carol visiting, just as I look forward to visits by all of The Prince's ex-girlfriends. He has fine taste in women, they're all quick and smart and funny. I sometimes suspect that their trips are reminder visits. They come, look at his half-finished projects and the extraordinary mess that is his garage--it's tempting to nominate him for that hoarding show--and leave with a sigh of relief.  

Mi amor....

In other news. 

The plumeria that was a bare branch when I bought it back in March -- the grinning Asian woman behind a counter of blooming plants of intoxicating scent explained that you stick it in soil in a sunny spot and by early summer (given our climate)  it will send out shoots. I've heard this story several times before and been beguiled, only to be the proud owner of a rotted stick as summer rolled around. But the fragrance!!! And so I bought. And this time ...look at the leaves! Maybe! Could it be? And in just the dime-sized splotch of sun that I found for it? I don't remember if I'm anticipating a pink or a yellowish flower, but I'll be thrilled with either. 

Now this is a shocker -- the wretched double pink hibiscus that I've had for--what--15 years? The one that has given me five flowers over time and I'm probably exaggerating? The one that after all of my love talk and such developed such a case of disgusting little bugs last winter--rejecting all treatments-- that I was about to toss it out? Well, I couldn't do it. I brutalized it instead, lopping the branches back to nubbins and hiding it in the gloom of the way back garden where its skeletal remains would be hidden behind the ferns and such. And just look at it! 

Would it hurt to give me one lousy flower or is that too much to expect? This should teach me something about the value of pruning but probably won't.


  1. I have one plumeria plant that bloomed right after I planted it last year. I hope it blooms sign of it yet! Good luck with your kumquats, and welcome to Blotanical!

  2. "The sun was shining on the sea,
    Shining with all his might...
    And this was odd, because it was
    The middle of the night."
    (Alice of course!)

    So, I planted TWO hardy hibiscus plants one summer-- and never saw them again. Yours should get a prize, what growth!

    I really want to believe you about the lovely ex visits. I really really really want to believe. And I want to believe in hope for politics, and that the next diet will work, and that there are tiny fairies in my garden... xo

  3. Sage: you had a plumeria that bloomed. i wish i could write that in smaller type, like an awed whisper. instead i'll doff my caps in respect.

    L: You mean you don't have annual invasions of exes checking out what they excaped? They can be wonderfully empathetic companions.

  4. Citrus blooms throughout the year, and it takes months and months for those blooms to ripen into fruit.

  5. a) When did you replace the Pointer Sisters with this Juanes nonsense? Whenever "Jump" comes on the radio in the kitchen at work (which is more often than one would expect,) I get all excited and dance around and say "this is my mom's get-happy-and-clean music!" Happy...heh.

    b) Did I tell you that I killed my hibiscus? I did. At least I'm 99% sure. I left it in the 105 degrees for two days without water and it shriveled and dried and, as far as I can tell, died. I haven't tossed it yet, though, because I am my father's daughter: a hoarder.

  6. Baby-- a) clearly I need to download the Pointer Sisters to the ipod. AND JUANES NONSENSE? B) and because you're your mother's daughter you managed to kill a plant through utter...sloth. C) One word: Texas.

    L&R: Really? Please don't give me hope for the lemon, the 2 limes, and the orange -- all of which I've had for years and none of which has rewarded me with more than a single flush of blooms (never mind much in the way of fruit). More in the way of dashed hopes...would be too painful to deal with.

  7. Orange blossoms were a staple in wedding bouquets, once upon a time, because they were a symbol of youthful fertility. Citrus trees can have both flowers (youth) and fruit (fertility) on the tree at the same time.

    We have a lovely old lemon tree that has ripe lemons, baby green lemons, and flowers on it, at this very moment. You may have young trees that haven't grown up enough to produce much.

  8. Lemons and flowers both -- oh my (dream on stephanie). How wonderful is that? Since these plants were well developed when purchased, it's more likely that I'm attempting to grow something that I haven't the proper conditions for. This is not unusual.

  9. Enjoyed my visit to your Blog, and the side comments about "hanging a little ivy" - how true how true. I keep visitors "distracted" from all the weeds and any eye sores because I have Lake Michigan for them to look at at every turn in the gardens. Lucky me! Visitors say it is all so beautiful, if they only knew! If you get a chance check out some past postings and you will see how the lake takes their eyes upward and away - nice. Jack

  10. "Visitors say it is all so beautiful," snorkel snort and ha! Will check out Lake Michigan soon -- riding a wildly busy week here, with Carol as a cherry on top. A little dizzy.

  11.'s just that the only Ex I deal with is an ex-wife after divorce, and NO ONE would enjoy her weekend visit. Empathetic companionship sounds nice, and healthy. (I talk to the dog and it's not the same.)

  12. It frightens me sometimes how well plants respond to brutality. I keep telling them to stand up and demand a little respect (by blooming, say), and instead they cower down and beg, "Prune me, prune me!" And then they grow like weeds. Your hibiscus looks lovely.

    Thanks for the visit and comment, Stephanie, and for the fave over at Blotanical! Glad to have discovered your blog.

  13. My hibiscus would look even lovelier, Stacy, if it summoned up a bloom. How do I need to torture it to make this happen? I suppose a little sun might help, though I'm afraid that might be too kind.


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