Sunday, July 26, 2015

Can You Hear Me Now? Elephants have Big Ears


In my garden of few successes, the elephant ears are an unqualified delight. Much like the wandering jew that meanders here and there, easily filling bald patches at the poke of a chopstick, the colocasia (just looked that up so's I'd look knowledgeable about something) devour space with glee, and need no care whatsoever -- with the exception of setting the bulb with the bit that's supposed to bud at the top (and I'm not even sure about that).  

Water, don't water, fertilize, don't fertilize, sun no sun, up they come, sooner or later -- pretty much depending on how deep I've planted them. Too deep is a perennial mistake. I buy a bag of ten or so each spring at Costco and stick them behind pots, in front of the garage window, beside the pond, behind the cherry tree, hiding the straggly base of the honeysuckle, and higgledy-piggledy every elsewhere.

The ones that come up fastest are crowded in a clay pot, covered with a couple of inches of dirt (topped with some poked in wandering jew so I remember not to toss it), and set on the back porch steps. Give them a couple of weeks, and they'll be leafed out and ready to be strewn here and there in wherever is still unoccupied. This is something, by the way, that year after year I fail to recall.

I mistakenly plant them like tulips, with 6 inches or so above their heads, and then sit here until -- um, last week in one case -- for the plants to show. And, since the wait is lengthy, and I have a hinky memory (as I believe I've mentioned), the spots must be marked (with another chopstick -- the prince bought me a pack of 100 a couple of years ago) so I won't go planting something else on top or step on an emerging sprout.
 
Technically, I suppose, they're much too large for this little space, but then I don't do much of anything in a small way (see various rants on the irritation of twee and, for that matter, my pruning issues, and let us not forget my vines) and their mammoth leaves add even more shade to the shade so I'm constantly moving this and that to chase the spotty sun -- the hibiscus and African gardenia are not at all happy, though they'll recover nicely in the greenhouse this winter. 

In the meantime, what giddy joy bring these giant leaves!! 












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