in the mail

Some cool plants from The Desert Northwest in the mail today. I’m not going to mention any plants by name, so killjoys won’t tell me these plants have no chance making it through the winter. Of course they have a chance.

Not mentioned by name are Ceanothus cuneatus, C. prostratus, Aesculus californica, several manzanitas, Juniperus oxycedrus, Penstemon barrettiae, etc.

For one thing, winter is not the issue here; the big deal is getting the plants through the first summer. (The f.t.w. thing, coupled with what Geoffrey Charlesworth called overexcitement of the acquisitive instinct.) Right now I’m letting these plants get used to the lower oxygen levels at this altitude (like if they start growing too fast they might get dizzy); they’re going out in the garden tomorrow, though I could use some more prayer flags, and maybe even some, well, you know, rain.

The way winters have been going here lately, the plants will probably be under six feet of snow during any cold spells that might come, and for another, the fact that “they might die” has no effect on me at all. If I only bought plants that I was certain would not die, the garden would be empty.

Just yesterday I noticed my plants of Pediocactus winkleri, grown from Mesa Garden seed sowed in 1992. Totally hardy cactus, painstakingly grown from seed, suddenly dead. I think this was the point I was trying to make.

Pediocactus winkleri, r.i.p.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to in the mail

  1. Love the reference to the brilliantly funny Geoffrey Charlesworth whose “Why Did My Plant Die?” is one of my favourite poems.

    • paridevita says:

      I have both his books, both signed, too. We were in southwestern Massachusetts for a talk once, in 2000, and he was there. I just happened to have my copy of The Opinionated Gardener with me, and went up to him and said how much I loved the book, and asked if he would sign it. This was partly because we had a policy of not letting opportunities slip away from us. One time, at an art show here in Denver, there was a Russian botanical artist (Viazmensky, maybe?) noted for his watercolors of mushrooms. Cindy hugely admired his work, but was too chicken to approach him, until I reminded her of our policy. So she went up to him, and came back a little while later, beaming, saying what a nice person he was, and had his autograph.

      • paridevita says:

        I think it’s important not to let things like that slip away. Cindy and I used to talk about the horror of losing one another, and I still remember the last good night kiss. She died about four hours after that. Months after that, I was standing in a grocery store looking at something, and a woman started talking to me, and I said that I thought she was talking to the wrong person, and she turned around and said “You’re not my husband”, which I acknowledged. She said they were always together, and I told her my sad story, and that I was constantly looking for her in the store (still happens), and the woman said “Thank you for telling me what’s important in my life”. Apparently, regret at not having done things can overwhelm people later on.

        (You can see why the dog does the posts now, maybe.)

      • I think there would be no getting over looking for someone like Cindy.

Comments are closed.