Thursday, February 21, 2008

Sago seeds

Posted Friday, February 22, 2008

Meet my "Big Guy." This is my biggest Sago palm, cycas revoluta. He's a beautiful specimen, and he's got lots of pups (which I'm happy to share if you are willing to brave getting them OUT!) My Dad had a long battle with him one day when he didn't want to give up any pups, but I'm glad to say that Dad won and the Sago was none the worse for the wear.

My neighbor has several Sagos, but she has both male and female specimens. And a week ago, she gave me 4 seeds from her female plant. (The cluster of seeds is an amazing sight if you haven't ever seen it. I'll try to get over there and get a picture for you.)

So, I soaked them for several days, and today I removed the outer shell of the seed to prepare them for planting. I'm thrilled that they floated in the water, which is the sign that the seeds have been pollinated and will grow. The outer shell was remarkably thick, but relatively easy to remove with some gloves (the shell is a nasty orange substance that will stain your hands) and my thumbnail.
Now they will sit in a cool damp place to dry out and then I will rehydrate them (seems odd to me, but that's what you're supposed to do.) And then they are planted - sideways of all things. not with the point up or down, but on its side.

I have a big new bed into which two of these babies are going to go soon, along with a variegated agave that another neighbor passed along to me. This is the bed behind our iron fence that doesn't really get watered. I have pots close by that I drag the hose out to water daily, so I can give them a drink periodically, but they will prefer it on the dry side. I'll be adding some other native grasses and xeric plants to the bed as well.

A little Sunshine in my garden

We had a mixed bag of weather today - humid and damp and misty this morning, then that broke and the sun came out and then a cold front blew in and blew right back out again, leaving sunshine and warmth for the rest of the afternoon. As I was cleaning up the back patio and pruning some, I was struck by how many yellows I have in my garden. So I thought I'd take you on a tip-toe through the yellows today. This is a Gerbera daisy left from last year's basket of mixed color.
Mickaela Euonymus
Daffodils - -again!
This is a Duranta stem with some yellow berries on it -- hard to see because it's in the garage still until we pass the early March last possible freeze point. I'm not moving that baby twice -- she's heavy.
Here are some flowers in my kitchen today.
Mums and Alstromeria - some of my favs.
Euryops Daisy
Primrose Jasmine
Variegated shell ginger.
(With quite a bit of freeze damage that I just
haven't cutback yet, so this is a sample of
yellow and dead!)
Leatherleaf Mahonia.
Compact Daisies.

Thought this might be a little ray sunshine for those of you who are still deep in the throes of winter.