Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Lemon tree, very pretty...hmmm hmm, hmmm...

So, today was a big garden clean-up and planting day.

I was assuming (yes, I know the old adage about people who 'assume') that my variegated Eureka Lemon tree was a goner. Every branch I cut or scraped was dry and brittle. They snapped with that ugly dead sound that confirms your worst fears.

So, as I was giving instructions to my 'guy' about digging it up, we gave it one last look. And all the branches were still dead.

But far, far down at the base of the trunk there was the tiniest sliver of green.


It was no bigger than the white tip of your pinky fingernail. And there -- just above it, another speck of green, the size of a pin head.


See it? Right there, next to that wound. A sign of glorious life.

Of all the plants at risk this harsh winter, I was most concerned about this tree. It is my prized possession - the lemons are amazing and I just love it. And I was very sad when I thought I'd lost it.

But, many of my garden friends encouraged me to have hope, and they were right. It was a long, slow and late winter, and recovery for established plants will also be long, slow and late this year. I know that in my head, and now I understand the reality. I guess I shouldn't try to rush Mother Nature!

I did, however, lose my little Bottlebrush tree in the front yard to last winter's cold temperatures. Nothing alive left anywhere on that one. I planted it late and it was small and just too tender and not established enough to survive. Today, a new (and bigger) Bottlebrush - "Hanna Ray" went into the extension of the front bed.

It will soon by joined by a large blue Agave and some deep blue-colored salvias. Not sure which salvias, but I do know I want them to be the color of the Indigo Spires - just not that tall.
My first Wine Cup bloom opened today. Lancashire Rose was here this weekend and said hers were blooming all over the place, so I am glad to see mine aren't too far behind. I love the way they look spilling about the rock path.
These could be yours! These two photos are all of the Society Garlic that I'll be sharing with Austin Garden Bloggers who come over this Saturday for our design/brainstorming/swap meet-up. My neighbor dug them all up and shared with our neighborhood, then let me offer them to garden bloggers. This is what's left after 3 neighbors and 4 garden bloggers have already taken bunches of them!
And it smells delightfully like an Italian restaurant outside of my garage!


Annie in Austin said...

Even if you have to nurse the lemon along for a few years, how satisfying to see it fight back from the freeze.

Hope the new bottlebrush likes your garden, Diana!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I hope the lemon tree lives to bear fruit for you once again. It is sad to lose a favorite plant especially a tree. All that garlic smells great no doubt.

Diana said...

Annie - You're right and I will be happy to nurse the lemon along once it gets going. I'm sure my bottlebrush is going to like today's rain, as are all the other little things I put in yesterday. Yeah for semi-frequent rain.

Lisa - Who knows how the lemon tree will grow this first year or whether it will bear fruit, but I can wait! The garlic - getting kinda strong, actually -- that's why my neighbor moved it from her front door bed, it just got to be too much when people came in the front door.

RBell said...

Isn't it amazing how, after a harsh winter, the discovery of the tiniest speck of green can make your day.

Gail said...

Diana, That's the best news! It was a hard, long winter and we've yet to see what total damage has been done up here, too! Love the winecups! gail

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

What a wonderful surprise. It's always so discouraging when woody plants have been winter killed. I hope your little lemon makes a strong comeback.

Pam/Digging said...

Yea for the lemon. And yea for not throwing in the towel on growing bottlebrush but just trying again. I'm going to replace my dead knifeleaf acacia the same way.

But I did give up on my purple-leaf acacia tree. It struggled along last summer and then got zapped this winter. Yesterday I replaced it with an Anacacho orchid tree--dependable!

LindaCTG said...

I'm so thrilled for you & the lemon. Whew. Your bottlebrush will be around for a long time, since we can't possibly get zapped again like this year. Wow on winecup. No flowers on mine yet, but looks like there's about to be an explosion.

Diana said...

RBell - It really is the little things that make being a gardener so rewarding.

Gail - It was a darn cold winter. We're all still in shock over how plants have reacted. All new experiences for us. Part of the grand mystery of gardening!

MMD - As long as there is a speck of green there, I'm thrilled. I can wait for it to come back. I might even baby it this year!

Pam - I'm actually MORE excited about the new Bottlebrush because I sucked it up and bought a big one. It is so pretty out there. Now I need the rest of the bed filled! Holding my breath on the Anacacho Orchid.

Linda/CTG - My winecups look like they are about to explode, too, but this is one solitary bloom on the puny-est looking of the foliage. Go figure!

ESP said...

Hi Diana.

I Had such a fun and relaxing day today, thank you for opening your gates! You have such a beautiful environment and entertainment area!
Are you really doing away with those majestic palms? :-)
Really enjoyed seeing your garden and meeting everyone, and the plant-swap was a riot!

Thanks again.


Diana said...

ESP - Thanks so much for coming - it was so fun to get to spend time with everyone and I loved your design ideas. I am definitely going to use it. Hope to see you again at next months shin-dig.

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