Sunday, 19 June 2016
I’d been anxious for this bud to open because we would be gone to the Hardy Plant Study Weekend for four days at the end of this week. (We will have returned by the time this post publishes.)
A wind of 20-25 mph was highly annoying for working outside. I persevered and did get some weeding done in the afternoon, reminding myself frequently that at least wind means no mosquitoes.
I tacked a project in an overgrown corner by the blue potato vine and the wickedly thorny Mermaid rose:
In the afternoon, Allan went to weed at the Ilwaco Community Building.
And he watered at the post office, where the Asiatic lilies are blooming:
Back home, as the wind roared through the bogsy wood, Allan mowed.
I suggested he not do the path under the trees, and he did wait until the wind died down a bit in the evening to finish the woodsy paths.
I tried to do one more weeding project.
At seven thirty when I went in, the flower was opening!
As I posted photos of it on Facebook, my FB friend Joan Biddlecomb wrote me this story, which she gave me permission to share:
I used to live (Monterey Park, California) a half block from a very old plant like this. 2nd year I was there I noticed a lot of buds developing on it – took to walking by daily. They enlarged and one afternoon I could see that petals were no longer tightly in the bud, and knew they would open around 9 that night. Counted 54 buds that looked about open! Went out at 9 PM, stood watching until 10:30 – returned home. All 54 had opened that same night! Got up early next morning – immediately went to look – blossoms still good at 6 AM but by 8 AM they began to wilt. By 10 AM all 54 had drooped, closing their petals! A Chinese neighbor of mine asked permission and picked all of the wilted blooms , came home and set them in the sun to dry. She told me they were good to eat. Later I dined on some in a local restaurant – used with many other ingredients in a stir fry with sauce served over rice. Delicious! Later I saw dried ones imported in bags for sale in our local markets! Carefully tended fruits are also used for food – called Dragon Fruit!
The plant was in a grassy parkway – supported by a Bottlebrush tree trunk – tree had died years ago – top just cut off. Plant had had cuttings made over the years and now it really was multiple plants in a 16-20 jnch ring around the trunk base. Plant made a yard plus diameter column 10 feet high. Have no idea what root spread was. Town was located just north east of Los Angeles in an inland strip of Banana belt climate according to Sunset Magazine plant zoning. We also had bananas bloom and then bear fruit (warmer winters), peach trees bore fruit if it was a cold winter (this froze banana plant tops – no fruit). Persimmon trees bloomed and bore fruit in almost every yard. Chinese are very adept at using a larger tree or shrub to shade another one from 100 degree summer heat and protect it from freezing if we have winter frost, and planting climbers next to stronger plants. Squash & pumpkins vines were trained and supported 3-4 feet up and then allowed to lay over horizontal wire fencing (flat horizontal trellis) with 4 – 6 inch openings. Fruit then encouraged to hang down through the wire openings- as it did enlarged old T shirts were used to provide hammocks for the fruit to rest in – tied to the wire. Result ? No rot because of moist soil – no skin blemishes.
*Joan Emerson Biddlecomb
The next morning at 5 AM, Allan woke and looked and said the flower had wilted, and by the time I got up at 10 AM Monday morning, it looked like this:
Last night Allan had gone out just after dark with a tall ladder to affix my new birdhouse on Danger Tree’s snag, a task so brave that I think it deserves a photo even though it did not fit well with the cereus flower’s narrative flow.
Ginger’s Garden Diaries
from my mother’s garden diaries of two decades ago
1997 (age 73):
June 19: Picked berries. Used Safer weed killer on tam ditch and lower driveway. [Noted later]: The Safer weed killer didn’t kill those weeds at all.
1998 (age 74):
June 19: I picked berries again. Not very many this time. I keep pulling the small plants, mostly the ones from the row next to the asparagus row. Then I worked planting plants from the table. I dumped a lot of pots of seeds that didn’t germinate in the house and shop. These were old seeds so I’m surprised at how many did.