Monday, July 6, 2009

Bloom or die

This is my new best friend in the garden. With any luck, he will eat the Japanese beetles that have decimated my roses and will soon have plenty of crepe myrtles to feast on.

While on the way to pick some squash last evening, I was first distracted by the roses that needed pruning. There are only two of them and one is a miniature, so it didn't take much pruning. I was further distracted by the overgrown wisteria tree. It was beginning to look like an alien invader in the process of devouring the backyard.

We bought it about four years ago in late spring from a local nursery, and we were told it was already five years old and therefore could potentially bloom the next spring. So we brought it home and I dug a hole in the ground big enough for a body so the roots would have plenty of room. I watered it thoroughly, then left it alone per my instructions and waited impatiently for what the next spring might bring.

I'm still waiting. Not one bloom. Nothing. Ever. I don't know what to do to make it bloom. I was told that once it was established it would not need any attention other than a semi-annual pruning, so I left it alone. That didn't work, so I tried a Google search and found a woman who insisted her Wisteria never bloomed until she started beating it with a chain. Being fresh out of chains, I have continued with the hands-off approach. If anyone has any less violent suggestions, please share them. Otherwise, I am quite tempted to take an axe to it rather than a chain. It takes up an entire garden plot, but never earns its keep as it should by blooming each spring.

I pruned the beast down to nothing but a handful of leaves and the twisted main trunks. It looks less dangerous now.

Yesterday's harvest. Despite all the pruning, I did finally make my way to the cucurbits. I picked as many more today. We are now having squash and cucumbers with every meal.

The Purple Jalapenos are almost ready to pick. If I let them stay on the bush long enough, they will eventually turn green, but I think they are more attractive in recipes when they are still purple. They are not very hot, which is fine with me, but H (husband) would like something with more heat.