Saturday, September 13, 2008

Sad Glad September

The steady, latent percolation of seedlings has a way of stacking up the work for you. Where you thought you had only two pawpaw sprouts to transplant into larger pots, there in a corner in two other pots you had long forgotten about, a couple more have shot their slender arms above the soil's deceptive face.

Where you thought only a few tulip poplars would come forth, seven have risen in a bunch that you must delicately separate. And the pines - perhaps you were a bit lazy waiting until mid September to separate and individually pot the crowds of them, three varieties. And which variety is which, you no longer know.

The Korean mint, mountain mint, hyssop, hardy pecans, the horse chestnut, the Japanese maple and the other maples, the Serbian spruces - and finally, the English oaks - all have to be transplanted, either from seed beds into individual pots, or from individual pots into larger individual pots.

And what for? Why go into the Brown brothers' wood to collect giant redwood seeds, and the seeds of the Nordmann fir and incense cedar? Some ask, "What are you going to do with them?"

Do with them? Grow them. Watch them. And maybe later down the road…well, I know a nursery down the flats who might like doing a bit of small business. You know, sell some, not the whole lot of course, grow some, new ones and familiar ones and sell some more; perhaps the kind of thing that develops into a small enterprise. I don't know.

They all sit at my parents' house of course. The collection had its basic start courtesy of the squirrels. I had already decided I wanted to start growing some trees (I was infected by the bonsai bug), and my parents said sure there is some room here or there around the property, and I didn't have much; a hemlock, a mountain hemlock, and some other stuff. And then, all over the property these sprouts started coming up, with beautifully shaped leaves. They were obviously trees. I dug one up and the seed was attached whence the tree was coming out and the root going down and it took a while to identify it as an English oak. There was more than a dozen of them, in the front yard and the backyard, and the sides of the house.

I dug them all up. I believe I had fourteen. Now there are eleven. Some died due to root exposure (oaks are picky like that, even in tiny instances). They are such a handsome lot. They do me proud.

But September is good for this sort of thing. Something about the portended turning of the leaves prompts one to organize and sweep. This afternoon was good for that; I got done what I set to do, which firstly was the pines, tulip poplars and hardy pecans, and the aforementioned herbs, as well as a bit more: I got most of the English oaks into larger containers, the ones that needed it.

Soon it will be to Redwood forest (the Brown brothers' wood) to stroll around and commune with whatever the trees have to offer.

Here are some alright pictures:

These are most of the pines (pinus). Some are somewhere else. There are some Tulip Poplars to the side and a London Plane and some Hungarian fragrant lilac.

Here is Pea-Shoe, my youngest sister's cat, poking around a couple of Pawpaws (Asimina Triloba). There's seven of these very interesting trees sprouted right now.

These are Golden Chain trees (Common Laburnum).

Two Monkey Puzzles (Araucaria araucana).

Hardy Pecans (Carya illinoensis). If they aren't Hardy Pecans then they are Shagbark hickory (Carya Ovata).

Horse-Chestnut (Conkers! Or just throw them!) (Aesculus hippocastanum). And Pea-Shoe, again.

That tall narrow-leaved one is a Pomegranate (Punica granatum), as well as some of those in the back. The foremost is a Giant Redwood (Sequoiadendron gigantium).

Nordmann Fir (Abies nordmanniana).

Another Giant Redwood.

A row of those English Oaks (Quercus robur) with a couple of Douglas Firs (I think) yonder at the end. Sorry, green on green is hard to shoot.

American Sweet Chestnut (Castanea dentata).

Two English Oaks, again. I'll stop here, though not exhaustively.


Unknown said...

ummmm...pea-shoe paul?

hehe, it's "bijou"
With all the baby talk we use towards those kitties, I would get it mixed up too...


Paul Stilwell said...

Lord no, no mix up. We just don't use any of that Frankenfonic stuff here on this here blog. We speaks only plain Anglush. Even when it sound diffrint.

Anonymous said...

Can't see pitchers... :-(

You know, I've begun to say, lately, that there are more things I want to do than I could fit into ten lifetimes.

Now you've got me interested in growing trees. I'll add that to the list.

Paul Stilwell said...

Ack! I can't abide knowing that somewhere this blog is showing only those nasty little red X's instead of pitchers.

I am looking into it. I think I know why it is like that. I will repost them after saving them under a different format.

By the by, is stone-carving, bee-keeping, soap-making, and making kiwifruit wine on that list by any chance?

Tim J. said...

Actually, I'm pretty sure it was my computer. A short while later Firefox froze up and I had to quit and relaunch, so... no worries on your end.

Nice pics!