Monday, April 02, 2007

Garden Festival Fun

On Sunday, Byrd got me up bright and early, bought me donuts, and took me to the Zilker Botanical Gardens for the 50th Annual Zilker Garden Festival. We may not have landscaping at our house yet, but I love to go peruse the vendors' wares and ask questions of folks with greener thumbs than my own. This morning we were one of the first people to the festival, and by getting there early I laid claim to the only white-flowered wisteria I've ever seen, and certainly the only one for sale at the show, for a mere $35. I felt it was the crown jewel of the festival, and I think I was right; as Byrd lugged our prize to the exit, heads turned and people pointed and whispered at this unusual plant.

It's here that, in years past, I bought daylilies for my mom and bamboo for Byrd. The bamboo had since grown to ridiculous proportions in a huge tree pot in our backyard. I admit, we were terrified of it. This black plastic pot, which was almost 3' in diameter and 2' high, had started to bulge on one side. On Sunday, after consulting with the bamboo vendors at the festival, we decided it was time to tackle our fears head on. The bamboo needed to be divided for everyone's sake. It was such a monstrosity at this point that we couldn't move the tree pot, and we were worried that the creature was going to be rootbound.

Bamboo is, of course, notorious for spreading like wildfire across any open expanse of soil, and we didn't dare unleash ours. I had thought it was the clumping kind, which doesn't spread nearly so quickly, but yesterday when we rolled up our sleeves to address the problem, we discovered that my memory was totally in error. After taking a hacksaw to the black plastic, Byrd and I managed to peel the pot away. In the dirt, instead of tubers from a clumping bamboo, we saw woody roots--runners, the sign of a spreader.

Several hours later we had hacked up most of the bamboo. I carefully selected three small healthy sections to go into three medium-sized (portable, manageable) planters. The rest was chopped small, tied with twine, and placed on the curb for trash pickup. The extra roots went in the trash, and the soil that could be salvaged was spread out in low spots near the back gate.

So, until the day we finally get our landscaping taken care of, we have a jungle on our small back porch! Three pots of bamboo, a small white wisteria, a large purple wisteria, a young Sago palm, and a huge elephant ear. This morning I spotted some extremely fat bumblebees inspecting the new wisteria (our purple one didn't really bloom this year, I'm not sure why). It smells lovely, of course.

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