What Is Your Oldest Plant?

Lee Poulsen wpoulsen@pacbell.net
Mon, 01 Oct 2012 17:34:30 PDT
My parents moved into the house they still live in now when I was in middle school in the mid-1970s. The house was a newly built brand new house, and I don't know why, but I hated the landscape plants that the developers had planted throughout the subdivision. It also just happens that I had seen a new book a couple of years after moving in called something like "Edible Landscaping". My mother had grown up on a farm and wanted peach trees. So I researched the topic thoroughly (giving me a new, and still current, interest in weather and climate), and I proceeded to knock down every tree and bush on our property and replant them with trees and bushes that produced fruits or nuts, no matter how unusual for that area (Austin, Texas). Many of those trees are still there including a couple of 50 foot tall pecan trees. The peaches actually produced until they died of old age (around 20 years or so) and I've replanted them with newer, better adapted cultivars including one that also produces huge numbers of very showy flowers each spring in addition to tasty fruit. I also happened to grab several kinds of bulbs from the local nursery one spring back then and planted those in several beds I made in the front yard. The two that are still there to this day are the paperwhite Narcissus and the Dutch Iris. The Dutch Iris have spread and naturalized, which I wrote about a few years ago when we were discussing them. (The paperwhites are like weeds there and since my mother doesn't like their scent, she always is trying to eradicate them, but has so far been unsuccessful.) So they've all been there for around 35 years.

My mother loves her yard now. And loves showing off all the different fruits, some of which no one else in the area grows or knew you could grow, or in some cases have never tasted. I've also since planted quite a number of other bulbs, ones I knew that would dependably come back every year there.

--Lee Poulsen
Pasadena, California, USA - USDA Zone 10a
Latitude 34°N, Altitude 1150 ft/350 m

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