rescue horror stories; was Re: Little Mystery Bulb

Jim McKenney
Thu, 25 Apr 2013 05:20:49 PDT
Since we're trading horror stories about what happens when we don't step in quickly to rescue plants, I'll tell one of my own, a very recent one.

A friend who has a ground level condo nearby lives next to another condo originally owned by an absentee owner. Over the years a variety of owners and tenants have come and gone. That unit has a nice little patio, and beside the patio was a really shapely boxwood of a variety I did not recognize. It was only about a foot and a half high and maybe six feet wide. Since the people who lived there were rarely around when I was, it took years to get permission to take a cutting. That cutting I sent off to the boxwood expert. The boxwood expert told me it was probably a form of Buxus microphylla. 

The condo changed hands recently, and I thought this might be my chance to make another offer for the boxwood ( offers in the past never got a response). My friend kept his eyes peeled for the new owners - without luck. Then he came home from work one day recently and heard a lot of noise outside. He went and looked and saw that the new owners had a crew removing the old patio to make room for a few vegetables. . The crew was still there cleaning up the mess. There was no sign of the boxwood. 

We thought that was the end of the story, but a few weeks  later my friend found the place at the edge of the nearby woodland where the construction crew had dumped debris. That once handsome boxwood had been hacked up and thrown on the heap. By then most of the leafy portions had dried out and were unsuitable for use as cuttings. But he found a brick-sized chunk of root which had a still living sprout: he "rescued" that piece for me and it is now hovering between life and death in my garden. 

At least I didn't have to pay for it. 

Rescue first, worry about the consequences later. As the old saying goes, it's easier to ask for forgiveness than to get permission. 

Jim McKennety

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