Jim McKenney jimmckenney@jimmckenney.com
Tue, 27 Oct 2009 10:21:45 PDT
After writing earlier this morning about Scilla lingulata ciliolata, I went
out to take another look at the plant. It’s raining here today, just the
sort of day on which it’s very easy to get into trouble. And I did just
that, big time: my itchy fingers were poking around in the cold frame when I
encountered what I though was a piece of very thin black wire. I gave it a
tug, and discovered that the “wire” was longer than I at first thought; it
was also firmly attached. I gave a stronger tug and the end of the “wire”
broke off.


At that moment I had that awful experience where from the depths of my mind
a warning was screaming, but too late to prevent what was happening. If you
have ever cut into your finger with an extremely sharp kitchen knife, you
know this feeling: as you feel  the knife cutting into your skin (and it’s a
very odd feeling in that not only do you feel it, you seem to hear your
flesh ripping, too) there is that instantaneous, momentary confusion as you
try to figure out what is happening. 


Well, I figured out what was happening with the black “wire”, but I figured
it out too late: the black “wire” was in fact the sprout of one of the
Chilean Tropaeolum. Because these plants branch freely, no permanent damage
was done. The part of the stem I did not break off is perhaps eight inches
long and already had started to branch. 


This experience highlights one of the many aspects of plant culture which,
for me at least, seem very hard to learn. Plants do their own thing, and
they don’t do it until they’re ready to. I had been very carefully searching
the frame for any signs of growth on the several Chilean Tropaeolum, and
even yesterday I saw nothing. That’s because I was searching in the little
spot where I knew the corm was planted. The sprout I decapitated today had
emerged somewhere else, and I did not associate the thin black “wire” with
the Tropaeolum planted nearby. 


I’ll try to spend the rest of the day indoors reading. 


Jim McKenney


Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, 39.03871º North, 77.09829º West, USDA zone

My Virtual Maryland Garden http://www.jimmckenney.com/

BLOG! http://mcwort.blogspot.com/


Webmaster Potomac Valley Chapter, NARGS 

Editor PVC Bulletin http://www.pvcnargs.org/ 


Webmaster Potomac Lily Society http://www.potomaclilysociety.org/







More information about the pbs mailing list