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Thursday, 21 April 2016

Is there something wrong with my cycad?

Cycad - Cycas revoluta (Sago Palm)

I'm a bit worried. More than a bit actually. My Cycad (C. revoluta) is not looking so well. Above is a picture taken last winter, July 2015, and he was growing in leaps and bounds for the past year.

Over the past couple of weeks, however, I've noticed the branches flattening more and more, totally exposing the centre, which is usually hidden by all the leaves. Could it be dying? Maybe too much shade? It has been under this Celtis africana for 10 years now. The tree has obviously grown much bigger over the years, giving much more shade.

Or could it be a female getting ready to flower? Or maybe a male ready to produce a cone? But Sagos are like people... reproduction takes two - a male and a female. In late spring, a mature male Sago produces a golden cone, shaped like a giant pine cone which may grow over 2' tall.  A female produces a huge golden flower which slowly opens when it is fertile, then closes, and begins to produce viable seed if pollination from a male sago was successful.

I read somewhere that most Sagos must be at least 15-20 years old before they are mature enough to bloom, and they also must be well established in the garden or landscape. Usually they will have a 10" - 14" (30cm) diameter trunk and a leaf spread of 5' - 6' (2m).  My Sago is now 10 years old and still has no trunk.

I've been considering digging him up and moving him to full sun or planting him in a big pot, but apparently they do not bloom in a pot. And disturbing him by transplanting him means it will take a long time for him to get "established" again.

One website says, "Sagos grow in full sun, but adapt to outdoor shade or an indoor area which receives bright light or a few hours of morning or afternoon sun." And mine does get afternoon sun, more so in winter.

Every spring, my Cycad would produce new leaves, but this past spring (Sept 2015) there was nothing.

Can anybody help? If you have an explanation, I'd love to hear from you.


Wednesday, 20 April 2016

16 Signs You’re Dating A Gardener

  1. He can’t stay over because he has to get up early. No really. He wants to be up at sunrise to start planting.
  2. He wears overalls in a non-ironic way.
  3. Her motto is “no truck, no luck.”
  4. It looks like he’s growing a garden under his fingernails.
  5. He gets a serious case of plant envy when he sees your plot.
  6. She’d rather share her toothbrush than her hand trowel.
  7. He only makes plans with you on rainy days.
  8. Weekend road trips require stops at every native plant nursery along the way.
  9. She blew you off to claim her spot at the community garden.
  10. Compost and manure are considered appropriate dinner table conversation.
  11. Her Instagram feed is just a bunch of blooms.
  12. Dates before sunset are out of the question.
  13. Attending lectures together at the horticultural society is her idea of quality time.
  14. He thinks a romantic gift is one that he’s found in the garden section of Lowes.
  15. “Your bed or mine?” does not mean he’s trying to get you between the sheets.
  16. When you bring up the subject of kids, he says he’s only interested in raising seedlings.

    From OrganicLife

Monday, 18 April 2016

To bless this kind earth... and yourself

Now that we're over the worst of summer (and it really was the pits, with extreme heat-waves, temps in the 40℃'s and drought) and had some lovely rain to break the heat and drought, I'm enjoying time outside in my garden again. I just get absolutely cranky, and listless, when it gets that hot, and can't seem to get around to doing anything outside. But as we all know, we NEED to get outside, we need to spend time in nature, otherwise life becomes unbearable. Well, for me anyway. My plants and the birds in my garden are part of my family, and I feel as though I've lost track of what's going on in their lives. I just did the bare necessities during that heat, filling the water bowls and feed tables and the rest, like watering the garden, was left up to my trusty garden manger, Chrissie. I even thought of telling her to chat to the birds, because I wasn't getting round to it!

But my garden doesn't seem to have minded my absence. It's like a jungle out there after all the rain. Nature's revenge to neglect is that, when left undisturbed and given time, she will reclaim anything built by humanity. So basically, no need to feel guilty here, life winds a way.

 There's a pathway somewhere in there, totally covered now by Bulbine and Sword ferns.

Even the birds don't seem to have noticed my absence. No excitement or fluttering or welcoming twittering when I started spending time in the garden again. Maybe they were even pleased about not being constantly stalked by my camera. Eating and bathing and nesting carried on as usual, making me feel a bit unwanted...


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