Posts Tagged garden

Casing the Neighborhood

Posted by on Monday, 9 February, 2009

Since attending the INDIGO/Edible Plant Project class on propagating native plants from cuttings, I’ve begun to see my neighborhood in a whole new light. More like a…resource.

I have a Meyer lemon tree in my back yard that will probably be my first target. It seems to produce a profusion of blossoms, though we’ve only had it for a couple years, and it hasn’t borne much fruit. I recently found out why: late freezes seem to be killing the blossoms. This year has been unbelievably bad (for Florida), with temperatures reaching down into the mid-teens on several occasions already. I figure if I can get some cuttings growing, I might be able to coax some high-yielding house plants out of the deal. I’ll probably start here, but it’s definitely not all I’ve got on my mind these days.

I’ve also got my eye on some huge fig trees that produce some of the best brown turkey figs I’ve ever had. Oh, and there are three orange trees – two large, one smallish – that seem to produce pretty well. The smaller one has actually had a profound effect on the route Luke and I walk ever morning. I go out of my way to walk past this tree every day, because when it blooms, it gives off the most delicious scent that you can smell from over a block away.

I’m also coming to see the trash service as competitors. This morning, I walked past a four-foot cutting of prickly pear cactus in someone’s yard waste bin, waiting for the trash guys to come pick it up. This was more than enough to root several good cuttings, according to what I saw at the Edible Plant Project. This was near the apex of our walk, and it took me about half an hour to get back to the house, pick up my work gloves, and get the truck. I passed EWS (Emerald Waste Service, known as “Earl” to us…don’t ask) on the way, and thought, “No way he’s already been all the way around to here…” But he had, and the cactus was lost to the iron beast. Oh well, better luck next time.

This is a whole category of gardening I honestly didn’t know existed. Before talking to the Edible Plant guys, I thought cuttings were for herbs. I really can’t explain how excited I am as I think about taking some of the best that Florida has to offer – great fruit – with us when Emily graduates, and we move on to our next life.