Garden requiem in excelsis

2015-01-07 09.24.14

Surely you should be dead by now hibiscus


So this is another Florida winter!  After days of temperatures in the 70’s F (20’s C), having to turn on the AC (mostly because RM has been suffering hot flashes), it is early morning, at the time of writing, and 59 F (15 C). I am cold but I dare not turn on the furnace for fear it would wake my roommates, and I do enjoy my quiet early mornings.

I can hear RM’s fan going in her room and the Boy’s AC window unit in his. We have central air but he added a window unit because of the hot-house quality of his room when running his gaming computer and assorted other electronics. The cold helps my laptop (HP Envy Sleekbook, actually) which is running rather hot lately and I have been remiss in opening it up to clean out what must be tons of dust inside–or so HP’s troubleshooting program has diagnosed.  I tend to agree with it because the processor is running hot enough to boil water.

With coffee cup in one hand, cane in the other, cigarette hanging from my mouth, and wearing a heavy robe, I walked around the front yard to take stock of how my gardens grow. Soon there will be loquats on the tree in front. Veteran readers might remember that for the two previous winters all the ripe loquat fruits disappeared overnight. I’m anticipating it will happen again. Loquat thievery abounds here.  I’m a bit of a Sherlock and determined that humans are the thieves, not animals.

Past winters I watched the weather forecasts  and would bring inside various “delicate” potted plants. I didn’t last night.  I’m tired of lugging those things inside. They seem to be fine. My favorites are the Crown of Thorns, which flower year round and the begonias have been flowering no matter what the temperature. They make me smile. I have even been known to sing “Gloria in excelsis Deo” to them, which I do not feel is a contradiction of conviction for this agnostic. I like the old hymns in Latin. Translation: “Glory to God in the highest”–which, supposedly, was first sung by angels at Christ’s birth.

ImageMy potted banana plants in the back yard are looking pathetic. While in hospital, the Boy was charged with the task of watering them. He did not. If they don’t go in the ground soon, I might as well chuck them–remove them from their pots and put them out front for the “claw” to pick up on Friday. The claw is really fun to watch. Floridians trim their trees like crazy–especially the palm trees. Can’t bag that. So they just put the debris out front, along with anything else one can’t put in a bag or the trash bin, such as furniture, and this huge truck with an exceptionally long and jointed arm with a “claw” on the end, comes by on Friday mornings. RM and the dog and I run out front to watch–just about every Friday that someone on the street draws the attention of the claw.

You must know by now, dear readers, that “mostly dead” tree is mostly gone. What’s left will have to be dealt with by a chain saw and I’m not getting one of those for the Boy. There won’t be a tree left on the property. The squirrels hang out next door now–in the neighbor’s huge live oak tree. I use to hang the squirrel and bird feeders on mostly dead but now that there isn’t any foliage, the squirrels won’t feed there. Bald eagles circle over the neighborhood daily, so they won’t feed where they would be so exposed.  I’ll cover those remarkable birds in another post.

There is one more piece of business: “surely you should be dead by now” hibiscus is still alive. I have done nothing but prune it. It is a single, tall stem (branch) and it continues to bloom. The blooms look a bit mutated, but they’re blooms nonetheless. It refuses to die. The other two are still around as well. I swore that I would never get another hibiscus because of the nuisance factor. They have had every disease and every insect and every hibiscus-eating animal attack, yet they still live! This past summer I stopped helping them and they’re doing better than ever. Maybe I’m the nuisance? Well, I am excessive, after all.

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