Blossom End

possibly the last plum this year

possibly the last plum this year

The trees keep throwing food at us. Acorns are falling. Pecans are falling. I have never eaten acorns but I can vouch for the pecans. They taste a bit like maple syrup. mmm. I saw an older couple gathering the last of the Mexican plums at the park a few days ago. Sticky sweet. This is a time and land of plenty: the year’s golden hour.

A truly local Central Texas cuisine could be so amazing. Why in the land of weirdness hasn’t any chef done this?

I suppose they are out there even though I’ve never spotted one. I once met a forager who was snipping bunches of green mustang grapes. I asked what she was going to do with them. “Pickling! Local chefs love stuff like this,” she said with some gusto and a little gleam of greed in her eye. I was too shy to ask which local chefs. Regret.

pecan braaaaaains

fresh pecan braaains

October mockingbird

October Mockingbird

That couple gathering plums must have sharp eyes. The trees have been nearly stripped bare. Looking at you, Mockingbird and Co. …

Speaking of fruit … is that really a giant crater at the bottom of the moon? Imagine if it was the mark left by a flower — like the dent made by the stigma at the bottom of a tomato or melon. I wish I knew some pre-school kids. I’d love to ask them to imagine and draw A Flower for the Moon.

blossom moon

 

Guilty Garden Pleasures: Cyperus

With the limited garden space I have you might think I always make rational choices. But sometimes the glamour of a plant will trump my will power.

cyperus

some kind of cyperus

This was the parent plant for one of my guilty pleasures: cyperus. I don’t know if it has any wildlife value. I am not even certain it is a native plant.

Invasive? Of that I am almost certain.

Why grow it? Because … Ancient Egypt. … Papyrus … Art Deco …

This plant is indestructible. It normally grows along waterways in full sunshine. Where do I have it? Dry heavy hardpan clay. In the spring it gets about an hour of dappled sun each day. Full shade in the summer. No irrigation.

I planted it this spring from a cutting and it is now about 4 feet tall, three feet wide. It is still a little sparse so this year I took another cutting to start a new plant. If you would like to join my madness here’s how …

baby cyperus

baby cyperus

You can use root division or seeds to propagate these plants but I love this little trick.

  • Cut off one of the stems.
  • Turn it upside down.
  • Trim the leaves so they will fit in a pot of soil. Press the leaves into the soil.
  • Use paper clips to anchor the leaves.
  • Keep the soil boggy wet until you get good root development.

The sprout in the photo took about two weeks to emerge. The air temperature was hot: about 90 degrees in the day; 75ish at night.

Frost and freezing temperatures will set it back but the ones I see growing wild and in gardens seem to recover each spring. (zone 8)

Do you have a guilty garden pleasure: a plant that maybe against your better judgement you decided to grow anyway?

one years growth

one year’s growth