My garden has been neglected, it was bordering on neglect before I left, and while Husband and La Muchacha watered while I was gone, the more exotic tasks like pruning and transplanting are mine. The weather this morning was perfect for gardening. So I once again started more projects than I could finish.
I don't know if I have mentioned that I haven't had a great deal of luck with starting things from seeds here. It could be a combination of things, my inexperience, timing and the birds and insects feasting on the tender seedlings. I have a plan to deal with that, but one of the plants that did come up were cannas. I planted canna undica or birdshot cannas from Thompson & Morgan's Online seed catalogue and since I had been having such rotten luck I planted all my seeds in one place, so of course, they all came up, and the vermin didn't eat them. So I dug up and transplanted them to what I think are better homes.
I also transplanted the Mariposa that I bought yesterday, but when I was digging the hole, I hit a rock. My planters are made of piled rocks, piled into retaining walls by my son. But, as I acquired more rocks I had him extend the beds, apparently, I had forgotten to tell him to open the ends of the old planters and use those rocks in extending the new planters. So I spent some time unearthing these bowling ball sized boulders so I could transplant my new ginger.
In what is going to be my "tropical area" I transplanted a Persian shield, 2 Dracaena marginata 'Magenta' and 3 Cordyline fructicosa among others. It occurs to me that one picture is worth a thousand words, so as soon as I recover I'll go take photos.
I am a sucker for bougainvilleas, I have at least 9 of them, in fact my first plant purchase was a bougainvillea. And it's this very plant that I had to battle with today. At about 3 years old, it is huge, it towers over my neighbor's house, and over the other 3 bougainvilleas that are struggling to grow under it's shadow. So after pondering the problem since I returned home, I made a decision. Rather than uproot the other plants and take the chance that they might not thrive (as you may already know, bougainvillea are notoriously picky about being transplanted). I decided to prune Bougainzilla. The lower branches were no problem, I perched on a chair and trimmed as much as I could. Then I got a brilliant idea, remembering that being a tool user is what separates us from the other animals, I grabbed my fruit picking stick, basically a long pole with a hook at the end, and pulled down the offending branch. I hacked at the plant until something wet fell on my face, I looked up to see blood dripping down my wrist. Bugainzilla had struck back, I had at least 2 cuts on my hand from the long wicked thorns and as soon as I saw them, I felt faint. But, I managed to cut back around a third of the monster plant and I have hopes that the the variegated orange and pink and smaller white and pink tinted plants will now shoot up.
After I tended my wounds I also trimmed the lantanas. So now I have branches waiting to get cut for the compost pile.