Life on the Parkway, or, Second Thoughts about the Tree

| September 23, 2012 | 6 Replies

Life on the Parkway, or, Second Thoughts about the Tree. Curbside gardening is an interesting prospect. Just when you think you have things under control and figured out, they change. If you have followed the Late Bloomer web series, you may remember how this whole gardening thing started for me. Our parkway Acacia tree died, and I got in touch with my soil. (See the whole story in episode 1.)

Dead Acacia Tree

Dead Acacia Parkway Tree

Still, I thought I wanted to replace the tree, as I’m a tree person. But, you just can’t grow vegetables under the shade of a tree. And the roots from a city tree in a plot of ground 6’x20′ will pretty much fill up that space. But, back in September, after the Acacia was removed, I got a free Jacaranda tree from the city, and they are so pretty, I planted it.

Dried Up Jacaranda Tree

Dried Up Jacaranda Tree with Seed Pods

It was only after that, that I realized my parkway was my best sun and I did not need a tree there. So, I stopped watering it. Not nice, I know. But, to my surprise, it lived anyway (they are originally from Australia, so they love it dry and hot), and yesterday I noticed the first purple flowers blooming.

Jacaranda Tree with Purple Bloom by Kaye Kittrell

Jacaranda Tree with First Purple Bloom

Now, it’s going to be interesting what happens. Obviously, I can’t let it get very big, or shade too much. But, I don’t want to cut it down, after it worked so hard to live. I need to see how ambitious I am going to continue to be with gardening, also. This is my first year, and I’ve spent all my extra time on the garden, the blog and the web series. So, it remains to be seen. Until the shade becomes a problem, I’m going to keep planting edibles and flowers to attract beneficial insects around it. You can see the bluish-purple bloom on the far left side.

To the right of the tree are my Mexican sunflowers. I LOVE these! They keep blooming and aren’t as affected by powdery mildew and bugs as the sunflowers. I wish I had planted more. They are supposed to get up to 6′ tall, but mine are between 18″ and 4′.

Mexican Sunflowers Tithonia rotundifolia

Mexican Sunflowers – Tithonia rotundifolia

The blooms are VIVID. Hummingbirds and bees love them. Well rotted mulch or compost, and trimming off the spent blooms will extend the blooming season.

Mexican Sunflowers Tithonia rotundifolia

Bright Orange Bloom on Mexican Sunflower

I’m out direct seeding cool season crops today. What are you up to in your garden? Thanks for stopping by. – Kaye

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Category: Curbside Gardening

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  1. Make it a Learning Experience - Late Bloomer Show | July 16, 2014
  1. Lois says:

    As always, wonderful pictures! I am so soft-hearted with plants, even weeds that it’s difficult to cut them down or pull them up if they are doing well… however, yesterday we had to trim back our cotinus very severely as it was threatening to block the sun from the front of our house! I suppose that’s the problem with plants imported from other countries like your jacaranda!

    • Thanks, Lois. It’s interesting. I can nurse and nurse a plant, but there comes a point when you know you are wasting your time, and out if comes. And I don’t look back. There are so many more things to plant! I planted all day, today! I looked up Cotinus, “native to the warm temperate northern hemisphere.” I guess that wouldn’t be good here, but I love ANYthing that produces red/burgundy flowers or leaves!! And, if it’s that prolific, it will grow back and thank you for the haircut! 🙂 – Kaye

  2. Love your mexican sunflowers too! My Dad keeps adding to his wish list of plants everytime he reads your blog! And I have to say with regard to your tree that anything that fights that hard to live, deserves a chance

    • Agree, Dallas, but, Jacarandas get HUGE and would shade my entire garden. That’s a couple to three years down the road, though, so I’ll wait it out. 🙂 Tell your dad, I LOVE him! – Kaye

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