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Re: Bleach water

  • Subject: Re: [iris-photos] Bleach water
  • From: "J. Griffin Crump" <jgcrump@erols.com>
  • Date: Wed, 25 Aug 2004 01:29:44 -0400

A great story, Patrick!  Thank you.  --  Griff
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Wednesday, August 25, 2004 12:18 AM
Subject: Re: [iris-photos] Bleach water

Hi Griff,
I'll tell you a funny story.
Years ago about 30 friends of mine and I used to go camping out in the desert.  The area we selected up near Cortez Junction had a stream lined with black basalt rock and tall trees that had roots spiraling over the ground.  There were a lot of indigenous herbs growing here that the American Indians used to use in centuries past...horehound, mullein, watercress, datura (thorn apple), broom, etc.
Also, there were wild grape vines and many flowering weeds of various types (wildflowers) that I did not know the names of. 
We used to go camping up to 5 or 6 times every year, and each time I would dig something interesting and pot it, and transport it back to my garden in Phoenix. 
My friend Gerry, who lived next door to me in the duplex, used to have a nursery in Florida, and knew a lot about plants.  One night when I was off doing something, he told the rest of our friends he was really amazed that the plants I bring back not only live, but thrive.  Apparently, he told them that plants taken from the wild do not usually make it, and you should keep the north side of the plant facing north etc, and that what I do should not live.  He said I apparently don't know that and nobody has told the plants that either, because they grow for me. 
Tom Barryhill, who owned and ran Barryhill Nursery in Black Canyon City was visiting us that trip (he rarely went camping with us), and he and Gerry decided they were going to pull a nasty little joke on me.
The next day, Tom asked which ones of us would like to go on a nature walk and he would show us all the medicinal herbs that grow around the area, and of course I went, along with everyone else.  Most of the herbs I knew of, but toward the end of the tour, Tom pointed at a weed looking thing and said it was a wild artichoke.  The Indians used to eat them all the time.
He knew, as did the others that I would be digging and transplanting that wild artichoke home to grow and eat.
So, I dug it and transplanted it into a one gallon pot, brought it back to Phoenix, and I planted it in a planter 1 foot cubed.  I then watered it, fertilized it, pruned the dead leaves from it, watched it grow and get bigger and bigger.  Soon those five inch silver green leaves in a star shape got about 2 feet long each.  It was a very unusual looking plant.  People would come over and would marvel at my wild artichoke plant. 
Then one day, I noticed it was developing a stalk, and boy did I get excited.  The stalk grew taller and taller and taller until it was about 5 feet tall, and at the very top, it was beginning to form a head.  In the mean time, I kept up my watering, fertilizing, pruning, weeding, and caring for this plant like it was the only one in the world because I wanted a scrumptious artichoke to develop. 
The day finally came when I felt it was of a size and maturity to harvest.  I remember looking at it before going to work thinking I would have it for dinner that night. 
However, when I got home I looked at it and horror of horrors, the darned thing was blooming!!!  Worst of all, I then recognized the plant and realized what it was...
It was one of those G.D.THISTLE plants that grow on the side of the roads out in the desert!!!!!!!!!   I couldn't believe it!!!!  Here, for months, I had been watering, fertilizing, weeding, pruning a fricken WEED for gawds sakes!  Oh was I pissed! 
I went next door to get my neighbor to show him, and he came out and I told him what it was and he roared and roared.  He said he knew all about it and they were playing a joke on me because they knew I would drag the plant back to Phoenix.  He said I had the most healthiest weed on the planet and that he had been giving Tommy weekly reports on Patrick's Weed, and they got a lot of laughter out of it...for one thing it should have died and didn't.  Then it grew into a master specimen, and I had not yet recognized it!  They just thought that to be the funniest thing (and also one of the most diabolical tricks) they have ever done to someone.  He said my face was just RED.
I ended up getting the last laugh, however.  I remember learning when I was over in Germany that they would cut up thistle plants there and rot them in water until they turned black, and that tomato plants just LOVED that water. So I chopped up the thistle plant with the lawn mower and put it into water until it turned black and used it on my tomatoes, and it sure picked them up quite a bit. 
And my neighbor admitted they were the best tomatoes ever!
So, yes, if you do not know you can't do something, you could have great success!
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Tuesday, August 24, 2004 11:45 AM
Subject: Re: [iris-photos] Bleach water

Patrick  --  You remind me that one of the nice things in life is the number of "impossible" things accomplished because nobody told you beforehand that you couldn't. --  Griff 
----- Original Message -----
From: Kitty
Sent: Tuesday, August 24, 2004 11:13 AM
Subject: Re: [iris-photos] Bleach water

. . . .   (One of the things I was told as fact is that you cannot grow SDB's in the desert!  Well, I have tried it and found that to be wrong.  Matter of fact, they rebloom here too!) 
Patrick Orr
Phoenix, AZ  Zone 9

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