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Re: More demons of ignorance, arrogance, and darkness

Cathy, you are a marvel of tact.
----- Original Message ----- From: "Cathy Carpenter" <cathy.c@insightbb.com>
To: <gardenchat@hort.net>
Sent: Wednesday, April 26, 2006 2:36 PM
Subject: Re: [CHAT] More demons of ignorance, arrogance, and darkness

Apropos of this thread.... I volunteered to help clean up the median strips on the street that leads into Quincy from the bridge across the Mississippi from Missouri. They had received many complaints about how "weedy" it was. It had been planted in native prairie plants using state beautification money. Yes, there were some weeds (dandelion, burdock, etc) but the majority of the prairie plants - tons of prairie dropseed, echinacea, rudbeckia, coreopsis, etc had great potential, if people just have patience. I persuaded the city planner to give it another year and observe the plants and layout, and if there were still complaints, till some in the middle of the bed and plant something that might get the complainers off her back, preserving the rest. Also suggested that the complainers be invited to come out and contribute on the next "work day"!

Cathy, west central IL, z5b

On Apr 25, 2006, at 2:32 PM, james singer wrote:

Last evening I got an e-mail from a reporter in the Venice bureau of the Sarasota Herald. She found me via "Dave's Garden." She wanted to know if she could quote something I'd written on DG about night blooming cereus. Then she asked me if I was aware of what had happened to one of 80-year-old night blooming cereus plants in an older neighborhood on Venice island. I said I wasn't.

Turns out that a woman, Ms. Ruth, now in her 80s, "planted" night blooming cereus on two palm trees [Phoenix canariensis] in the median in front of her house in the mid-1940s. I don't know which genus of NBC they are--they're an epiphyte and their vegetative body is cylindrical, about the diameter of a hot dog but in much longer stems. For the last 30 or so years, the annual blooming of these two plants has been occasion for a block party; many neighbors gathered in Ms. Ruth's front courtyard at sundown and waited until the cacti flowers open.

Last year, the reporter told me, the assembled neighbors counted more than 200 blooms. It must have been beyond glorious.

About a week ago, a young city park's department employee cut the NBC off one of the palms before he could be stopped. "I was told to clean up street trees," he said. "And I thought this one was ugly." Here are two pictures I took this AM; one is of the remaining "ugly" tree, the other is of the beautified tree. If you know anything about pruning P. canariensis, you'll find the beautified tree looks like it was trimmed by Freddy Krueger.


Island Jim
Southwest Florida
27.0 N, 82.4 W
Hardiness Zone 10
Heat Zone 10
Minimum 30 F [-1 C]
Maximum 100 F [38 C]

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