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TRIPPING LIGHTLY
by Carol Eguia

This column expresses the personal opinions/views of the writer. If you would like to express your opinions/views regarding the column, write a SIGNED letter to the editor. Name can be withheld by request with a valid day time and phone number.

Any plant that I want to save through the winter at my house goes into the greenhouse or upstairs in the attic, as we call it. The plumerias are pulled up out of their pots, the dirt shaken off of their roots, and into a garbage bag to wait for spring in the attic. Other things go up to the attic, too, but thatís a whole different story.

One year, I did put a bougainville that was in a hanging basket up there, and it rewarded me by dropping every leaf on the rug to vent its displeasure, and continued to pout for weeks. I kept watering it, but told that naked bush it was "not going out to play in the greenhouse." (I talk to most all my plants).

About the second week in February, it was so stressed out, it broke out in cascades of beautiful blooms that remained until it went back outside in the spring. This year that "boogerbush", as I call it, because of all those awful thorns, spent the winter out in the greenhouse, where I donít have to vacuum up dropped leaves and now itís back out on the front porch.

When I lived in Missouri City, I had an apple tree in my backyard. Someone bought a gazillion of them and one of the former editors of the Star thought that if anyone in Missouri City could grow apples, it would be me. Was she ever wrong. I grew exactly one apple, and was so proud of it that I didnít pick it Ďtil it was long past tasty, but if you have never grown apples, you donít know when theyíre ripe, at least I didnít. After that one apple crop, the tree died, and I wasnít really surprised. There may be some of those gazillion apple trees still growing somewhere in Missouri City.

In Fort Bend County, we also had a fig tree that was covered with figs every year. In addition, it was always covered with mockingbirds, cardinals, sparrows and blue jays, plus cowbirds, starlings and boat-tailed grackles. The fig tree that I have in Houston is covered with squirrels and mockingbirds and cardinals and blue jays, etc. and a very few figs. The squirrels eat my figs while they are waiting for my pecans. They eat those pecans in August, long before they are ready. I see those squirrels coming down the telephone wires all the way from Richmond to eat my pecans, so all I get from that pecan tree is the leaves in the fall. Nothing eats the leaves and since pecan leaves are toxic, I have to rake them up for the garbage man, canít even leave them on the ground for mulch.

Things I tried to grow in East Fort Bend County did well. Of course, most of Fresno has sandy loam and at my house, not too many trees, so growing things got lots of sun. Also, with no trees there were no squirrels. Plenty of rabbits and armadillos, but no squirrels to speak of.

One o f our friends in Fresno planted 13 peach trees that A&M claimed would grow well in our area, and did they! There were so many peaches on those trees that the limbs on several of them split right down to the roots and of course, killed those trees. It was almost impossible to prop up the limbs under the weight of all those peaches so they tried picking some of them off to give the remaining ones room. I will say the peaches that made it were delicious. A&M was right.

Another things that grows well in East Fort Bend County is frogs, bullfrogs, and Iíll tell you about that later.


 


 
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   Last Update:  September 17, 2003