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
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