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Plants from a Friend

Went to see my dear Russian friend today. She is 86 and has much more energy than I do. I've gotten so many of my plants from her, and she from me as well.

It's strange how we met. My friend and I, another fellow gardener, were always riding by her house and wondering what was behind the hedge. We knew she gardened, because she frequented the garden center not far away where I lived for awhile. As luck would have it, she was working in the front yard, so we stopped and asked if we could see her yard. She was thrilled, and took us on a guided tour.

Now her yard is not very large, only a regular 1/4 acre city lot, but it is full to the brim with the most amazing plants. She had a bank of huge bromeliads, you know the kind that sell for $50 and up at garden centers, that she wanted dug up, and said she would give them to me if I dug them, so I volunteered. I made a date to come back that week on my day off, and I drove off with a car slap full of these beauties, which I promptly planted along the back of my house in a bed I had been wanting to redo.

After that, we I would bring her little snips and seeds, and she would give me little snips and seeds, and the friendship grew, along with our yards and gardens. We started eventually giving each other potted plants that we had acquired or grown ourselves. She seems to have the magic touch when it comes to rooting things. She would give me a ton of cuttings of something she said just had to be "stuck in the ground and forgotten", which I would do, and it would nevertheless die.

So now I just ask for the easy ones, or ask me to root one of something for me. Today, I caught her again out in the yard, transplanting bromeliads, and she had to show me all she had been doing, and gave me some of what she called her "weeds"...a huge clump of baby's tears, another large clump of blackberry lilies, and a gardenia I have yet to identify. She also gave me a pot full of an unidentified ground cover she said she was throwing out. Neither of us could figure out what it is.

So I have new plants, and research to do. I'll post pictures and i.d.'s when I have them all planted and in the garden.

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