Sunday, March 20, 2011

A death, and a birth

So last night we had some really wild weather here in the Sillycone Valley. Somewhere around midnight I heard a loud CRASH, from the side of the house. I figured probably something in the trash area had blown over.

So today I head to the side yard with a piece of hose, a screwdriver, a couple of wood screws, and a piece of baling wire, intending to better secure one of the fuchsia bushes whose wire tie had started getting loose, and... the cause of the crash was the fuchsia bush at the end, whose tiedown had snapped and the whole thing had fallen over against the house, uprooted. So I sighed and cut it down all the way to the twigs coming off from the base, hoping that there's enough roots left to support them... and discovered that my layering of those twigs, as they ran along the ground, had actually *worked*. Yes, they had *rooted*.

I hadn't even known that fuchsia would do that. I just saw those branches rambling sideways across the ground last year, and figured, "maybe they'll do like fig trees and root if I dig a little trench and cover part of them." The fuchsia bushes were old and semi-rotted, clearly not healthy, so propagating new fuchsia bushes to take their place was clearly a good idea.

So anyhow, there was three of these twigs that had rooted. I left two of them in place because they were close enough to the fence that the survivor will be in the right place. I cut off the third and buried it deeper further down the fence row, to extend the fuchsia line closer to the back yard. I will water it a couple times a day for the next week in hopes that it actually survives, then taper that off to once a day for the rest of the spring and summer. But I think the chances are pretty good that at least *one* of these will survive.

So my former big pretty fuchsia at the end of the row is no more... but it looks like there will be one, maybe two, to take its place. The cycle of life continues...

-- Badtux the Gardening Penguin


  1. My sis (who lives in El Dorado Hills, not exactly next door to you) lost a ping-pong table to the storm. Like your fuchsia, it lives outside. Unlike your fuchsia, it had a piss-poor root system. And so it was totaled. No word on whether the balls have gone rogue, looking for a beer pong game.

  2. Yes, ping-pong tables don't usually reproduce via layering. If they did, undoubtedly we would have no end of little ping pong tables growing all over the place. And ping pong balls do not reproduce via layering either. Indeed, they seem to incorporate reverse aging devices to UN-reproduce... we have a ping-pong table at the office, we have ping pong paddles, but nobody can ever find any ping-pong balls, even though people keep bringing them in! But imagine if ping pong balls *did* reproduce via layering... wouldn't that be cool, little ping pong tables and ping pong balls sprouting up from the remnants of their parent table and ball?

    - Badtux the Trippin' Penguin

  3. Try wisteria, too - it'll do the same thing and root from shoots. We had a top-heavy one rip a trellis off the house in a storm one year. Absolutely gorgeous when they're blooming (so are fuchsia!) and the butterflies and hummingbirds love them. Alas, they aren't hardy this far north....

    BTW, you'll have to post pix of the survivors this summer!


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