Victory Garden ;)

As some of you know – I likes me the gardening. I blame it on my favorite uncle, Ken who’s nickname in the family is Farmer. Ken is the big brother I never had (12 years older than me) and I followed him around like a puppy when I was a kid. Ken always gardened (on as big a scale as possible), and he and I have often spent hours talking about nothing but what’s going on in his giant garden up on the ranch.

In pondering leaving California, yet again, one of the things I’ve whined about most has been the fact that certain things from here will not grow in WV. My orchids will be ok (they’ll be dormant by the time we move, so they can come). And my mother has made me promise that when we go I will dig up the Sheer Bliss rose and bring it with us (though I drew the line at digging up the 12 ft. tall apple tree!). But certain things that I wanted to plant when we moved to a house here in California, just will not make it in WV. There will be no orange, lemon, or avocado trees, no bougainvilleas, and no jacaranda trees.

Or will there?

Over the last couple days I’ve been looking online for ways to get around this circumstance – no I did not come up with a plan for a weather machine, though if global warming keeps on at this rate, I won’t need one.

I knew there was the possibility of dwarf orange, lemon, and avocado trees that can be planted in giant pots and wheeled inside during the winter. But, as far as I knew there was nothing to be done about the bougainvillea and jacaranda situations.

Jacarandas, for anyone from a part of the world not graced with these lovely creatures, are native to South America, and have a sort of light, airy, fern-like foliage, and gorgeous bluish-purple blossoms in the spring. They’re all over So Cal (there's one right outside my bedroom window here at the condo), and also very popular in parts of Arizona, Florida, Australia, and South Africa. I love them tremendously! But they do not like the cold.

I was always under the impression that they could not tolerate frost at all (they like to live in places equivalent to the USDA map’s Zone 9 or warmer .. btw, where we will be in WV is zone 5/6 – a huge difference), but after reading more online I found out that, actually, they can handle some cold temperatures. They don’t like it – and any amount of freezing weather can damage them, but if it’s not too bad, they’ll live – and apparently, be stronger for it. I found this very encouraging, but still didn’t think they’d make it in WV (even with global warming).

But then I found a website that mentioned the possibility of turning them into bonsai jacarandas!

I really know nothing about bonsai yet, but after reading some online the last few days it seems you can do it to almost any tree / woody shrub. Jacarandas, apparently, work pretty well as bonsai – though several sites said it can be tricky to get them to bloom (and they say some just never will). But I found a site that sells 20 Jacaranda seeds for less than $4 – so that’s a whole lot of trying to get it right for a very small investment. I also found a website that sells an entire kit for growing bougainvilleas as bonsai (yay!), and also Giant Sequoias and Coastal Redwoods (as bonsai!?!). Is it just me, or is the irony of growing the world’s largest trees as bonsai the most deliciously funny thing you’ve ever heard of? Personally, I love it and intend to give that a try as well.

So, I’m actually thrilled at the idea of being able to figure out how to get tiny little flowering jacarandas for every room of the WV house … I know, I know, I’m easily pleased, lol ;)

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