So here’s a list of what all I’ve planted so far:
Two purple, one white, and one orange bougainvillea
Two frangipani which might be counted as one
Four canna lilies, of which two in the reed bed (supposed to be hydroponic)
Two neem trees
A chickoo seed
Three pots of verbena not planted, still in their pots
One Jasmine creeper
Here’s the list of the casualties, so far:
The orange bougainvillea – the poor thing was planted right on top of the foundation of the boundary wall. Even so, it might have survived – the other three have survived and are beginning to flourish – but when I took this one out of the bag it was in, the soil was so wet it fell apart in my hands and the entire root was exposed. I think that was the beginning of the end for this poor thing, but the end of the end was the flooding it received when the tank was emptied out. Amit says it simple fell out of the ground – it hadn’t taken root at all. Oh, well. Certainly not the first boug to have died under my care. Sob.
One lot of petunias. We put one lot in the sun – since common wisdom has it that flowers need sun – and the other lot in the shade. What do you think happened? The one in the sun withered up and died after a couple of weeks. The one in the shade flourished. Unfortunately, only the leaves; it gave no more flowers. I’ve moved it to a bright sunny spot now, so I expect it to die soon, too. Luckily, I don’t feel too much for pretty little flowers.
The award winners for status quo are:
The canna lilies. One is in bright sunshine; two are in the reed bed where the water-conservationist architect says they will grow hydroponically; one is in the back, where it gets only afternoon sun. And all four are in an advanced state of status quo – neither a bloomer nor a dead thing.
The runner up award in this category goes to the lemon tree, which is also just hanging around, looking the same from day to day and week to week.
Coming up fast on the tail end is the hibiscus. After delighting us with a flower every other day for maybe three weeks, it’s now settled down to bloom once in a way in a rather dispirited manner.
The non-starters are:
The chickoo seed. Amit thinks I should give up on it.
The verbena. I had kept the pots in a somewhat shady place, where they got a thorough drenching in the rain some days ago. Now I’ve moved them into direct day-long sunlight. They don’t seem to mind either way, as long as they aren’t expected to flower or anything.
And finally, what everyone is waiting to find out, the star performers:
The curry patta is doing surprisingly well. It’s got a burst of new leaves. Amazing.
The three surviving bougs are looking very happy, with plenty of new bracts showing up. It’s very satisfying, because I love boug, but also because at some point each one of them looked like they were on their last legs. Also, these were the first things I planted in this garden, so it’s reassuring that they’re doing ok.
The biggest surprise of all, something of a shock, actually, is… even if you look back at the list of stuff at the top of this post, I’m guessing you’ll never guess this one… it’s the frangipani tree. After looking deader than a doorpost for about two months, it’s suddenly showing signs of life. I was so shocked I almost fell down when I saw it. Two little shoots of green have emerged near the top of the dead-looking stumps. I must say – life is supremely persistent. This is not a particularly good-looking tree, especially not as a stump. Yet… it is still capable, in its apparently inert state, of returning to life.
A friend told me – apparently with no intention of comforting me, but just casually mentioning a general fact – that in her experience, you could expect maybe half of the stuff you plant to fail. By that benchmark, I’m doing ok so far.