Cough, cough, cough, that's the story of my life for the past few days. I've been pretty much housebound till recently as I help my body recover itself from chest infection, and been doing a good job of it so far! I do miss the garden and it was only yesterday when, feeling I've got enough spare energy going, was able to venture outside and do a quick inspection. It was lovely to see the garden I must say, a great feeling just stepping outside and seeing the general greenery. But the realities are also there, it is the tail end of winter after all, and some plants are showing signs of weariness, and there are the usual pockets that needs tidying up in preparation for spring.
They can wait for now, too much hard work for my currently ailing body and best reserved on healthier days. But I was itching to do something, something that contributes to the spring tidy up but at the same time not so labour intensive as to tire me out of the little spare energy I've got.
And that's when I spotted 'the boys', and some of them are due a haircut. Perfect! Not too tiring a job but just as rewarding! So with the sharpest secateurs on hand, scissors just nearby, and a bit of Sweeny Todd character in mind (with less intent to kill) I started the job in a flash and was most pleased with the results.
The 'boys' I'm referring to are some of the plants on our top patio near the house, and their 'heads' needs some tidying up!
In my eagerness to do the deed I forgot to take some before shots, only after shots but I managed to find older photos taken the past few years to give an idea what they looked like prior to their trim.
|Before - Yucca rostrata (extreme right)|
|Before - Yucca thompsoniana|
The third one, the tallest of the lot is a Yucca linearifolia (green form). I decided to withold the secateurs as I thought it looked nice the way it is, untouched. It is tall enough that the old leaves neatly falling to the sides doesn't obstruct the view of the trunk nor it detracts from the symmetry of the head. Some 'gents' do look good with a bit of facial hair!
|Yucca linearifolia (green form)|
Now a group shot of the Yuccas, with the big Dasylirion quadrangulatum amongst them. Only the Dasylirion will remain as it is placed now, all the Yuccas will be planted out in the next few weeks. I'm slightly worried about this as Yucca roots are notoriously brittle, and if done haphazardly you could easily break off all of the existing roots in the process. All those years of getting them well rooted again could go be in vain, if I lose them it will be like starting all over again, not to mention setting them back too. And almost always they would need some form of staking to keep them as straight up as possible, until they are well established and rooted in their planting area. As the photo illustrates, they have the tendency to lean in whatever direction they wish without the support of an adequate stake (and the stake of the Y. linearifolia clearly isn't good enough). It'll be fun and games come the time we plant them out. If we need to break off the pot then so be it, my main concern is preserve as much of the existing rootball as possible.
Speaking of the Dasylirion quadrangulatum, all it needed was a very light trim. What needed doing was some 'hair teasing' as I used a stick to tease off some of the dead bamboo leaves that have accumulated in between its leaves. They are prone to accumulate debris on their crown so it's best to tease off the debris from time to time to keep them looking attractive.
Last one on to the barber's chair is a much smaller Dasylirion quadrangulatum. All I do to protect it in the winter is truss up the leaves and bubble wrap the pot. Despite the small caudex, it has a big footprint for its size as the leaves form a lovely, symmetrical sphere that sways with the breeze, gorgeous! I trussed it last year with no effects to the leaves nor its symmetry. This year, when I untrussed it the outer and middle leaves were pointing all over the place, in different direction, and strange enough it reminded me of the hair of the Cat Lady character in the Simpsons (my imagination can get overactive at times!).
|Before - small Dasylirion quadrangulatum (right side)|
|smaller Dasylirion quadrangulatum|
|Astelia nervosa 'Westland'|
But the barber is too tired to sort out such a complicated job. I'll sleep over it now, maybe I'll tackle it tomorrow energy permitting!