Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Pom Pom tree

It is hard to generate from photos the magnificence of this tree. It is in almost full bloom now, and the perfume wafts through the house and can be smelt from the front gate when I arrive home. A sort of gardenia and daphne combination perfume
It started off in a jam tin; a weedy sapling 30cm high .It just grew taller, a thin stick that then lost the few leaves it had.
Maddy gave it to us promising a thing of beauty. Hard to imagine. It was a seed from a tree at her chiropodist she said. Eventually from its hidden corner of the garden we retrieved the tin when the twig divided and became 2 then 3 branches, and started to look sturdy.
I'm allergic to lots of grasses so we decided to replace the lawn with garden, eventually digging up some of the back lawn. So we started by planting this in the corner of the grass.
That was about 20 years ago and it has certainly turned into a thing of beauty... at least for 2-3 weeks of the year. We tolerate its other defects because it is so wonderful.
When it was growing taller suddenly one year it looked like it was dying , yellowing & dropping leaves (no flowers at this stage) when we found it in a garden book; African Pom Pom Tree , dais cotonofolia. We were thrilled to read it was semi deciduous!! not dying at all!
The following year it bloomed in all its glory. When it has finished all the flowers dry up and it looks like it is covered in tiny dirty mops! Then they fall on the ground, then the leaves fall and by November is in leaf again. It shoots from wherever it is cut so can be trimmed at will.
A lovely legacy of Maddy's love of gardens!
The other amazing survival story is the Fig tree.
There was a large fig tree in our neighbour's yard A sucker came through the fence and he cut his tree down The sucker kept growing and for years was a good source of fruit in the Summer. Then it got too big and clashed with the space for the Pom Pom tree So we cut it down and little suckers would shoot up, despite being lopped off as they appeared. This year the rain has given it a new lease of life and here it is again!!

1 comment:

Celia said...

It looks great Mich- are you having a viewing or is there no time left for that?