Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Sprucing Up the Palm Tree: BEFORE and AFTER

"The palm tree looks bare," I said pulling on my gardening gloves.
"Palm trees are bare," Mr. Wonderful said looking up from his manga comic book.
"The tree's so tall you can't see its foliage."
"Palm trees are tall."
"It looks like a utility pole."
"Palm trees are unity poles!"

Mr. Wonderful was good and correct at many things especially digging trenches, breaking up concrete and reading a whole 20-volume manga comic book series in 2.6 seconds. He was also correct that our palm tree was a utility pole since the cable company had attached its cable to it with a hook and nail. And yes my spouse was correct that our Mexican Fan Palm tree was tall; 70 feet, to be exact. And oh, alright! He was also correct that palm trees were void of foliage unless you craned your head back, grabbed a telescope and looked at Venus and then a little to the right. 

But still! Such a tall, bare utility pole could be beautiful if I just added some colorful foliage to make it look more like a tree and less like the leg of an elephant. Albeit a very tall elephant. 

My first thought was Bougainvillea. Who doesn't love the fuchsia pink petal-like leaves of that gorgeous plant? Just imagine I'd have a palm tree wrapped in a pink confection like a princess or upside-down stick of cotton candy. Of course I'd have to fight the thorns because every thing of beauty has a sharp side, like roses, cacti and pop music stars with their security details.  

On second thought, I could go with green ivy. Ivy grows everywhere and up anything, if I really wanted something at my eyesight to look at, I could wrap my tree in ivy and presto! Get a lot of leafy foliage to look at. Of course the tree would resemble the Jolly Green Giant, or worse, a verdant version of Chewbaca from Star Wars. Grrrrrfff!

On third thought, I could go with something cool and laid back. Cool as in blue-colored and laid back as in low maintenance. That's it! I had me at "low maintenance".

I opted for Senecio vitalis "Serpents", which is just a fancy Latin name for Blue Chalk Sticks. I planted the little blue succulents around the base of the tree and ran a drip hose around them. Just because they're succulents doesn't mean they don't need a little moisture. Then I showed Mr. Wonderful.

"The palm tree's still bare," Mr. Wonderful said looking at its trunk.
"Palm trees are bare," I said taking off my garden gloves.
"The tree looks like a utility pole."
"Palm trees are unity poles!"
"The little blue things around the base are cool."
"You like them?" my heart skipped a beat.
"They're cool looking."
"And they're low maintenance."
"Cool," he said patting my shoulder.

Cool and colorful indeed!