|A bit silly-looking, isn't it?|
That's a photo of my Jacaranda mimosifolia 'Bonsai Blue' taken yesterday. I took several photos of it from different angles at different times in the hope that seeing it in a different light would make it look better. It didn't.
I've always loved Jacaranda trees. Although native to South America, the bluish-purple flowering trees have become emblems of early summer in Southern California. I even planted one in my former tiny townhouse garden. That garden was both too small and too shady for it so it had to come out. I resisted the allure of the dwarf Jacaranda when it was introduced but eventually brought one home in November 2016.
|This photo, taken in early May 2017, shows it at its best. It even had a small cluster of flower buds.|
It may have flowered lightly one more time but, if so, I have no photographic record of that event. Last fall I questioned whether I should take it out when I dug up the bed it occupied to remove my rampant native aster.
|This is what it looked like in late September 2021 after I'd cleared the area surrounding it. I gave it a light pruning and decided it was looking good enough to give it another year in place.|
In my climate, Jacarandas drop their old leaves when they flower, producing new foliage soon afterwards. My dwarf tree has been gradually losing its leaves over the past two months but there's no sign it's going to bloom and it's now looking more spindly than ever, sporting a topknot of fresh foliage on a bare central stem well above the foliage at its base.
|This photo shows the clump of foliage at the top of one otherwise bare 4-foot stem|
Full-sized Jacarandas reportedly take eight years to reach maturity and bloom. Even if mine was two years old when I purchased it, by that measure it may not yet be fully mature but I'm once again on the fence about whether it deserves the space it occupies. I may allow it to coast through the end of this year to see if its appearance improves. If no additional foliage develops to balance out its current form, I may cut back that central leader to see if pruning helps it fill out; however, if I come across a better option to fill its current spot, it may go sooner rather than later.
Yesterday afternoon, we had yet another mass shooting in the US, costing at least 19 school children their lives. Following on the heels of two other very recent attacks by madmen with guns, I'm livid with the failure of the US Congress to enact reasonable gun control. After each incident, we go through the same meaningless discussions about "hardening" schools and encouraging people to report "signs" of madness. None of that has worked. It'll never be enough until we take control of our nation's gun problem. Perhaps, instead of school uniforms, parents should purchase body armor for their kids? Instead of investing in sport programs, schools should invest in metal detectors? Maybe we need armored vehicles to take children to and from school to prevent them from being picked off outside those "hardened" facilities? We've had over 200 mass shootings in the US already this year. Schools, churches, supermarkets, concerts, public transportation - is anywhere safe? What's the magic number of mass killings needed to get Congress over its self-interested fear of the gun lobby? 300? 500? 1000? I'm beyond disgusted with our elected leaders. Lily-livered cowards. Self-important, self-centered creeps.
I apologize for attaching a rant to a garden post. Trying to compartmentalize my thoughts isn't working for me this morning.
All material © 2012-2022 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party