Wednesday, August 29, 2012


For many years, I had a patch of Sempervivum (Hens and Chickens) under a cherry tree. The area against the tree is raised. Grass had taken over the area. Over the past 2 years, I haven't watered it. The area is in direct sun. Yesterday I picked through the grass and found these specimens. The ultimate goal is to remove anything recoverable, then either let it go to grass, or clean the area completely and mulch. The tree is gradually dying, so maybe remove the tree and start over. Meanwhile, here are the Sempervivums. This is a testament to their rugged nature - covered with grass, full sun, and no watering for 2 years. These plants came from my parents' yard in Illinois, years ago. My Dad told me he got them from his parents' yard long before that. I have quite a few others, from the same original two starts that I brought here - but nice to recover these too. They are soft, dried, wrinkly, but I think they are alive. The "tap-root" may just be stem. Blurry. It was evening. These were planted in the Battleground place, in a bed that I recently improved with compost and planted. Planting just involved using a trowel to make a slit in the ground, insert the "root" so that the plant is a ground level, then firm the soil. I did water it in to settle the soil and get them started. As always, "We'll see". I read that Medieval European peasants throw Sempervivum onto their straw roofs to grow and deter lightening strikes. If true, they survived very dry conditions to grow on the roof. So maybe these will recover too.

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