A New Leaf: Updated
Spring has had a positive effect here at the Rancho, and just in time for the garden tour Saturday. Displaying new foliage where two weeks ago there were none, plants that I had given up on have literally sprung to leafy life. My African milk tree was denuded for months, then last week began sprouting new fleshy crimson leaves at the ends of its scarred branches. This plant appeals to me because when it’s in full leaf it looks like an attractive ‘regular’ shrub. However, touching the leaves reveals an odd rubbery texture … (Note: A euphorbia, this plant produces an irritating milky sap, which should be avoided at all costs. I love this plant but approach it with caution. Click here for an earlier post on these attractive, but toxic, plants.) Let’s turn over more new leaves …
A couple of weeks ago I was trying to decide if I should forget about my snaky ocotillo: It looked like a completely dead, and desiccated, tangle of thorns. Then suddenly, it took on a greenish cast; a close look revealed that tiny oval leaves were sprouting between the thorns. Click twice on this picture to get a good look at these leafy miracles.
Even though we were told at purchase that our honey locust tree was deciduous, we were so alarmed by its complete loss of foliage in the fall that we called the nursery. All through the winter months it was completely, and utterly, bare. We were really afraid that we’d made a mistake buying this tree … then, around two weeks ago, little bitty yellow buds began to appear along its dark branches. And, those buds haven’t stopped growing since, turning into what Paul calls ‘ostrich plumes’ that flutter attractively in the breeze. This honeyed foliage is so intensely colorful it almost seems lit from within, and it’s grown so much that we can now see its intense yellow top from the backyard. It’s a true standout!
This last leafy offering is a painting I did titled ‘Impromptu Mask’. It’s not new, having been painted in 2005, but I’m offering this painting as a signed giclée print — 20″ x 20″, suitable for framing — to a commenter drawn at random from this blog post. Leave a comment of any sort here, and on Sunday after the garden tour is ended, I’ll put the names of all commenters in a hat and Paul will draw the winner’s name. Winner will be contacted, and the print will be sent to them via US Postal Service. This impromptu contest is a way for me to say thanks to all RR readers as I celebrate my 35,000th hit — I appreciate you all!
UPDATE: We’ve had our drawing, and with each commenter on this post having a 50/50 chance of winning, Dustin of non-secateur blog is the winner of the signed print of my painting. Congrats, Dustin, I’ll make arrangements for you to receive it.