Wednesday, January 13, 2016
A friend and I were sharing some of the old Shore ‘superstitions’ the other day. Maybe superstition is too strong a name for some of these beliefs or at least sayings, but we found them interesting. The friend came to get some camellia plants from me, since the weather felt like spring time, many of the camellias were in serious bloom-mode, in spite of it being around Christmas. (I mean, 75 on Christmas Eve??? Really?) Anyway, he dug them up and his wife and I potted them in case they did not have time to get them all in the ground before the cold hit again. The conversation started with warning her not to thank me for the plants. The old wives’ tale around here says if you do, the plants will not live. The not thanking someone is a hard habit to break or remember, but there were old folks (back when I was a kid and learned this) who swore it was a truth. So, folks often thank the donor for their kindness or for some other such thing but without mentioning the plants themselves. In fact, some places have the belief that you must not actually GIVE the cuttings or baby plants, but leave them on a garden bench so your friend can “steal” them. Really, now. My friends, who made off with about a dozen baby camellias the other day, just bought a good sized property and all their friends are passing on things from their gardens. They have told me of a number of bits of ‘advice’ from these other plant donors. One thing they were warned about when they first bought the house was to be careful of the old camellias growing there. They have several bushes that were probably planted around the time the house was built so they are probably close to 100 years old. The RE agent warned them not to cut the camellias down or they would be doomed with bad luck. However, they wanted to add a deck and there was a gorgeous old camellia growing right where the deck was going to go. So, they trimmed the bush back and had someone come with a backhoe and dig it up. Its trunk had a diameter of over 5 inches, so it was a real oldie. They moved it to a safe spot where it still struggles, but it is alive. I had several of my older camellias moved like that. Ultimately I did lose one, but the rest are alive and happy. Several were about 8-10 feet tall when I had to have them moved. Yule Tide is about 27 years old now. It has been moved twice. I think it struggled with the last couple bitter cold winters but still it looks good at well over 12 feet. There were several large camellias that came up where they put my Generac generator. I hired a young man to come and dig them out and transplant them. Some survived, some did not, or are just barely surviving with only a few leaves down close to the ground. Like I said, we have had 2 bad winters in a row. But at least I made an effort at trying to keep them. Anyway, if you ever buy a house with any camellias around them, do not cut them down or you will have some serious bad luck. Anyway, I promised to post the camellias that were blooming over Christmas and New Year’s and I am glad I got these shots then because we had a serious freeze a couple nights ago and everybody got frostbite. Enjoy! Do you know any planting superstitions? Daffodils have buds........ and the heat has been on in the tiny greenhouses. Once again, blogger is being - difficult - I seem unable to get the pictures where I want them... but I promised to get this OUT, so, enjoy!