Destinations Magazine

Post Mortem Embrace

By Alternativeeden @markngaz

As I was tidying and removing some of the dead plants still dotted around the garden last weekend I noticed this in our utility area (i.e. where some dead plants are also stored to be sorted out later):

Post Mortem Embrace


It's like the long dead Cyathea australis giving the newly dead Yucca thompsoniana a cuddle,  a post mortem embrace. Perhaps it is giving it commiseration or a welcome to plant hades.


The Yucca came to us many years ago bare root and needing TLC so it stayed in the greenhouse for quite some time. Not long after being repotted it flowered which took up a lot of energy from an already ailing plant. And instead of re-rooting, all pre existing roots that it had rotted away instead. It was a slow death for the poor plant as it lingered in the greenhouse for years, finally succumbing this spring despite being given special care all through those times. Nevermind. And so the remaining trunk is now stashed with other architectural lifeless plant bodies in the utility area.


And speaking of demise after flowering, one of my favorite bamboos in the garden, a very slow growing one yet so beautiful with its bright yellow culms with green stripe on its sulcus is flowering...


Post Mortem Embrace

Phyllostachys bambusoides 'Castillonis' 


Post Mortem Embrace

Post Mortem Embrace

Ouch! All culms of this Phyllostachys bambusoides 'Castillonis' are affected. Time will tell if it will be full or partially flowering, with the latter still giving hope that it will survive. If it's the former then this could be its swan song. Apart from the annoyance of losing a beautiful and cherished part of the garden, it'll be a pain too to remove the carcass. Fingers crossed the flowering will just set it back and will recover after this floral episode.


And another beloved plant that is currently flowering, this time in the conservatory...


Post Mortem Embrace

Mangave 'Bloodspot'

I sort of knew that Mangave 'Bloodspot' is short lived and flowers early but I was hoping this won't be the case as we've only had this for a few years and grew from small. Well flowering is indeed the case now and soon after this plant will go to plant hades too. But apparently this plant fortunately sends out a lot of suckers after flowering so fingers crossed this one won't be an exception as I'd love to have several more of this.

A self replacing plant is not always appreciated but definitely for this one it will be!


Mark :-)

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