Mister Guy's Suburban Jungle Waking Up

Sun Red Nectarine Blooming.

Bell of Georgia Peach

The weather lady this morning warned not too get too confident with tender plants, so here’s a picture of my pineapples, marigolds, tomatoes and eggplant starting in my flower bed.

Starts of my future “tea hedge”.

Something I learned this spring is that brown wood in a row with brown mulch looks all nicely lined up, but if you paint the trunks white, it’s SUPER FREAKING OBVIOUS one apple tree in the middle of the row is about three inches behind the rest of them. Dang it all.

Finally, a visitor to my yard! I have no idea how many times it’s been through before, but this is the first time I’ve seen him! It was very difficult to get a good picture because of how high that branch is off the ground. It’s roughly the height of the ceiling of my second story windows. Watching him leave that spot was really impressive that evening, I expected the racoon to need to come down to the ground and leave over my fence, but he went UP to the tiniest branches in the top of the oak, out to the very very end, which bent down in order for him to step out onto a branch of that big pine tree in the background. I wouldn’t have expected a squirrel to have been able to make it, but this big ol racoon did it just fine! It’s so far off the ground I couldn’t really get a wide enough angle picture to show where he was without having to be SO far back as to make him indistinct and the branches hard to discern. Whatever little blue bird that was harassed the crap out of him; they obviously didn’t appreciate a hobo in their tree!


At first (before I read your description) we thought that was a cat lying in wait, but now I see the racoon. I think the bird is a tufted titmouse, or one of its near cousins, but I don’t have time to check right now.

We saw a big old porcupine way up in a cottonwood the other day -hard to believe the little branches were big enough to hold him!

Yes, Tufted Titmouse, Mark, and he was harrassing the heck out of the racoon because they go up trees to steal bird’s eggs. Very nice photos, Rob, thanks for sharing! Where are you in the country to be able to grow pineapples? Did you start them yourself from the tops of store-bought pineapples?

Patty S.

I have two types, I have smooth cayenne from store bought tops, and I ordered a couple slips of “White Jade”. I wouldn’t be surprised if I end up with more spikey ferns than a fruiting plant, but my gardening technique can largely be described as “poor impulse control”, so I tried for fun. My thought is that since Pineapples are pretty poor rooters, they don’t seem to be very effected by lifting them and potting them up for the winter, so that’s what I’ve been doing.

I’m in North Carolina, in Raleigh, so we get a super hot long growing season most years. At the very least, the pineapples are large enough and spikey enough to discourage my labs from bulldozing the flower bed on their way to bark at rabbits hiding under the shed.

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They like our southeastern summers. I’ve fruited a few. They were SO much sweeter than any from the store. It takes about 1.5 to 2 years before they’re ready to make fruit when grown here. In the meantime, they are interesting and easy care landscape and house plants.

Well, I better save my tops, then. Apparently, they grow like weeds here in San Diego county, lol!

Patty S.

Patty, they should be GREAT choice for growing there. They can survive with very little water.

Yup, they’re bromeliads, and my yard is FILLED with other bromeliads that I basically ignore. In fact, we have one of the largest commercial growing grounds for bromeliads here in Vista, Kent’s Bromeliads. I see their trucks driving around town. Have considered hijacking one, and diverting it to my yard on occasion, lol!

@MuddyMess_8a do you bring yours in over the winter?

Pineapples? Yes. I’ve treated them like plumeria or the sansevaria (sp?) before and given them almost no water for the winter. They did fine. If they have bright and you want them to continue to grow over winter, then they need some water now and then.

Your pkg went to the post office today. Your jungle is going to look even more jungley! :smile:

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Excelsor Plum leafed out, figs tucked underneath in the nursery row (from @jkuo) . I moved this plum from the shady end of the row to the sunny end of the row this winter.

Brown Turkey Fig scion tucked into the nursery row under some lettuce (from @MuddyMess_8a)

Remaining figs from @jkuo tucked into the shade by my deck, these two figs seemed bothered by the light received by the nursery row so I put them someplace shadier for a couple days. That’s also my order of scionwood from Big Horse Creek. I really could have made that wood go a LOT farther, but I used the entire stick because I had more scion wood than rootstock this year.

This is a flavor supreme scion from @danzeb . It was starting to wake up in the mail by the time I got it, so I put it directly on the most vigorously growing and largest Marianna 2624 in the yard with a cleft graft. The weather has been downright hot this week, but there’s some cool weather coming for the weekend so I’m a little nervous for it. I’ve heard bad stories about scions sending out a few inches then stalling out, I was wondering how soon I could be confident that it took. Grafted 5 days ago.

It’s March 17th, of COURSE it’s already so hot the lettuce needed a shade cloth.

It may be a little ugly, but it looks like my notching worked!

I spent all year trying to get this pond built from a left over pool liner to have clear water and finally this winter dug out some settlement tanks off to the side and completely redid how the waterfall goes through the gravel to water a “hydroponicish” garden in the filter, and it’s frigging sprung a handful of leaks, only a few of which I’ve found, and with at least one more in there. So frustrating. I finally attracted a frog to my pond, and he’s not telling me where the leak is. Rude.


The one thing tainting my joy with my garden waking up is reading all the negative comments and reviews on the nursery where such a large portion of my stone fruit came from.

Hartland Cherry Blooming, hasn’t fruited (from Raintree)

This is supposed to be a sunred nectarine. It hasn’t fruited yet, and I have to admit, I wasn’t expecting the fruitlets to be so fuzzy. Do nectarines lose their fuzz later, or should I worry about the variety? (From Willis)

So, any initial impression on what type of mulberry this is? I highly doubt it’s correctly marked. Hasn’t bloomed, has not grown vigorously (From Willis).

So question, the stick on the right was the original main trunk of this allegedly Fuyu Persimmon. The right trunk died, and this other trunk is taking over. I can’t figure out if it’s from the scion or the rootstock. Any guesses?

There’s some kind of disease/pest pressure on the moonglow that other other pears aren’t exhibiting. It hasn’t been treated with anything. Since it’s not fruiting yet, I was thinking of hitting it with the Bayer Imidacloprid product I have.

Finally, eagerly waiting to be able to declare success on some grafts:

Flavor Supreme, 16 days old, was pushing a little at time of graft. Slugs not being my friend.

Dixie Red Delight, ~20 days, showing some swell. I tried using a smaller piece of scion wood in the hopes of being able to conserve scion wood in the future.

Dapple Dandy and a Black Ruby sharing a cleft.


Any identification yet on what kind of mulberry this is:

Grafting Progress

Shenandoah on M111

Dapple Dandy and Black Ruby in the same cleft, Dapple pushing growth and Black Ruby swelling buds but not through parafilm yet. Marianna 2624

Dapple Dandy and Black Ruby on Marianna 2624, Black ruby pushing growth, Dapple Dandy not doing much.

Flavor Supreme on Marianna 2624. Slugs have really hit it hard so I’m not sure if it’s just struggling to grow or if it’s just facing too much pest pressure.


This may be my ONLY plum this year. I severely over pruned due to transplanting and got very little flowers at all, all spaced out. Excelsior Plum. There’s a tiny little guy next to him I may leave even though it’s so close, if it keeps growing. It’s hard to complain about total crop loss when you were expecting your first real crop, but at least it should be easy to bag and keep clean and perfect. Oh well, hopefully I’ll get really vigorous vegetative growth and get the tree to full size this year. Full size as determined by pruning choices.

I’m pretty confident that Pruden’s looks like the first blossom already set it’s fruit.

Sunred Nectarine, hopefully. First fruit for this tree.


Black Ruby from @rayrose looking pretty good on Marianna 2624, cleft graft and parafilmed all the way up.

Another Black Ruby in the background sharing a cleft with a Dapple Dandy from @danzeb. I pinched back the black ruby because it was growing so vigorously and the Dapple Dandy is really struggling. I also have a couple other black ruby grafts going so it didn’t seem like a big risk.

This is another of the same combo, Dapple Dandy in the rear. The Dapple Dandy was doing pretty well it seemed until a slug ate a lot of it, then the cold weather hit again. I’m hoping it perks back up but it looks rough. I was vaguely considering bagging it with a sandwich bag.

The happiest of the figs @jkuo sent me. Believe this is the Valle Calda.

My “bonsai” apple tree. I germinated some seeds from a big tasty Macoun apple, from a trip my wife and I took apple picking in New Hampshire. This seedling had really pretty leaves so I potted it up. I intend to keep this one pot bound and pretty, and incorporate it into the “scenery” around the fish pond I’ve been working on. I’ll probably take a chip bud from it later this year and try sticking a branch at an unfilled wire on my apple hedges to see what comes of it.

Probably not impressive to any of you, but this is the first year I managed to get successive plantings of lettuce into my yard early enough and vigorously growing enough to actually have both salad mix from wide planted leaf lettuce but also have actual heads of buttercrisp types. I know, a head of lettuce, my life IS that dull.


Nothing like a beautiful head of lettuce! Enjoy!

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The mulberry is most likely a variety of Morus alba. That is not to say that it will have white fruit, as many Morus alba varieties are dark. The key will be if it develops long, straight canes. I bought one from Willis in 2009 that looks like yours (was supposed to be a Persian mulberry). So far it has produced mainly male flowers with very few female fruit. I believe mine is a seedling tree, since seven years later it is only producing a dozen or so small, tasteless fruit, which usually drop off before ripening.Grafted trees, or trees propagated from cuttings usually produce fruit in a couple years.

Beautiful pictures! Is your tea plant a Camellia Sinensis? I have been contemplating on getting one or two plants for container gardening. I am a big tea drinker, and, I grow a number of herbs for my passion.

Yes they are Tea Breeze Camila Sinensis. I don’t think I had them in big enough containers two years ago, the first year, and they didn’t grow much at all. Then I put them in the ground in some fairly deep shade last year and they also grew very poorly. This winter I put them in my bright sun row and they are just starting to grow so I will see how they do. My original vision was growing them into a hedge but right now I am trying not to kill them.

Should I pick these off in order to let the plant grow more?

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