A step outside my door (the only one in my little cottage) and a few steps along my garden walk will bring you to one of the bloomers this time of year. My jade trees. Since it doesn't freeze here, they grow and grow and grow. If given enough water, their leaves are fat and juicy. Since I plant shade-loving plants like ferns and cyclamen under them, they get plenty of water. It's a lovely walk down my garden path with plants peeking out from under the jade trees.
They are like any succulent. They have small root systems. With my generous watering, they can grow more than five feet high. One winter when the heavy rains came, I had quite a surprise. My jade trees started to fall over. The ground was too wet, their heads too heavy. The first one fell into my doorway. I opened my door to check on the heavy rain and there it lay. It gave a real jolt of pain to see one of my friends uprooted and laying the ground. That winter at least two more fell. It was an unexpected change to my garden path. I had to rethink my garden that spring.
I am a bit more experienced with the nuances of the jade tree. It needs to be well pruned, under four feet. Otherwise, the soft soil of the winter rains bring them down. I've had others to fall since that first winter. I want to keep the rest for the shade they offer to my garden plants and for the beautiful white flowers they bring in winter.
Their blossoms look like little white stars. So bright, so light on gloomy winter days. And the fat, luscious leaves are contrast to the blossoms well-worth waiting a year for.
Jade with fern and amaryllis leaf
When they are at the height of their bloom, the petals and pistils turn a light shade of pink, reflecting the blossoms' stems of reddish hue. The edges of the jade leaves join in the melody of red at the edges of their leaves. Such a wonderful climax to the bloom-time.
This part of the bloom bush is almost gone by. The blossoms are drying up and fading away, while some others are still in bud to give a refreshing look at more white stars.
Already in December there were masses of buds and some blooms. I crept out of my sick bed to take some photos. If you look into the blur on the right of the photo you can see the blooms still green, deep within their bud-beds.
Still nascent blooms beside the open stars. This is my favorite time of their bloom, when there is so much promise in all the buds soon to become white stars.
I am at last recuperating from the flu. As with those nasty bugs, they linger far longer than they are welcome. But my body is playing a fugue. When one illness/problem goes away, another emerges in similar theme. different voice. I now have frozen shoulder syndrome, a very painful condition of the shoulder that affects the whole arm and limits range of motion. Thus, I am not able to post or comment as much as I used to. Please forgive me. I miss my blogging hours, which I now have to limit to every few days. Hopefully this fugue will end soon and I can begin a new healthy body oboe sonata.