Friday, July 06, 2007

illness, death and destruction

it's been a week of mini catastrophes. My little one's just recovered from viral bronchitis and the wind's been a howling gale setting my nerves all a jitter.

A few streets from us lives an old italian couple who, over the last 45 years, have cultivated one of those typical old italian couple gardens. Full of amazing and unusual succulents that grow to triffid sized proportions. I walk past it every day and always stop to marvel. There's the Tractor Seat Plant whose leaves are the size and shape of - yep - a tractor seat and the Kalanchoe Felt Bush with giant stiff velvety leaves. There's a cactus that stands twice as high as the house with a trunk two foot in diameter and branches that weave and curve in all sorts of crazy directions in the sky and directly underneath that is a perfect Dracaena Draco which is one of my all time favourite trees. You can probably see where this is going, especially when i say there were all these wonderful things - on Sunday night the mighty wind ripped the cactus out of the ground and it crashed down crushing everything under it. The beautiful Dragon Tree is decimated and the old man was telling me that last year someone knocked on their door and offered them $10 000 (i'll put that in words - ten thousand dollars!) for it but they weren't interested in selling it.

Anyway, they kindly let me take what i could of the draco because they'd called rubbish removalists and it was all just going to be cleared away. Most of it was underneath the cactus and impossible to get to but i did manage to salvage a few stem cuttings which are about as big as me. I've got no idea if i'll be able to get them to strike, i don't think it's easy - they're prone to rotting. If anyone's got any tips let me know.

And finally this week, we woke up this morning to find our guinea pigs dead and gone. One's dead, the other's gone presumed dead and the big heavy cage had been knocked around and the wire rolled up. The incriminating evidence at the scene suggests a black and white cat (which is often in our garden) but how the fuck a cat can roll up chicken wire and have the strength to move a box that big and heavy i guess we'll never know.

Maisy and Popcorn we'll miss you.

1 comment:

Emma A said...

Wow, you have had a lot going on! That is so sad about your guinea pigs, and very wierd, I can't see either how a cat could do that to chicken wire. My little girl (nearly four) has also been ill, a cold that developed into pneumonia, it cleared up really well on antibiotics, she has been back to normal for a few days now -boy was it freaky to hear of this Influenza A strain in the news that can kill children within 24 hours, and to hear of 3 under-5's dying just recently from it in Perth. Made me just shiver, those poor, poor families.
And all those amazing cactuses/cacti being ruined, what a shame! I took a cutting off one of my own draceneas but it didn't take, the base rotted like you said they can. Hard to get the balance right of keeping it watered correctly without getting it too wet - good luck.