Virtual Gardens

garden thumbnail

Click on the thumbnail of the garden map for a larger view showing the precise locations of the gardens. Click on one of the garden areas in the frame to the left to see the plants which are there. (If you do not see a frame to the left -- refresh the page

Most of the plants exhibited are drought resistant. Gourds and some corns, beans and peppers are drought resistant. Yarrow, Achilleamilleforlium, is a drought resistant perennial flower containing over 120 compounds, many with medicinal properties.

Palm Tree Memorial One of the many plants spwned by the late great palm

The obelisk.  What is left of the late great palm

Virtual Gardens is dedicated to our miraculous Palm tree (circa 1965 -- 1998).   It had a heart, a thick trunk, and green fan fronds reaching up from the top. As new fronds grew, the older ones would dry out and dangle from the upper trunk.  The wind blew through them in such a way that it looked and sounded like the tree was breathing and more alive than any animal.

Over the years it grew tall, narrowly missing cable T.V. and ordinary electrical wires.   When it came close to the high high voltage line, the Edison company began to trim it.   In 1997, they cut the top off!  This, we read, meant that the tree had met its doom.   Furiously, we berated Edison for their butchery.  They said they had an easement, that the palm was dangerous and that they would haul off the remains.

Before they did, it came back to life. Contemporenously with the resurection, dozens of small palm plants sprouted all about the garden. The next year the regular Edison crew, awed and intimidated, wouldn't cut the tree.  Edison did, however, notify us that it must somehow be removed, or else.

I prepared for its death. Then, climbing up a ladder with an electric chainsaw, dutifully began to cut.  It was tough. The fronds guarded the spiked trunk. Against it, the saw was just a toy.  The tree nearly threw me to the ground.  After retreating from the battle we told Edison of its unearthly tenacity.  They sent a worker/shaman.   Slowly, he cut off the fronds, and the top of the trunk.

Portions of the trunk that he removed are now planter stands, and another portion is used as fencing.  The fronds are in the very backyard. Chipmunks or Squirrels live in them.  The remaining part ot the trunk stands as an obelisk.  A line from the computer to the obilisk points to the sunset at the spring and fall equinox. About the obelisk are dozens more baby palms.  The great Palm will be long remembered.