41 Arboriculture | Banana Day Dreamin’

64 Arts

From metal to trees? Sure, whatever you say, gurus!

41 Arboriculture, the Care of Trees
For the house or garden

(and for those who are paying attention and think we skipped 40, we didn’t–I just forgot to mention it was being combined with #38, I’ve since fixed that)

Folks, I might have it going on with the crafty things, but I pretty much suck at growing things. Black thumb of Calcutta level of death and destruction to houseplants and herb gardens. Seriously, I’ve killed Rosemary. Three times! And those of you who garden know just how bad you have to be to do that.

Still, I have a hunch that if I put my mind to it (and, by that, I mean my obsessive streak that has me researching anything and everything to do with a subject  to the exclusion of a lot else) I could manage not to kill everything green within a half-mile radius. But since I don’t have that much space in my head to spare at the moment, hows about I start with just one thing for now?

Last fall, while chatting with our new neighbors about the very prolific lemon tree that came along with the home they’d purchased they mentioned we’d soon have to start trading lemons for bananas.


Well I’ll be! We actually had bananas on our tree! (and, yes, I first shared this over on Nibbles back in October)

See, I thought I’d read (or maybe heard on NPR or some such) that banana trees in the US didn’t do so hot and couldn’t be pollinated. Guess I was very wrong, huh?

So that was late-September or so and I took to watching the bananas to see when they’d be ready to harvest. A few quick searches hadn’t yielded much info on North Florida banana-growing, but I did find that once the bananas filled out and lightened in color a bit, they could be brought in and let ripen in a warmish, dry place. Like the garage (didn’t want to bring them inside in case of bugs) or some such.

But then things too a turn for the weird. We had an usually cold spell in mid-to-late October (for our Halloween party it didn’t even get into the 50s!) and then a freak heat wave in January.

Still, we took in a hand or two of bananas in November, I think, to see what would happen. Not much, as it turns out, since that cold snap stunted the bananas growth (I found out later that if temperatures drop below 30F the bananas will stall). That said, we sort of forgot about the bunch we’d brought in and left it hanging in the garage well after we’d written them off.



Apparently that heat wave in January that coincided with our outdoor engagement shoot was just what 2 of our bitty bananas needed to ripen! How nice that Mother Nature gave us one apiece to try. They were delicious, too, and makes me more determined to make sure this year’s crop (if we get one) yields even more.

We’ve got quite a copse of trees in our side yard so even though we had 5 flower this year (and they only flower once in their life), we stand a good chance of some of the newer shoots producing some fruit. If so, I plan to watch the weather a bit more carefully than before and make sure we bring in any likely bunches sooner rather than later. Maybe even bring them inside if it gets that cold.

Maybe even string them up in the shower of our spare bathroom!

How are you with growing things? Trees especially?

Random Appetites: Pick-Me-Ups


Had a bad day? A rough year? Or maybe you don’t have a Valentine of your own. There’s nothing that says you can’t be your own cheerleader, champion or sweetheart. After all–who knows you better than you do?

Whatever the reason, pick-me-ups are one of those staples of life that we all need from time to time. They come in all shapes and sizes–from fluffy reads to high-carb treats–with the acquisition sometimes part of the fun (aka retail therapy).

Here are some of my indulgences when I want to boost my mood, lift my spirits or just treat myself.

  • Flowers. I used to buy myself flowers every week at the grocery store. They didn’t cost a lot and I would spread them throughout my little apartment to brighten up the place. My second husband took the stance that killing flowers for the enjoyment of one person was wrong, that everyone got to enjoy them as they grew in the wild. Another ex- considered the giving of flowers even more intimate than saying “I love you” so I learned a long time about to get them when I wanted them and not to expect someone else to. Because cutting them does kill them, it’d be lovely to be able to grow my own but I’ve got a horrid black thumb so I’ll have to settle for the cut variety when the mood strikes.
  • TV on DVD. Perfect veg-out fodder: immersing myself in a season or two of a favorite television show. Even though most of my favorites (Charmed, Friends, Sabrina, The Teenage Witch, ST:The Next Generation, Gilmore Girls and Sex and the City) are now off-the-air, it makes them all the easier to find on DVD and stock up for that emotionally rainy day. Best for weekend indulgences, weeknights still work (especially during reruns or those blank slate nights where nothing I like is on) just in smaller doses.
  • Chocolate. This certainly should have been obvious. Hershey’s and Dove are all right for day-to-day consumption but when I want decadent, I want Godiva. Of course, that means a trek out to the Mall most times, so I settle for second best (but still not shabby) Lindt.

Those are my preferred pick-me-ups but no matter what form yours take, treat yourself often and in a preemptive manner and you might find the need for the emergency mood lifters decreases.

(Oh! Notice alcohol isn’t on that list? I prefer to keep that for celebratory times since any euphoric effects are temporary and seem to make the doldrums worse. We here at Random Acts… encourage you to have all the legal fun you want, as long as you do it responsibly.)