Thursday, January 19, 2006


"THE PLANT"







So....on Monday, January 16th, my gardener and two other strapping men along with my gardener's two sons, cut back the rest of the arms off of the twenty year old Euphorbia Amak Verigated. This is the 50ft.+ plant that got uprooted and fell onto my Patio Roof, on January 2nd, during the worst Rain/Wind storm I have ever lived through in all the years I have lived up here on the hill.


To bring you up to speed...for those of you who have been following this saga, and for those that have not been following this saga, too, the first thing my gardener did, (two days after the horror happened)
was to try to lift the plant up, using a rope and 5 young men to lift it. This could not be done. The plant was too heavy...(as stated before..almost 3 tons, yes, count them...Three Tons...and remember that's all fiber and wood and liquid...and it's a sticky liquid, at that,) So, then, though it was heart breaking to me, he began to cut off as many of the arms as possible in the BEST way possible, so that the rest of the plant could be saved.... (there were around 20 GOOD sized arms and maybe another 20 small ones...)
Many of these arms were then put on my front patio, and the rest were put down on the side of the house--standing up--, so they would have a better chance of surviving when it comes time to plant them.


At a certain point, they could not continue without possibly causing more damage to the roof and the plant...So, another possible solution was sought. I called in the so called 'Tree Experts'...(well, it depends on the tree's in question...I guess), and that was a total waste of time and energy....

Meanwhile, we realized that the plant had cracked at the base and it could not just be 'uprighted'...which had been my fervent hope from the moment it happened...

With all these many roadblocks, I had to make peace with each one, as they came along, because more and more it was becoming clear, that the life of that plant as I had known it, was over....That may not seem so terrible to a lot of people, but remember, I planted this Euphorbia twenty years ago when it was less than two feet high..and I watched it grow every day because it was planted near the front door of my home...and I felt like it was a 'child' of mine...and more than that I took such pride in how incredibly beautiful it was and how huge it had become...


So, after they figured out how to do the rest of this BIG job, Sevin came with his crew on this past Monday, and they sawed off...(very very carefully, I might add) another 30 or so arms...and they piled them up temporarily, on the entry way to the garage. And then they had to 'saw' what was left--in this case, the 'stalk' --into smallers pieces so they could get each piece to a size that would not be too unwieldy, and where the rest of the stalk could be removed the rest of the way....



I just had to document Sevin doing this mammoth job, and I guess, I was trying to, again, make more peace with the loss of this very wonderful plant. I am so very grateful to Sevin and his 'second', Luis, (who used to work in my garden, too) for taking such great great care of my roof, and of the plant, and of me. I am very very lucky to have someone like Sevin, who loves these plants almost as much as I do...


What they did, sounds like it was easy but it wasn't at all....again, because the original full plant weighed so very much...as I have said before...and each of these arms had to be so very carefully cut down so as not to have more damage to the roof, because if an arm were to fall...and some of these arms weighed up to 200 pounds each..and possibly more...well, you get the picture!


So, even when all the arms had been sawed of and the shaft down to what someone would consider a 'reaonable' size---something that could be carried away by perhaps 2 men---it was still so bloody heavy that they had to rig it so it could be dragged to the street, which, in this case luckily, was not that far away....and once there, more sawing was done so that that part of this amazing plant, (now gone), could then be carted away...
Those smaller pieces each probably weighed at least 40 to 50 pounds, and since we didn't have a scale to weigh them, they could have possibly been even heavier than that.....Looking at this cross-section of the trunk, you can see the 'heart' of the plant...that's the 5 pointed star-like shape in the center....this is the Life-Blood of the plant in every respect...Then, the next layer...not quite as soft as the heart but what protects the heart and grows larger and wider as needed, as does the heart as the plant grows upward and gets more and more arms...and then, the outer portion--the 'skin', if you will, where we see the outside color and where we see some prickly things, too....this particular piece is not the bottom of the plant yet...this piece was still about 12 feet off the ground and was probably 13 to 15 inches across...Amazing to see the inside like this...and the white stuff is that sticky liquid that tells you that this plant is a part of the Euphorbia Family of plants.



And then....the last of the stalk, after it was dragged to the street...still, too heavy to be lifted...the bottom ALL wood....
and where more sawing took place so that again, it could be carted away and not be too unwieldy while being taken to the dump....(Oh My!)









So, my beautiful twenty year old Amak Verigated is 'no more. BUT, we have been able to save way over 50 arms...maybe 70, when you count the smaller pieces!!! And each one of them can be planted so that this mother plant, which is no more, will live on in another incarnation. And amazingly, some of the arms would be considered to already be huge mature plants on their own, right now...
And I plan on giving away as many of these arms as possible so that other people who have continually admired my garden and this plant in particular, can and will enjoy having their own version of it....(I wish I could share them with some of you out there in the Blogesphere...).




So here on this dark afternoon earlier today, with rain threatening...this is how things look now...



You may be seeing some other photo's of this wonderful plant as time goes on..Who knows, maybe in my next post. I don't know...I just know I'm finding it difficult to 'Let Go, Let God', here, though I'm sure I will be able to....and, by the way, where this plant was, I will plant something else, but at this point I'm not sure what. It won't be another Amak Verigated because I think it might be good to put something else there that will be beautiful, too, but that won't get that big....of course it will be in the Cactus/Succulant family of plants because that's what appeals to me, and that will be in keeping with the rest of the garden...maybe something that has a flower like this, that the Humming Birds might want to visit!

***(If you click on this photo you will see a little ant, drinking the necter from this flower...Nature...it's WONDERFUL)

Time will tell.....





















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50 Comments:
had this to say:

How poetic is this? To be able to take one doomed plant and create life from it. How lucky are those that get to share in the gift - both literally with their gift of an arm and figuratively by reading the story.

Thursday, January 19, 2006 at 3:56:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

I am so sorry about your saga of the twenty year old Euphorbia Amak Verigated. It looks very gorgeous and strong. So beautiful the 5 pointed star-like shape in the core! I think that the "sons and daughters" 's Euphorbia will grow up in another ground, around your garden.

Thursday, January 19, 2006 at 4:00:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

Incredible..............

...and rather sad........... I hadn't realised that they gre so fast (or SO big)

I'm sure that the 'cuttings' (or as I like to think of them 'tree's..') will do well - after all they must be incredibly well cared for.

Impressed as always..... Thanks for the pictures & the update.

Thursday, January 19, 2006 at 4:10:00 AM PST 

Blogger mar
had this to say:

So sorry about your long companion. But it will grow now in different gardens! I wish too there was a way I could plant one of those arms in my garden! I look at my Euphorbia with other eyes now. Is it good to cut some arms every year???

Thursday, January 19, 2006 at 4:32:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

I think it is great that the arms could be saved, to live again in your garden or other's. I know it is a sad thing for you to deal with this, but perhaps the next thing you plant will become even more beautiful to you than the amak was.

The star-shape in the stalk is rather interesting; I wonder if that has any special significance?

Thursday, January 19, 2006 at 5:38:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

OH MY! How sad! I was so hoping it could be saved...I had a lilac die last year, and that was enough to make me whine around for 2 days, I can only imagine losing this lovely thing! Great post, thanks for the update!!!!

Thursday, January 19, 2006 at 6:00:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

Wow what a story. And so exotic to anything you'd see here. I love the star in the center. It shoud go in a museum!

Thursday, January 19, 2006 at 6:12:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

I'm sorry you lost this old friend Naomi. Thanks for sharing all this with us. It was very interesting to read and to see those pictures. Kind of hard to visualize how heavy it was but your pictures and words tell it very well. That star in the middle is very unique looking! I hope you are able to give lots of the arms away so that others can enjoy what is left of it! You will have to keep us posted on what goes back in its spot!!

Thursday, January 19, 2006 at 8:12:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

It is a sad outcome to the saga, but you have a lot of arms to plant and replenish the earth with the children of your euphorbia, so it's not all bad. I hope you find something to replace it with that flowers so you can get butterflys and birds.

Thursday, January 19, 2006 at 9:22:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

Dear Naomi, I'm so sorry that your old friend didn't make it...I hope that you are able to create many offsprings from that one majestic Euphorbia! I found the 5 pointed star fascinating! Isn't the little details in God's handiwork amazing?!

Thursday, January 19, 2006 at 11:35:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

It looks even bigger when you see the men clambering all over it! (I'm not very good a translating numbers into vision).

But 50, or even 70 new plants! This really is the start of something wonderful, not the end at all:-)

A happy outcome all round - nearly;-)

BTW, I come lurking every day, but don't always comment:-)

Thursday, January 19, 2006 at 12:31:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Sorry about your loss, but it is wonderful that all of those arms can be planted and start new stories of their own.

Michele sent me.

Thursday, January 19, 2006 at 2:19:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

oh lord So sorry..
m

Thursday, January 19, 2006 at 2:25:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Wow, that is one hell of a plant. I'd say you did your very best and it's nice to know that new plants can grow from the arms. This must have been a very expensive "operation"!

Michele sent me!

Thursday, January 19, 2006 at 2:33:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

ah Naomi, so sorry to see your Euphorbia couldn't be rescued, but Sevin and Luis sound very sympathetic! :-)

I look forward to seeing what you plant by your door - and of course, watching the baby Euphorbias grow big and healthy like their Mama.

[hugs]

cq

Thursday, January 19, 2006 at 2:46:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Here I am again, via Michele this time. She has a way of sending me places, you know......lol

Thursday, January 19, 2006 at 3:16:00 PM PST 

Blogger Joe
had this to say:

I really enjoyed this post. That was a beautiful Euphorbia.

Here via Michele.

Thursday, January 19, 2006 at 3:53:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Sounds like quite an ordeal...

I'm back on my own and from Michele's

Thursday, January 19, 2006 at 4:03:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

That IS one helluva plant! Wow!

Michele sent me!

Thursday, January 19, 2006 at 4:15:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

So sorry it couldn't be saved...and yet it will live on! I know how plants can become like children. Before we got our dogs way back when, we had plants and they were our babies. We still have the cacti and desert plants, but our attention has been divided with the dogs and the human baby. If we could we'd take one of the arms and give it a really good home here! Hugs and condolences.

Thursday, January 19, 2006 at 4:54:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Oh no so sorry to hear that the Euphorbia didn't make it. I am so glad you will be able to replant the arms and share them with friends though. I am sure they will florish in the LA sunshine just like their mother plant.
The star in the middle is amazing.

Thursday, January 19, 2006 at 5:05:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

go forth and multiply.

Thursday, January 19, 2006 at 5:45:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Michele sent me back, and I'm still sad about this. =(

Thursday, January 19, 2006 at 5:54:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

oh wow, the last picture!

Thursday, January 19, 2006 at 6:01:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

I can't get over the enormity of that plant!
I love the star in the center. It reminded me of star fruit, and also when you cut an apple a certain way, there's a star. How cool nature is!

Thursday, January 19, 2006 at 6:58:00 PM PST 

Anonymous ivy
had this to say:

oh my wow! That thing is huge!

Thursday, January 19, 2006 at 7:28:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

My goodness that plant was so much more than a plant! And how beautiful that it had a star at it's center. I'm glad you have all of this documented in photographs.

Thursday, January 19, 2006 at 10:26:00 PM PST 

Blogger dan
had this to say:

In MN we call plants that large trees...

Sheesh!

Thursday, January 19, 2006 at 10:45:00 PM PST 

Blogger mar
had this to say:

Michele sent me this time, my dear, to thank you for your gardening tips :) Have a great day!

Thursday, January 19, 2006 at 10:54:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

that is indeed sad, but I like that the tree lives on.

your comment made my day, because the display picture is totally new. :-) I love yours. very classic and has a gentlemens-club-but-not-for-gentlemen feel to it.

you already know, but for the sake of posterity : michele sent me!

Thursday, January 19, 2006 at 11:00:00 PM PST 

Blogger mar
had this to say:

*waving* Michele sent me again this morning (my morning)!

Friday, January 20, 2006 at 1:48:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

Holy cow, what a tree! Michele sent me, hope you have a good weekend!

Friday, January 20, 2006 at 8:53:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

omg you have such an interesting blog! that plant is so cool looking.. nothing like that here in ohio!
here from michele's place!

Friday, January 20, 2006 at 9:27:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

Michele sent me back....I wish I could grow something like this where I live. We only have about an 80 day window in the summer time, so it would never last!

Friday, January 20, 2006 at 10:15:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

Incredible story. I can imagine how it felt to see it being taken away. I love the idea of you sharing the arms with so many people. And thanks for sharing this story.

I'm here via Michele.

Friday, January 20, 2006 at 10:32:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

Naomi, Talk about synchronicity....I wasn't playing photo Friday! I had no idea that the assignment was pink when I posted the pink tutu! I make my case about cyberspace synchronicity!

I found myself thinking about this plant recently.

Friday, January 20, 2006 at 10:57:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

What an amazing story! It's awesome that your plant, as enormous as it was, can still live on in many others versions of itself. Beautiful.

Michele sent me

Friday, January 20, 2006 at 1:05:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Wow... That's quite an adventure!! That's a neat looking plant!

Friday, January 20, 2006 at 2:35:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Awwww ...I think it is so sweet and wonderful that you cared so much for that plant!! You had me so sad that it couldn't be saved :( But it is so good to know that you have little baby plants to be able to carry on the life of their mother. I've never heard of that type of plant before, and now I think I will go research it a bit as it sounds so big and lovely!

Thank you so much for sharing this story!! Oh, and Michele sent me today!

Friday, January 20, 2006 at 2:46:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Thanks for stopping by. What a saga! Can you cut a slice of the star cross-section to keep? That is one wild plant!

Friday, January 20, 2006 at 2:59:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Sad that it happened and good that there will be new plants formed from it.

On a much more modest scale I once had a tiny fir tree planted next to the house, which grew big and strong but started to threaten the house and had to be removed. Similar sadness when it was removed.

Best and Hello, here today via Michele's.

rashbre

Friday, January 20, 2006 at 3:30:00 PM PST 

Anonymous Aging Fabulous
had this to say:

Wow... I had no idea that they could grow to that size. Just called my daughter down to look at your photos. She's in landscaping and has been talking about how much she would like to plant some cactus... although ours would have to be indoors. I hope that you can root some of them!!

Friday, January 20, 2006 at 4:13:00 PM PST 

Anonymous chatty
had this to say:

Wow, that's amazing! I am sorry it couldn't be saved, but the pictures had me captivated!

Michele sent me, but we go way back. :) lol

Friday, January 20, 2006 at 4:22:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

How beautiful a story and a tale..and I love the way the mother will live on through the children..

And if ONLY you could send one over to me in London - might not like the climate though...

Minerva

Michele sent me today...

Friday, January 20, 2006 at 5:19:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

I've never seen any of these large cactuses. Seeing your pictures and hearing your story has been quite amazing to me. I just love that you were able to save this "child" of yours in this way. It will be interesting to see how all these siblings grow together. I was really fascinated by the picture of the inside of the large cut piece.

Friday, January 20, 2006 at 6:41:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Wow what a job.

Friday, January 20, 2006 at 6:58:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Thank you for stopping by my blog. I take my camera with me every where I go. It is kind of a joke with my family. They always say you better watch out what you do when Bozette is around.
I find beauty in everything.
No matter what it is.

Friday, January 20, 2006 at 7:58:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

so wow, i am not a plant type person. my mom can grow anything, but I, I kill plastic plants. i cant believe my children thrive, considering.

ok that said... WOW, its awful to lose something like this. i cant imagine my mom losing her willow or her verigated apple, both of which are her pride and joy senterpieces in her garden. But, how cool that you can grow the arms into baby ones! i just dont know stuff like that.

last thought... is your gardener the man in the white tshirt? hes very cute. good choice :P i know you didnt choose him for cute, but...

Saturday, January 21, 2006 at 3:06:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

I love your photographic journeys. This one reminds me of some of the themes I've written about lately - specifically the defiance of life in the face of overwhelming destruction.

Somehow, life always manages to find a way to keep on going. It's nothing short of a never-ending miracle.

We're lucky that you keep reminding us of this.

Sunday, January 22, 2006 at 9:26:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

Michele sent me (again), Naomi.

The pictures and description of your E. Amak plant are amazing. I had no idea of the weight involved with a large cactus like that. If that's the right term for that succulent.

I'm glad you shared the pictures of the cross section though I'm sure it was emotionally painful to take the pictures in the first place, and more so to post them. Even though 20 years is a long time for us humans, I'm astounded that a plant could gain so much mass in that amount of time in an environment like yours. Truly amazing, Naomi.

Sunday, January 22, 2006 at 9:38:00 AM PST 

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