Monday, June 30, 2008

Brass monkey junkie, that funky monkey

Did I forget to mention that I purchased some monkey puzzle tree seeds off Ebay and planted them? I did? Typical.

Well, they've sprouted. Or rather, four out of five have sprouted. It took about six weeks for them to do so, during which they just sat there, inert (or so it seemed) while I wondered if I had just blown 12 dollars on duds. But now they are actually showing signs of growth, which makes me happy.

I have no idea if they will grow successfully here, but I think they're just the coolest-looking trees, so I'm willing to give it a try. Of course, I'll be leaving them in their little pots for the time being, as I have no idea yet if we're going to be staying in Princeton or moving on. Apparently, they've very slow-growing trees, so hopefully I'll be able to cart them around for a while without having to commit to a planting spot.

We first saw a monkey puzzle tree at the Barnes Foundation, an art museum with extensive gardens in Philadelphia. While we (KB, my brother Kevin and I) were walking around the arboretum we saw this tree that looked like an escapee from a Dr. Seuss book, and when we read the little identification card it said, "Monkey Puzzle Tree." I had this faint recollection of reading an Agatha Christie novel as a teenager - something about Hercule Poirot approving of monkey puzzles because they didn't shed their leaves - and wondering what the heck a monkey puzzle tree was. And then there one was in front of me. They had trimmed it to emphasize its Seussian qualities, and it was really quite striking (I wish they had a picture of that specific tree on their web site, but of course they don't and I didn't have my camera with me when we went.)

So now I am the proud owner of four monkey puzzle seedlings and one inert seed (although it may yet sprout - apparently they can take up to two months). We'll see what happens!

Thanks for reading.

1 comment:

Zach said...

Cool! I'm a big fan of Monkey Puzzle trees too. There are a couple big ones in the city, and one huge one, in particular, a few blocks from my apartment down by Aquatic Park where the cable cars turn around overlooking the bay.
May they live long and prosper under your care!