Possibly the most meaningful part of my Australian seeds experiment arose today when I transplanted my kangaroo paw seedlings.
The great experiment, which I expected would result in me proving to have a green thumb and presenting all my gardening mates with exotic plants has proven only that I am all thumbs.
I bumped them off by putting them in a hothouse on a boiling hot day, then giving too much fertilizer to the plants that survived.
A desert pea also looked promising, but I over-fertilized that, too.
I have a tray full of dwarf wattle ready for transplanting, a single honeysuckle banksia that can probably be nurtured under growth lights a little longer and a heath banksia that appears doom after being affected by mold.
Given the nature of my blog persona and the role of kangaroo decorations in the garden, though, it was the kangaroo paw that I most wanted to succeed.
It’s a pretty ominous role to be assigned, actually, because every plant in Kangaeroo Corner that I have most wanted to thrive–tree fern, jacaranda and mature versions of kangaroo paw planted when the garden was started–have all died or struggled.
Anyway, I started today by placing a layer of stones at the bottom of a pot, covering it with a layer or nutrient-rich potting mix bended with peat moss and then covering that with soil especially for Australian native plants.
I then gently removed the kangaroo paw seedlings from the growth pods where they had thrived over the past few weeks.
With customary clumsiness, I managed to kill off a couple of seedlings along the way, but eventually planted them all in the same pot.
I then gave the pot a good dose of water and left it in the sun with lots of prayers for success.
Last year, I killed the kangaroo paw in the garden through over-watering amid the summer humidity, only learning later that my treatment was almost the guaranteed method for ensuring the lovely flowers from Australia’s arid regions would wither and die. Oh, well. Live and learn and sorry to the adorable plants.
Potting the kangaroo paws topped off an absolutely outstanding day that would have been perfect had I been able to spend it with Mrs. Kangaeroo, but it still came bloody close to perfection anyway.
I woke early, cleaned and oiled my bike and headed off at a fierce pace, backed by a gentle tailwind.
I made it to Tokyo Tower where I met many old friends for the first time in years and had a wonderful surprise of having a packet of Iced VoVos waiting for me: a gift from a Melbourne friend who has since headed off to a separate part of the country.
Later, a group of us went off to the nearby ANA Intercontinental Hotel and had an enormous buffet breakky, where the interesting and enjoyable conversation continued.
We spent a couple of hours reminiscing, but then had to go our separate ways.
I wanted to get home quick as the dinosaur was in her cage and was probably itching to get out and about, and I was still a couple of hours away.
I rode back in the delightful spring sunshine.
Fortunately, there was almost no wind, which was a blessing as we have had strong winds daily for weeks now.
As I rode along Koshu Kaido, headed for home, I realized I was looking at a record unique for me.
My average speed for the ride was exceeding 30 km/h.
It’s not unheard of for me over short distances, but I was still over the 30 km/h mark with more than 50 km ridden.
I only had 20 km to go on terrain I knew well and felt confident I could maintain the speed.
I’ve never maintained such speed over such a distance, my most notable record of sustained pace being a 180 km-ride at about 28 km/h a few years ago.
But that was when my cycling was thriving.
The past couple of years, my cycling ability has declined thanks to injuries, illness, aging, priorities, weight gain and opportunities, to name a few factors.
So I felt chuffed to be presented with this chance.
And the glorious sunshine was making it even more appealing.
An amazing, unseasonably clear view of Mount Fuji threatened to thwart my attempt at this record, though.
As I hit the Tamagawa Cycling Road for what I regarded as the home stretch, I stopped to take a photo.
There will be other chances to create cycling records.
Seeing Mount Fuji with the opportunity to take a photo is a rare blessing that demands addressing.
So, I stopped and took some shots.
It was totally worth it.
And when I got back on the bike, I got to maintain the speed I’d been looking for.
It was a delightful reward when I got home.
But not as delightful as the pleasure-filled greeting the dinosaur gave me when I got back and let her loose.
We spent the next few hours playing together, vegging out and eating.
I’ve even managed to save a couple of Iced VoVos for Mrs. Kangaeroo (but probably only because I managed to pick up some Choco-Chip GariGarikun, which I hope might be the seasonal flavor for the early summer).
She should be home any minute now and I am looking forward to seeing her.