Friday Plant Blogging! The mystery tree-type thing

The mystery tree of beetles

OK, plant fans, the net’s newest meme rolls on relentlessly: Friday means Plant Blogging here at VCTB!

Well, there she blows – just don’t ask me what the hell it is. This, like many of my houseplants, is a rescue case. A few streets away almost two months ago there was a semi-detached 4-story house being redone (probably to be turned into flats, because that’s where the money is these days for landlords). As always, there was a big skip of assorted crap outside.

I’m a pretty shameless skipper; I’ve had some great free stuff that people were just throwing away (though I’ve never had the luck that Paul Circuitbenders has with clear-out junk), and back in my more poverty-ridden days the were a valuable source of firewood for a student house that had storage heaters. So I was taking a good look in the skip when I saw this little lady, looking very yellow and almost dead, stood forlornly by the side of the driveway, jammed through the ripped seat of a wicker chair.

I’ll be honest; I thought she was a gonner, I just knew the pot she was in would be a shame to waste (ceramics look so much nicer than plastics, no?), so I hoisted the whole thing and lugged it back home. It was heavy and very awkward, but it wasn’t far to go.

Once installed in the front room, I couldn’t bring myself to simply trash her without giving her a chance at life (most of my plants have been rescued from people who thought they were dead, often with good reason). So she got a half litre of water with some fertiliser in it, and has done every Sunday since. Maybe two months down the line, she’s a new woman. Shiny green leaves, a delight to see. I really must do some research to find out what species she is, if only for curiosity’s sake.

She brought some unwanted houseguests at first. The soil in the pot had been colonised by a large extended family of black beetles, who began to manifest themselves all round the flat a few days after the tree’s arrival. I must have thrown about forty of them out of the window over a couple of weeks – they were very dozy and inactive, so I don’t know if they were on some sort of hibernatory down-time or what. More research to do, should the opportunity arise. I should have taken pictures. That’s hindsight for you.


Non-plant-related news for this week; the next Interzone review job is in the mail! One paperback copy of Gene Wolfe’s story collection ‘Starwater Strains’ is somewhere in the labyrinthine bowels of the Post Office system. Who knows, it may even arrive before the deadline for the review. That reminds me; I’d better check in with the guys at Vector to see if there’s anything in the pipeline for me yet.

And yet more books; the library where I work received a big old donation of SF&F titles, mostly near-mint hardbacks or TPBs, and for some reason (that I have yet to have explained to me in a way that makes sense) they were rejected as potential stock and were put aside for the next quarterly booksale…

…until yours truly caught sight of them, and got permission to buy them before the public got the chance. Mwah hah hah! Despite my attempts to be honest, pointing out the fact that they were in great condition, possibly unread (looks like a reviewer has cleared out some shelf-space, TBH), my manager said I could have them for 50p a book. ZOMFG!!1!11!1eleven! So, check my stack, mack:

Bonus Books!

A fair few Baen hardbacks, most of Terry Goodkind’s back catalogue…to be honest, I’ll probably eBay a fair few of them, but only to see them go to good homes. I’ve not read much off the Baen imprint – Weber’s cover graphics have never flipped my switches, but it would be rude to not give them a chance, eh?


So, there’s your Friday malarkey. Friday night is curry night, too, but I’m not blogging that – some things should stay personal. All that remains is to give a big shout out to the bizarre little site that is Linkie Winkie for a righteous shunting of traffic, despite my lack of faith. Happy weekend, folks.

2 thoughts on “Friday Plant Blogging! The mystery tree-type thing”

  1. I dunno about the Baen stuff and the Goodkind (well, I have an opinion both negative and unfounded), but _A Deepness in the Sky_ is 100% Good Stuff.

  2. Vinge is undoubtably the don; I reviewed his latest (Rainbows End) for Interzone, and will be posting it here when it’s a few issues back from the current one. Suffice to say in advance it was excellent, although not a space opera like ‘Deepness…’ is supposed to be. It will join the queue!

Leave a Reply