You might also like

Friday, February 26, 2016

Take a peek, Mel....


Five years ago I wrote about Mel's jade tree.
Mel is our brother who died when he was twenty-eight. Long time ago.

He started this from a cutting--the world must be full of jade trees folks just wanted to grow.
I don't know how old it was when Jan rescued it from Mel's kitchen sink, back in 1976.

When she and Tom, Mom and I set up housekeeping, the jade tree came here, of course, and did what happy jade trees do. It grew.


It was not happy enough to bloom more than once, in 2005.


But it did grow, and was moved to a bigger pot several times.
When it went to this pot it took three of us, and we did it in the foyer, not outdoors.
It was obvious the plant had a small window of opportunity to get through the front door.


I wrote the Cleveland Botanical Gardens and offered them a jade tree, approximately three and a half feet by three and a half feet square. They had only to move it.
They did, in 2011.
I said one day I would take a look at the Melvin Lytle Memorial Jade at the Cleveland Botanical Gardens.


Today Ruth and I went.
There it is, in the foyer.
Look what professional pruning will do.



Jade trees can live five hundred years or more.
This one is just shy of fifty.
Now you know where it is, kiddo.
Keep an eye on it.

33 comments:

  1. Actually when I got that it was just a piece of Melvin's tree. He told me to take it home and plant it. He killed his tree by putting the drugs he did not want to take any more into the pot. His tree was probably half the size mine got to be before he killed it.

    ReplyDelete
  2. It is a wonderful tribute to your brother. The blooms were spectacular. Perhaps it will bloom again in its new home.

    ReplyDelete
  3. What a wonderful idea. The tree will live on...

    ReplyDelete
  4. That is wonderful, Joanne. I have some plants from my grandmother and my mother that I treasure. I even managed to bring them into Belize - don't ask me how. It's nice to have a connection with our departed loved ones. I didn't know that Jade trees would bloom at all. Cheers, Wilma

    BTW - I have been lurking on your blog for a while now. I think I may have commented only once before. I do enjoy reading your posts.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Welcome, and thanks for jumping in. I've read some of you, too, and can only think Belize--wow!

      Delete
  5. That is fantastic. I have my mom's Orchid and African violet from her years in the nursing home. They are around 16 years old now!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Twice, my daughter and I have tried to get to the Botanical Gardens in Cleveland to see Mel's tree. Under construction one time and then too sick from Chemo to see it another time. Maybe this coming Thursday. Remember it well in your living room where it dominated a huge space.

    ReplyDelete
  7. This is the Linda undergoing Chemo and Joanne wrote about it and asked you folks to respond and tell me Once more with Attitude. Now, you folks must know that a lot of my attitude comes from Joanne. Just ask her to tell you about "you snooze, you lose". I am borrowing some of her attitude for next week. Regarding Republican/Democrat.....Joanne votes and then I vote to cancel out her vote. Even-steven. i am ready for next week with a whole truck load of attitude. I appreciate all of your words of encouragement. Found a wonderful cartoon that showed two mushrooms. It was called "morel support" Tried my damnest to transfer it here as a thank you but windows won't allow it. Thaat gave me extra attitude. Sending a couple of pictures privately to Joanne and know she will blog them when the spirit hits her. We are the strangest of friends and some wonder about that friendship. My "attitude" says, "you all should be so lucky to have a friend like her." She is happily divorced, I am sadly widowed and we have been through hell together....It continues..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't think friendship looks at the differences, it just revels in similar spirits. I hope your truck load of attitude (with horns blazing) takes you coasting through next week.

      Delete
    2. I did not comment on that post because sometimes it is hard for me to find the words in English, but i find myself thinking a lot about what Joanne wrote, thinking about you and Joanne and your freindship, since i found Joanne's blog it is a great inspiration for me.

      Delete
    3. Hari OM
      Thanks for taking the time to tell us Linda - ATTITUDE ON!!! YAM xx

      Delete
  8. What a great legacy from your brother; it will continue to live on lovingly tended.

    betty

    ReplyDelete
  9. How amazing. I too didn't realise that jade plants could flower, and am in awe at the size and growth the one you inherited, cherished, encouraged and supported.

    ReplyDelete
  10. When I was young, it never occurred to me that a house plant could last for decades. But then I came in to possession of a Christmas cactus from my great-grandmother, from at least the late 1880s.

    Please do not ask for details. It lasted well and long with me. Until it didn't.

    Long live the jade!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My parents had a Christmas cactus that originated with his grandmother, so it was late 19th century, too. It came to my parents in the fifties. They went through this stupid routine in which the plant went to a dark place to hibernate in the fall, come out for Christmas and bloom. When they were physically unable to carry it to the basement, they sent it to the enclosed front porch. In the seventies we had some brutally cold winters, and one morning they found the cactus, frozen. My dad tried to salvage the core, but no luck. he felt awful!

      Delete
  11. Once i had a jade tree, i did not know it can live that long. May be i shall try again.

    ReplyDelete
  12. It's doing remarkably well for its age. mine grew like they were sitting on a box of fertilisers, so I took them out of the pots and put them in the yard, breaking pieces off each one to plant between. They should all end up as tall as me. They haven't flowered since I planted them out, so I'm hopeful for next summer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jades are native to southern Africa, I believe, and seem to thrive where there is little winter. Or, up here in heated houses. I have deep southern friends (Louisiana and Texas) who keep them outdoors.

      Delete
  13. What a lovely post Joanne. I don't know the jade tree at all - but I can see that judicious pruning has kept it well in order - and a fitting memorial for a very sad early death.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Wow, it's beautiful!
    It looks as if your brother is taking care of it, just to show you that he is there...

    ReplyDelete
  15. I have never known a jade plant to flower! How exciting.

    ReplyDelete
  16. It is wonderful that your brother's jade lives on as I m sure the good memories of him do also.

    I have had a few jade starter plants. They never made it to maturity. However, I have some 40+ year old fig trees. They live despite my benign neglect. Inside plants don't get as much attention as those that grow outside and bloom with colorful flowers.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hari OM
    Oh this made me tingle Joanne... I had a jade tree in Sydney which I had to find a new home for when I upped sticks; several of my "pet-plants", in fact. Back here in the Bonny Land I found that my mother had kept an umbrella tree alive which I originally had from the late 1970s; others had taken cuttings from it over the years. I asked dad last time I was over if he minded me taking that plant back - turned out he was glad to be rid of it as looking after it was troublesome for him! It is as tall as me - but not as wide! Don't know it will ever be worthy of a place such as Mel's plant though... YAM xx

    ReplyDelete
  18. Very cool! What a wonderful way to treasure the tree and the memory of your brother. xo

    ReplyDelete
  19. I rather liked the unpruned look. I love it when plants thrive through generations.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Neat and tidy is the price of not having to include the tree when we sell the house. It's like knowing you won't outlive a pet, and making arrangements for it come the day. It lost stalks of growth going through the door the last time.

      Delete
  20. I love Jade trees, but can't get them to grow here. My Mother-in-law called them money trees, don't know why.
    Yours, sort of yours, is quite spectacular.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I used to have one, but I don't remember it ever flowering. I think ours was known as a 'Friendship Tree'.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I like this post Joanne. I would have taken it as a sign when it bloomed in 2005 (from your brother of course). It looks wonderful and cared for and how special it must have been for you to visit it.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Wow, I've never seen a jade tree in full bloom, never. AND I didn't know that you call them jade tree - here folk calls them "penny trees" - they are very undemanding, but your specimen is really impressive. I like it more in the "uncultivated" state.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Wow! That is just awesome! I've never had a jade tree do as well as yours. You must have a magical green thumb.

    ReplyDelete