Oh boy, talk about a good thing, and perchance too much of it? The jury is out. But if year one is any indication, Flamingo Park, we may have a problem.

These plants were gifts from Ron Wagner, a guy who packed his bag, and I mean singular bag, and headed for Thailand, leaving all his his earthly possessions behind. I only wish I’d met him sooner. He was a super talent as both artist and gardener. And look at his great digs.

The mother plants, poolside in the Cully Neighborhood, PDX.

The mother plants, poolside in the Cully Neighborhood, PDX.

 

Tetrapanax in its salad days.

A Tetrapanax I brought home, in the giddy salad days.

This is what it looked like when I brought it home. A nice size already. I paid him a few bucks for the first couple, and then he piled a bunch more in the car. He said we might as well plant up northeast Portland.

Tetrapanax company, before they went in the ground.

Tetrapanax company, before they went in the ground.

Last year, they got 4-5′ tall. The plants below get plenty of sun, at least 6 hours.

Tetrapanax year 1, well-behaved at 4' or so.

Tetrapanax year 1, well-behaved at 4′ or so.

I planted a couple others in the side patio bed. These get less sun, not more than 5 hours. (The upshot, those with a little more shade are growing faster.) Just to the right, there’s more full on sun–where I plant tropicals–bananas, Colocasias, Cannas–and whatever else wends its way into my shopping cart.

Photo taken in September 2015--patio side bed.

Photo taken in September 2015–patio side bed.

See, the Tetrapanax last year was shorter than the Canna Musafolia.

And this year, in February, I was so excited when I saw this new growth. It made it through the winter!

Tetrapanax emerging from cool soil in February 2016.

Tetrapanax emerging from cool soil in February 2016. This is the full sun area.

And then I forgot about for a while, because I was not outside pulling weeds as I meant to be. Brrrrr. A month later I checked again–in the part-shade bed. Look, I towered above them.

The part-shade bed back March 16, 2016.

The part-shade bed back March 16, 2016.

And now. Don’t get me wrong. I love these plants.

Tetrapanax in part-sun has cleared the 6' fence.

Tetrapanax in part-sun has cleared the 6′ fence.

Then I looked down at its feet, are thereabouts. Babies! I wasn’t nervous at first. I thought, how great, I can share at our upcoming local bloggers exchange.

Baby Tetrapanax to share.

Baby Tetrapanax to share.

Of course, the babies are attached via the roots. Ai yi yi. There’s quite a network happening under there. I dug the babies–non too carefully in my alarmed state. They’re looking pretty good, though I did make the mistake of leaving them in the sun for too long for such tiny babies. I’ve since moved them, and they seem to be recovering.

It's hard not to love this fabulous foliage.

It’s hard not to love this fabulous foliage.

In the meantime, I’m going to enjoy heck out of this fantastic dramatic plant. I only hope, it doesn’t one day make me sorry.

I’d love to hear your stories, horror or otherwise.

Here’s you happy hour inspiration. We try to limit carbs, but this dairy-free spinach and artichoke gratin was begging for a little bread. I’m so glad I listened.

Gluten-free roll, grilled with olive oil. Dairy-free spinach and artichoke gratin.  And Honeycrisp apple.

Gluten-free roll, grilled with olive oil. Dairy-free spinach and artichoke gratin. Honeycrisp apple.

 

Cheers