MySecretGarden

U.S.A., Washington State. USDA zone 8a. Sunset climate zone 5

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Card for My Husband

I knew that English people were among the best gardeners. Now, I know that they also make great cards for gardeners.
For my husband's birthday, I wanted to find a card that would somehow reflect his participation in my gardening life. He takes care of our lawn, helps me to move plant containers, drives me to visit open gardens, carries new plants bought in nurseries, etc. Sometimes, he brings me Starbucks coffee when I am working in the garden. Although, I asked him not to do that because the last time he did it, I found the cup of my cold latte in a wheelbarrow several hours later. Absorbed with my gardening chores, I just forgot about it!
To express my appreciation for his gardening-related efforts, I gave him a plant for one of his birthdays. The Monkey Puzzle tree is his favorite in our garden, and I even heard him talking to it. You can not touch it since it has thick scale-like leaves which have sharp tips and edges.
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As the collage shows, the tree grew quite a bit in 5 years, but probably not as much since it was contained in a pot. It works well for us because we don't want it to grow huge.
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Monkey Puzzle tree (Araucaria araucana) grows wild in Chile and Argentina. This tree was popular in Britain, in Victorian times. According to a legend, someone, observing a tree in a friend's garden, noticed that it would puzzle a monkey to climb it. Thus, the tree which was called Chile Pine and Joseph Bank's Pine, got its new name in 1850. Plant collector and naval surgeon Archibald Menzies introduced the tree to England in 1795. While dining with the governor of Chile, he tried the seeds of this tree as a dessert. He sowed some seeds in a frame on the ship's quarter deck and got five plants from them which successfully were delivered to Great Britain. By the way, the ship was the one of Captain George Vancouver.
It is an evergreen, and Wikipedia says that it can grow to 40 meters (120 feet) tall with a trunk diameter of 2 meters (6 feet). USDA hardiness zones are 7b - 10. We live in the 7b zone. It needs full sun or partial shade. Our tree has afternoon sun. The Monkey Puzzle tree needs cool and humid summers. It likes abundant rains, and it is exactly what we have here in the Pacific Northwest. Our summers are relatively cool, and if there are no rains for a while, we water the tree regularly, since it grows in a container. Why in the container? Because we plan to take it with us in case of moving. The tree can be propagated by seeds or tip cuttings. The cuttings should be taken from vertical shoots.
The Monkey Puzzle tree is the national tree of Chile. It was interesting for me to learn that it has seeds only when it is 30 or 40 years old! The seeds resembling big pine nuts are edible.
In the U.S., the Monkey Puzzle tree grows along the Atlantic coastal zone beginning in Virginia, and extending to Texas and along the Pacific coastal zone up to Washington state.
Good information can be found in Steve Nix' article http://forestry.about.com/od/silviculture/p/monkey_tree.htm
Now, I need to return to where I started, to a card and, to be exact, to a birthday card for my husband. You remember, I wanted the card to be related to gardening. Here's what I found:
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This is the back of the card:

Photo by Chris Cramer
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Do you think he will like the card? Or should I give him one of my own cards?
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Guess what card I gave him!

Copyright 2010 TatyanaS

32 comments:

  1. So that's his role in your garden is it? LOL.

    What a great card, I love it. It does remind me of that wonderful movie, was it called Calendar Girls?

    Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

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  2. Your cards are beautiful, but you know me by now...


    LOVE the naked card! LOL

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  3. Dear Tatyana, This is such fun and I am sure that your husband will be highly amused. Nudity does seem to be the order of the day around the blogosphere at the moment!!

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  4. What a hoot that card is!

    FlowerLady

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  5. That risque card is too cute, but I suppose my favorite is the one with the purple tulips! Hope you have a nice birthday celebration together :)

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  6. Fantastic card, but the first one you posted is gorgeous. I appreciate the info on the Monkey Puzzle Tree, I think it has the 'best tree name ever' and deserves an award. It has grown so much! I would love to have one, but my zone 3/4 garden wouldn't suit it terribly.

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  7. He would love an original card, with your own creativity flowing through, and it must be kept secret as the garden itself...... Happy birthday to him!

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  8. That's pretty funny. I'm a big fan of nakedness.

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  9. Ha - I love that, and I think I've seen it before in a cardshop. I gather we Brits are especially keen on sending cards - we send huge numbers, and spend quite a bit of money on them in total. When my parents moved to France my mother noticed that they send far, far fewer and it's hard to find ones she likes there. But I also think your own pictures are stunning - I didn't know you made cards of them but I can well see why. I hope your husband has a lovely birthday:)

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  10. LOL! Don't get sun burnt now. Keep those hats on. LOL!

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  11. Let it all hang out - that's the card I'm guessing.
    LOL so funny.
    Sometimes I get stuck reading clever and funny cards in stores. A good laugh prolongs your life!

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  12. Happy Birthday to your hubby! Today is my 35th wedding anniversary, and personally I think that card would have been appropriate for us!

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  13. Im pretty sure he would get all excited with the hang out card.
    Have a nice birthday celebration - Im sure both of you deserve it with a cup of latte of course.

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  14. Love the card _I'm sure he will too.

    It may be based on:

    http://www.abbeyhousegardens.co.uk/

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  15. The postcard is very funny. But yours are very beautiful. Did you give him the Monkey Puzzle Tree card?

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  16. I wanted a Monkey Puzzle for the longest time and finally planted one in the most prominant spot in my garden. Humidity and rain we have, but cool summers we do not. It lasted two years. I know they grow here, just not in my garden.

    I am glad he is wearing shoes while mowing the lawn, mustn't sacrafice safety for style or comfort.

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  17. I knew that you all had a good sense of humor! I'm glad you liked the card. I think it is great and I gave it,the nude card, to my husband! The first picture is not a card, but just a collage to show how the Monkey Puzle tree grew in 5 years.

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  18. lol Tatyana - thats a fun card

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  19. Love the card, and I am sure your husband will love it too

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  20. That card is hilarious. Glad you gave it to him. I was going to suggest you give him one of each ~ I do that when I can't decide. You can never have too many cards! :-)
    Your cards are wonderful btw...

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  21. Well, now we all want to know whether your husband like the card. I myself think it's truly perfect, what a find!

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  22. LOL, my choice would of been the first one. My hubby would of gotten a good laugh from it. Happy Birthday to your favorite garden helper! :)

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  23. Good choice! I'm sure that gave him a big laugh. That is too funny.
    Your cards are beautiful.

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  24. Hi Tatyana, I'm glad that woman on the bench has a smile on her face because other wise I'd be concerned about how I'm going to look in another twenty or so years. Happy birthday to the brawn of the family. It's always nice to have the help, isn't it? I can't tell you how many times I've let my coffee [home brewed] go cold. But it's the thought that counts right?

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  25. Your cards are stunningly beautiful but the other one made me howl with laughter! :D

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  26. Hi Tatyana - bet your husband loved that very funny card. Since your images are so gorgeous, wondered if you have ever turned them into cards via the print sites such as Zazzle or photobox? That way, you'll always find a card you like

    Laurax

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  27. I am behind on visiting the blogs due to my recent busy schedule. But how glad I am that I did not miss this one! What a fun card that is! Your cards are of course beautiful too!

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  28. I think you found the perfect card Tatyana! Though yours are beautiful they simply cannot compete with the outrageous hilarity of the 'Let it all hang out' one. What a hoot! I am glad I sought out your last post... I am laughing out loud! Thank you! ;>))

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  29. Monkey Puzzle ~ Monkey Business ... love it! ( Mr. Ho-Hum and I posed :)

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  30. Glad you gave him that card. Hope he had a good laugh, I did.

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  31. Hi Tatyana.

    I got a big laugh, I hope you gave him that funny card.

    You have taken so beautiful photos too.

    Thanks for visiting me

    Have a nice weekend.

    Hugs/Gunilla

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