Some plants just won't grow, or won't grow very fast. Why is that? I guess it's a function of the ground they're planted in. Acid? Alkaline? Our soil is what they call terre à vignes in France. That means poor soil fit only for grape-growing. It's rocky, with a lot of clay in it.
Yesterday, CHM asked about my Aucuba japonica or "gold dust" plants. Here are some photos. I'm having more luck with them than in past years. I've tried many times to get one going, without much success. I think the species needs richer soil. I guess I should have dug a deep hole and filled it with rich compost to plant them in. Maybe I can spread some compost on the ground under these three little survivors. It's worth a try.
Some plants you just can't kill. The one below is very old, I was told by the previous owner of our house. It keeps on growing and producing fruit. They say these particular trees can live to be very old. This one doesn't seem to get any bigger, but it shows no sign of slowing down either. Do you recognize it?
And here's another flower growing on a very old tree. It too just keeps on going. Big limbs have broken off under the weight of the fruit it produces. Mushrooms grow at the base of its trunk. Nothing seems to stop it.
And finally, here's another one I've been trying to get going. It grew a lot last year, as two really long branches. Then suddenly one branch died. To add insult to injury, some animal or bird ate all the fruit before I was ready to harvest it.
This spring the surviving branch has a lot of leaves on it. Maybe I'll get some fruit this summer. It doesn't matter much, because the few times I've picked some of it, it wasn't very sweet anyway.