April 2014 what looks good/bad/awful in your garden?

grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)April 2, 2014

Happy April everyone,

Yesterday was warm and wonderful, today (the 2nd) is a bit chilly, but we're expecting to return to warm again tomorrow and for the long range forecast. It's a great time to enjoy the Valley and our gardens. What's looking good or bad, or awful in your garden?

I'm still enjoying tons of leaf lettuce and overwintered tomatoes from the garden, plus the last few 'Meyer Improved' and 'Lisbon' lemons from the garden, and am starting to plant seeds for summer stuff. What about you?

Here's something that's looking really good right now, the first of many, many flower buds on my large pot of Hippeastrum striatum (a species type of amaryllis). These plants are super vigorous, and make pea sized bulb offsets at the drop of a hat, hah, so they quickly fill up pots and beds, forming very nice evergreen clumps. The blooms aren't large, but they're my favorite color, ORANGE. Here's a quick pic of a bloom, and the pot. Yes, I know there's a self sown Cereus peruvianus in the pot, lol. I've promised myself to finally unpot the plants and get him into the ground after the amaryllis is done flowering. I hope you'l take a look and enjoy the pics.

Send your updates (pics or not) when you have time. We'd love to see/hear! Happy gardening!

Here is a link that might be useful: Pics (so far!) from my little garden April 2014

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Most everything looks good this time of year! Even the weeds!

Our little Goldenball Leadtree (or maybe it's a Golden Leadball tree -- silly name, either way) is doing well.

We planted it about a year ago, when it was just a forlorn stick with a little pompom on top. It'll eventually get about 12-15' tall. I think a better name would be "Dr. Seuss tree".

    Bookmark   April 2, 2014 at 9:32PM
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Here's a close-up. The bright spring-green color is amazing and really goes well with the yellow "leadballs."

    Bookmark   April 2, 2014 at 9:34PM
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Sweet 100 tomato clusters growing...I counted 17 tomatoes just on this one cluster...that's crazy! This plant has at around 8-10 more of the same.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 1:01AM
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MaryMcP Zone 8b - Phx AZ

My Dutchman's Pipe vine is in it's second bloom within the last 4 months. It is absolutely LOADED with flowers in all stages of bloom.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 8:43AM
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MaryMcP Zone 8b - Phx AZ

A close up.........aren't they just awesome?

    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 8:44AM
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CAST1(9b Arizona)

I'm feeling super excited! I went to Treeland Nursery in Mesa today looking for coleus. I found the coleus and was just browsing around when I noticed they had several 5 gallon plumerias. The best part was they were only $30!

    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 3:33PM
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Raimeiken - z9b - Peoria, AZ

Mary, that dutchman pipe vine is awesome! I remember trying one a few years ago with not much luck. Where did you get your plant from? how old is it? and does it get full sun?

    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 5:46PM
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No pics, but the Roma tomatoes have set fruit, the Matt's Wild Cherry tomatoes have set fruit. The spinach has bolted ... dang, because it was good.

And we're still working on pruning up the smallest mesquites. All the shredded stuff is going to mulch.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 7:25PM
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Enjoyed the pictures, Grant always has 30 or 40 plants that I love, lol. Have never seen a Dutchman pipe vine, but it is awesome! Here is a picture of a project I did a couple of years ago, out of sunset magazine, I happened to have a vanity chair and pot that fit, so I got spray paint with primer and here is the result. Makes a fun planter and is home to various annuals, this year it's yellow new guinea impatiens and regular pink in front. More picts to come.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 11:34PM
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MaryMcP Zone 8b - Phx AZ

That vanity chair project is cool!

Re the DPV, that plant is 4 or 5 years old and it was purchased from a nursery in Ventura that a friend visited. That spot gets a lot of afternoon sun and the vine struggled for several years, the leaves would get baked from the sun and turn brown. Notice in the first picture the huge thevetia tree/bush in the background. That hedge is giving the DPV plenty of shade which is helping it to thrive. I also cut way back on the water because I thought it was a goner from the sun but I must have been over-watering it because it certainly is happy now.

Here's a cheerful little corner of the yard:

    Bookmark   April 4, 2014 at 8:29AM
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I like that picture Mary, looks very relaxing! Is that a bonsai in the blue pot? Just got one as a gift, and bought another one on clearance, so I'm learning about bonsai.

Here is a picture of a 3 year old regal geranium, this year, it's decided to go wild, lol.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2014 at 10:23AM
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MaryMcP Zone 8b - Phx AZ

That geranium is amazing - I want one! What exposure does it get? Mostly shade?

The plant in the small blue pot is an adenium, waiting for warmer temps to start putting out leaves and, hopefully, flowers too.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2014 at 11:58AM
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grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)

I love all the new pics and posts, keep them coming! Great news about the bargain plumeria, and the nice early harvests everyone is having. So fun! Love the lead ball tree too. I'll have to research that one to see/hear more about it. I like the pics though!

Great combination of plants, Mary, and Dusti. Dusti, how do you keep your regal geranium going for so long? My scented geraniums survive year after year outside all year, but most of my zonal geraniums croak if I don't bring them indoors for the three hottest months of summer. What about your regal, we'd love to hear your routine for keeping it happy and growing for several years.

Love that Aristolochia vine too, Mary, even from the distance shot showing the whole plant you can see those big, fascinating blooms!

Here are a couple of things looking good right now, 'Batik' iris starting to bloom. Bearded iris do really well here and their swordlike foliage blends in nicely with spiky desert plants:

Blue gilia, a fun and easy spring annual that self sows ALL OVER my garden. I love it! That's Dyckia 'Cherry Coke' in the background by the way.

Here are some cute seedlings from a twisted/spiral Peruvian apple cactus (Cereus peruvianus). I got two twisted, two normal, and one monstrous/contorted form. All of them will get prime spots in the garden.

And finally, one of many, many plants of variegated gazanias in bloom in the garden (G. repens). Such easy fun perennials for this climate.

Keep the updates coming, pics or not!
Happy gardening all,

    Bookmark   April 5, 2014 at 2:11PM
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Love the gazania, and that Batik iris is gorgeous! To answer your question about the geranium, Mary and Grant, I got it from Lowes, it's in a tall, deep pot, which may shield the roots from the strong summer heat. No special care, just regular food and water, and in the spring I take out a few inches of soil and replace it with fresh. By 2pm, the area is shaded so it gets a rest from the sun. The bougainvillea also gets large and shields it, kind of like your vetia tree protects the vine!

Here is what the patio looks like now, over the next few months, I'll bring a few plants indoors, to keep them going for another year. Need to get out and take pictures of all the blooming cactus.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2014 at 5:40PM
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I have patio envy after that last picture dusti. It's enormous.

Looking good in my yard:
Mangle dulce, an underused drought tolerant shrub similar to Jojoba, but with lighter green more succulent leaves. A slow grower this one has gone unpruned for 6 years.

Unknown cactus flowering, bought unmarked from Boyce Thompson.

Tithonia fruticosa, coming back strong after being cut back in January. Saw some 1 gallon plants at Shady Way last week.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2014 at 4:04PM
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Tomatoes have had just an explosion of growth mortgage lifter if 40 inches high and has 12 fruit all between 1.5 and 2.5 inches in diameter. Super sweet 100s have atleast 50 tomaueach and more flowers than I could count calling various stages. I can't wait till they start ripening.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2014 at 5:06PM
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Wow that unknown cactus is beautiful Jon. Don't be too jealous of the patio, after the all the plants and money I've spent, it's still not nearly as full and lush as Grants!

Here is a bunny cactus, with a towering orange bells bush in the background.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2014 at 9:26PM
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Here is a color bowl, I do one every year, it's fun to see how the different colors go. I fell in love with these orange zonal geraniums and grabbed them. May take them inside this summer and put them back out this fall.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2014 at 9:32PM
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This is my squash "neighborhood" where I'm testing companion planting based on the book, "Great Garden Companions A Companion-Planting System for a Beautiful, Chemical-Free Vegetable Garden," by Sally Jean Cunningham. It sits in the southeast corner of my yard.

I have also incorporated every old wives tale I could find online to deter squash bugs.

Things that look good:
Squash x 2 (underplanted with icicle radishes)
Nasturtium x 3
Catnip x 2
Dill - planted from seed and coming up nicely
Sunflowers - planted from seed; growing at fairly uneven rates
Greens - radishes, carrots and spinach. I used the muffin tin approach to planting with tremendous success.

Things that are neutral:
Armenian cukes and cantaloupe - they don't seem to be growing with anywhere close the vigor that the others are.
Zinnia - pretty/happy but not growing

Things that are currently a FAIL:
Jicama, watermelon and red basil - planted seeds that have not sprouted yet. I might have spied ONE jicama sprout in the back corner tonight even though I planted them like a month ago.

I'm hoping the plants in the fail column are just cold, i.e. maybe when it warms up they'll actually sprout.

I'm hopelessly obsessed with my garden.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2014 at 10:25PM
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One of my potatoes wilted away today and I harvested the potatoes. 4 potatoes 3 with scab. 10.5 oz from a 2 oz seed potato price.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2014 at 12:24PM
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grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)

Great new updates everyone, thanks for posting them. You all have such fun, amazing gardens! They're really fun to see, especially some of the nice, mature specimens. Great stuff. Love seeing the tomatoes and the potatoes too. Good looking harvests! I'm so envious of folks with squash/zukes that are so much further along than mine, LOL, I thought I had gotten a nice early start. Apparently not, LOL!

Thanks for your tips on your geranium, Dusti, I really have to baby mine or just bring them indoors to get them to survive. My scented geraniums do fine (um, well, they survive, hah) outside all year, but my zonals mostly need to come indoors. So envious about yours!

Here's some stuff looking good:

Nasturtiums of course. They self sow ALL OVER the garden and I love them. They're still looking great, although they'll fade in the heat soon, but for now, they get to be included in the "looking good" category, LOL:

Plus that Hippeastrum striatum is just covered with flowers now:

Japanese honeysuckle is perfuming the garden day and night right now. Such great, well-behaved vines here (I know, I know, they're garden thugs in wetter climates):

I'm up to my eyeballs in red Shirley poppies, plus chocolate flowers:

...and this fun Cleistocactus is starting to flower too:

My earliest pomegranates are starting to flower too--always a treat.

Happy gardening all, keep the pics and updates coming!

Here is a link that might be useful: pics from my garden, April 2014

    Bookmark   April 12, 2014 at 1:04PM
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Raimeiken - z9b - Peoria, AZ

I'm in the middle of totally landscaping the whole backyard, so don't mind the mess in the background lol.

My three Longan trees blooming now

Canna 'Kentucky Sunset'

Canna 'President'

Canna 'Gigundo' on the left and right side, just sprouting. Supposed to grow over 12ft tall! Purple sugar canes sprouting in the middle of the pic.

one of the Roselles I grew from seed this late January. Already producing flowers.

Two year old Moreton Bay Fig tree I started from seed that I collected from Balboa park in San Diego. I have 5 of them. They handle the cold very well. They were exposed to 26deg weather unprotected and didn't show any damage. I'm still thinking of a good spot to plant one on the front yard. I'm just worried it'll turn into a giant and wreck havok on the foundation, irrigation, or sidewalks lol

Alphonso Mangoes, two of the fifteen developing fruit on the tree.

Rare White Orchid tree. Just planted this one two weeks ago and it's still blooming like crazy!

Newly planted White Sapote. And as expected, not looking so good. It should take a couple of years before seeing any significant growth.

Scored a 12ft tall Silkfloss tree a couple months ago. I finally got it planted in ground.

Lemon Guavas

Apple Bananas I bought from a seller on eBay selling huge corms for cheap! I got 4 big corms for $24. They're finally sprouting and there's at least 2-3 pups growing from each corm.

Strawberry Guava tree growing fast, but no blooms this spring so far.

Giant timber bamboo starting to shoot up! I can't wait to get the whole back wall filled in with these.

Jaboticaba planted in a well protected spot.

three new seedlings that I just received in the mail. Two are Red Orchid Trees (Bauhinia Galpinii) I couldn't find a source locally so I bought them online.
And the third one is a Erythrina crista-galli or Brazillian Coral tree

    Bookmark   April 14, 2014 at 8:45PM
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Wow! Amazing pics. Now I have plant envy. This fall I'll be asking for advice from many of you to add your plants to my garden. I'm happy to see so many fellow plumeria lovers. My dwarf Singapore Pink is blooming earlier this year with our mild winter.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 2:52AM
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White Lady Banks rose I'm training to climb up a post on our patio.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 2:53AM
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Two young peach trees I planted in February (Saturn and Red Baron).

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 2:55AM
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    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 2:59AM
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Egyptian Walking Onions

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 3:07AM
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I'itoi onions

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 3:10AM
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Found a new friend digging up potatoes for dinner.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 3:08PM
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This is my first time growing potatoes, and I had a few croak as well. There were holes and tunnels inside the stems: potato worm. Dang. There were no control methods I could find except protecting plants from the (moth or butterfly) that transmits them.

I decided to dig "just to see" and there were small potatoes! Woohoo! I planted the seed potatoes in January. Everything I read said to let them grow until they bloom and then the plants die back. So, I assumed they had to bloom to make potatoes. Wrong! Perfect red potatoes with cream colored insides.

When did you plant, and how will they fare in the heat?

I also have a lot of yam plants from slips I grew from a tater in a jar. This is a year of experimenting for me. Trying comfrey, sorghum, black oil sunflowers, giant sunflowers, lettuce that is bolting, garlic, rape for the chickens, tomatoes, corn and chinese elms which came from volunteers (or is it japanese elm?) Watermelon. The cantaloupe refused to come up, as did the radishes. Oh, cucumbers, green beans, strawberries, eggplant, some herbs, one each blackberry and raspberry plants, one blueberry experiment. The peas are all done. The fruit trees are coming along.

Shees, I didn't realize I had so much stuff going on.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 9:33PM
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Wow, so many amazing gardeners! Picts are beautiful. I enjoyed your spring yard and patio Grant, there is no question that you are king! lol
Sunday was a beautiful day to garden, spent time in the yard, including dividing up a very large lady slipper cactus that had outgrown it's pot and put several pieces in the yard. The remainder went back in the pot, and looks so much better. I went to work Monday, cactus scratched and sunburned, but well worth it.

Sage and others getting ready to bloom, more picts soon.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 9:36PM
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I ended up with 5 lbs of medium to new potato size in my 8 ft row of russet potatoes. They were all well formed and it was only those 3 infected by scab.

My potatoes would have fared better if I added organic materials, fertilized, mulched and watered better. I have a unique challenge here in AZ, I live on old farmland, my entire plot is well draining sandy loam 18 to 24 inches deep then under that is hard pan with super rocky and clay. In otherwords I didn't adjust watering for higher tempest. So

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 11:42PM
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So my potatoes failed from lack of water and a whitefly invasion sucked the rest of the life out of them.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 11:49PM
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MaryMcP Zone 8b - Phx AZ

timber, I've heard potatoes need lots of water, too bad about the whiteflies, those buggers!

You've gotta love all the blooming cactus right now....

Got Pink?

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 9:28AM
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MaryMcP Zone 8b - Phx AZ

Got tomatoes??

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 9:30AM
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grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)

Awesome new pics and updates all, you have some great plants! Love that pink cactus, Mary, and all of the other updates too. Some of my dwarf plumerias really didn't drop their leaves, and my largest, 'Celandine' definitely did but is waking up and will be making lots of those wonderful, heavily fragrant blooms (yup, I see the buds already). Such great plants. I am loving the weather right now--warm days and pleasant nights. I still haven't turned on the a/c since the house cools off so nicely at night, and if I seal it up when I head to work it stays cool all day. Nice!

Here's an oldey timey amaryllis (Hippeastrum, botanically speaking) blooming in the garden. It's Hippeastrum johnsonii, that some think is a species and some think is a very early hybrid. Either way, it's got a certain durable wild charm about it, and it's been passed down among gardeners and nursery people for 150 plus years. So fun (and easy!)

Here's a no-ID "amaryllis" that I bought several years (I think it's the variety 'Charisma') that re blooms for me each and every April. I bought three bulbs for three dollars on a rescue rack and they all three always rebloom in spring. Talk about a bargain!

Our native "western four o'clock" or "Colorado four o'clock", Mirabilis multiflora, has been blooming away for weeks now. I actually much prefer it to the more popular M. jalapa types as the foliage is much more tidy (and a waxy blue green), plus the purple is just intoxicating. Full hot sun or partial shade, are fine for this fun deciduous perennial.

And while not flashy, I do love Euphorbia royleana, my FAVORITE landscape Euphorbia for this climate. I've planted quite a few of these all over my garden in everything from full sun to partial shade and they've all really thrived. And no, I don't protect them at ALL winter or summer. Easy and fun!

Keep the great garden updates coming, pics or not, happy gardening all!

Here is a link that might be useful: Pics from my garden, April 2014

    Bookmark   April 20, 2014 at 7:14PM
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MaryMcP Zone 8b - Phx AZ

Hi Grant, is Euphorbia royleana's common name Fairy Castle cactus? I have several of those in pots and love them.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2014 at 7:42PM
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grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)

Hiya Mary and all,

Nope, Euphorbia royleana is a succulent, not a cactus, although I totally see the resemblance.

I love 'Fairy Castle' cacti though (a mutant form of Cereus tetragonus (sometimes now called Acanthocereus tetragonus)). I remember seeing a pic of one of yours in a pot. We'd love to see an update on it, and any of its friends. A review never hurts. :)

Happy gardening!

    Bookmark   April 20, 2014 at 8:29PM
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Here are a few from my garden/yard from this April;





















    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 5:45PM
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what the HECK - I can't figure out how to post on this damn site :-(

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 5:46PM
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grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)

BEAUTIFUL Rose, Kevin! The final pic showed up! I love it. You can always do the individual upload thing to post a pic, like you did with the final one, or just email me (grant_in_arizona@yahoo.com) and I can show you the link to use for posting multiple pics. It's annoying, lol, but once you get it you'll be able to post multiple pics at once that also show up in email versions of posts too. Lemme know! Love the rose, and keep the pics coming!! :) We want to seeeeeeeeee

    Bookmark   April 24, 2014 at 10:08AM
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grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)

Hi everyone, just for fun here are a few pics of an amaryllis (Hippeastrum, botanically speaking) in bloom this morning.

This is one I hybridized myself and named after my mom, Carol Meyer, who indulged me so much as a kid gardener, and even today when she visits and I bore her with a tour of the garden and my hundreds of container plants, hahahahah. It's the varieties Sydney crossed with Minerva. It bloomed for the first time last year and is blooming right now. It has several siblings that I hope bloom soon as I'm curious how they'll compare.

Anyway, here's Hippeastrum 'Carol Meyer'. Nice and bright!! Happy gardening!

    Bookmark   April 24, 2014 at 10:12AM
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No pics but artichoke looks amazing. We've eaten three small chokes and have about 12 on the plant with six ready to eat. More babies appear to be coming. I planted this one from seed 18 months ago.
Peppers-loads of jalapeños, yellow jalapeños, poblanos and jumbo mild jalapeños on 2-3 year old plants.
Lavender, basil, salvias, hibiscus all looking good. I have a few tomatoes, planted a little late. The Sungold and Matt's are setting fruit. Matt's is from last spring. Bearded iris. Tomatillo and eggplants are blooming but no fruit,yet.
Hyacinth bean bloomed and set beans early from last year's vine. I love them for the flowers,lunch foliage and beautiful purple beans. Never tried eating them but if it sets again I might. Will have plenty of bean seed to take to North Carolina when we move this summer.
Finally, passion vine. I have two different types and they are loaded with butterflies. Not a ton of flowers but they are in shade. I'm going to transplant a couple of volunteers into the sun.
Other volunteers-about five tomatoes, a bunch of chard and even a few kale plants that popped up from last years kale, I guess. No volunteer pink eye purple hull, yet but it's early. I had so many last year. And, finally a little bit of parsley from a batch I started two years ago.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2014 at 3:49PM
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