Container gardening pros and cons

Think of growing veggies in pots as mini raised beds. Because that’s what they are with certain advantages and only a few caveats. Advantages;1. Using plastic pots in sizes ranging from #5 (5gal) up to #25 (25 gal) or larger is a far cheaper proposition than the material costs of a “raised bed”/garden box.Additionally, most…

Leonotis mollissima

With its seed origin on the northern tip of the island of Unguja in the Zanzibar archipelago, this rare member of the genus Leonotis has found its way into my gardens this year.A perennial plant it is native to East and South Africa.White whorls of flowers and large aromatic leaves are attractive to both bees…

Bracer roots

A deformity? Scary Halloween toes?Nature’s wonders may not always be beautiful but they are fascinating.This is the base of a stalk of corn and the extensions are called “bracer roots”.They are more commonly seen on heirloom varieties that are tall growers.The indigenous Mixe community in the isolated village of Totontepec in the eastern mountains of…

Crinum moorei

We’ve made it halfway through the week (or to somewhere).This beauty is Crinum moorei,( Moore’s Crinum Lily, Natal Lily, Lily of the Orinico). it’s blooming late this year by about two weeks which is in keeping with current climate change; Spring two weeks earlier, Fall two weeks later.Still it looks great against that ‘Kodachrome’ sky!

Cardoons and a recipe for Cardoon Potato Gratin

Pink stem Cardoon ‘Rouge de Algiers’ A ‘Food Forest’ or ‘Forest Garden’ is a design practice that falls under the broader heading of ‘Permaculture’. (The term Agro-forest is also used but I tend to avoid using it as it lends itself to a more commercial connotation)Within such a design plan one tries to establish layers…

A hummingbird nest

So I’m watering a stand of Salvia Karwinskii (Karwin’s Sage*) in the garden the other day and all of a sudden something odd catches my eye…on closer inspection; a Hummingbird’s nest!I am certain that I, with both my hands, could never create something as incredible! Karwin’s Sage is a perennial shrub native to the moist…

Rose-infused Vodka

June is almost at a close.In honor of the flower most often associated with this month, the Rose, I offer you (those who imbibe of adult beverages) one of the easiest ever methods for really enjoying this flower.First, you need a clean jar with a tight-fitting lid (I like mason jars)Second a blossom, or two,…