Friday, January 10, 2020

Houseplant Appreciation Day

My only claim to owning a true 'houseplant' is the pothos in the center. Everything else (the potted citrus) go outdoors as soon as its warm enough to set them out.

Happy belated new year! New year, new garden plans. And if you've arrived here via instagram, welcome to The Proud Garden. The blog used to be a place where I would document the harvests from the growing season, but seeing that I want to break out of the mold and cultivate different, if not unusual plants, the year 2020 seems right for that line of thinking.

These are just a few of the plants I have marked in the nursery catalog:

Miss Pink grapes: attractive and tasty seedless grape, with long, loose clusters. Medium pink-colored, crisp and juicy pulp, with an excellent aroma.

Akebia 'Chocolate Vine': semi-evergreen, rustic, cold-resistant climbing shrub with green leaves made up of 5 leaflets. It produces both female (fragrant) and male flowers on the same plant between April and May. The fruit's pulp has a sweet flavor, with a light melon aftertaste.

Passionfruit: would like to try this in a large vase that I can place in the greenhouse during winter.

Hortblue Petite® blueberry: The first double fruiting blueberry in the world! The first harvest is in July while the second in September. As indicated in its name it has compact growth, reaching a height of 80/100 cm. Particularly suitable for pot cultivation.

Cosmos 'Cupcakes White' 'Sweet Sixteen' and 'Sea Shells': this will be a first-time experience growing these.

And in the vegetable patch (along with the usual suspects):

Lime basil
Lebanese white zucchini
Okinawa bittermelon
Okra 'Blondy'
Uchiki Kuri squash
Yellow Cutie watermelon

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Siamese twin dahlia?!

Recently from the flower garden... Where 'siamese twin' blooms are concerned, I think I might be the first to post such an oddity in the dahlia department. This Cafe au Lait variety looked like another big blossom until I made a closer inspection. After separating the petals, it revealed 2 individual sepals conjoined at the stem. Bizarre, but pretty cool as I've only been growing dahlias for a few years.

Paul Robeson and Cherokee Purple tomatoes, nashi pears

The temperatures are gradually lowering as the fall season progresses, but as long as there's a bit of sun every day, the tomatoes should continue ripening for another couple of weeks. I'm satisfied with our harvests this year (way too many cucumbers though), even if the pears suffered stink bug bites. The affected fruit have an ugly, bumpy surface and by the time you cut out the blemished areas, there's decidely less of it to eat. Italy's ag sector sustained serious damage from the brown marmorated stink bug - Halyomorpha halys - and there's talk of introducing a predatory wasp. How effective the wasps will be is what everyone is wondering, even if the predators might eventually do more harm to our ecosystem.