Monday, March 25, 2013

In my Denver yard, from 1987 until I moved back to Tampa in November 2002, I abided by the theme of ornamentals in my front yard, food crops out back, except for the small Candy Mint lawn I had my last few years there, although as here I grew in the back yard roses from my own breeding program. (see the link to my registered rose hybrids). And here at my south Tampa retirement home I've done the same thing. But that is changing BIG time. Until this year, my front yard kept getting re-consumed by two lovely but very hard to manage tropical vines that either reseeded or rooted where they touched.....Pandorea Vine and Perennial Morning Glory (Ipomoea acuminata). With the help of a neighborhood yard guy with little lawn mowing work in winter and who is an EXCELLENT weeder, I've got them ALMOST eliminated from the front yard. Both had consumed my west fence and two rambling roses there, but now that the fence and roses are clear and in full sun, I will be planting all along the fence many giant white lima beans (Phaseolus lunatus) I bought a big bag of at Publix. Unlike garden beans (Phaseolus vulgaris) lima beans are tropical and love summers here. They will clothe the fence, nitrify the soil, and give me food (my intent is to eat most like edamame soybeans). In the south end of that bed, behind the 250 gallon tote soon to become a rain barrel, are planted sunflowers, nasturtiums, marigolds, hot peppers, glads bulbs, a crinum and a test patch of the Perennial Sweet Leek that Josh Jamison gave me. It is some work, but a lot of fun to be greatly reinventing this front yard after ten years to feature perhaps seventy roses vs. the original pre-drought one hundred and seventy, NO invasive ornamental vines and quite a few food crops, like the "Vegetable Mallow" (Malva verticillata var. crispa) that is the border plant for the main bed hugging the old original limestone fish pond I built circa 2000.


  1. If I wanted to plant giant white lima beans in my yard this summer such as you are, what do I buy at Publix? I don't want to waste my time trying to grow the wrong thing, but would love to have some lima beans growning somewhere in my dug-up yard.

    Thanks, Nancy R

  2. Just look at their selection of dried beans and buy the biggest ones. I bought Publix brand "Large Lima".