Thursday, July 18, 2013

One of my goals as I revamp my front yard to make it tidier is to add more color while incorporating more roses plus quite a few more food crops than I've grown in the past. The glads and the rambling roses in the west bed out front are thriving, but I continue to be amazed by the vigor of Jon Butts' infamous sweet potato and the "Joyner Butter Beans". The sweet potato vines keep encroaching into the path, making me think I should not have planted them there though they are choking out weeds there wonderfully. I can see why the folks in whose garden the "Joyner Butter Bean" evolved from 'Whippoorwill' feel that the pollen parent was 'Iron Clay' cowpea as all of a sudden the vigor is remarkable, with the vines scampering up rebar intended for climbing roses!! Pods are tough even when young so I cook and serve them like edamame soybeans, cooked 10 minutes, drained, and tossed with a little coconut oil and soy sauce. It's been a few years since I've grown hollyhocks, which in Denver reseed to the point of being a weed. They always remind me of my childhood in the UP of Michigan....nice to see this pink one doing well in the summer heat as in the past I've grown them only as winter annuals. I am in love with this super vigorous, bushy red pentas that Mary Jo originally acquired in 1992 before the breeders, in their well-intended efforts to "improve" pentas, bred out the vigor and longevity. The original red species type from Egypt was very tall and very lanky and I grew it in the early 80s when it was a common sight in Tampa, so the 1992 date makes me feel it is an early hybrid when the breeders sought to reduce the lankiness. 27 of the 30 cuttings rooted.....I'll plant maybe 15 here and will share the rest. Donna Bevis I want to give you one to see how it fares with your reclaimed water. The first pic is from June 2 when I cut the young plant down to stubs for cuttings...the second pic is from yesterday!! It is a butterfly magnet.

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