Archive for July 2012

Monday Plot Post: NSCG

I'm quite a bit later than usual for my way-too-infrequent Monday Plot Post. My plot at Wangari Gardens isn't doing a heck of a lot, but my plot at Newark Street Community Garden is growing gangbusters!

So here's a cornucopia of photos from my plot over the past month.

Larkspur flower

Cowhorn okra flower

Borage flower

Amaranth in bloom

Sea Island brown cotton flower

Sea Island brown cotton plant

The trellis tunnel arch is getting quite green--well, on one side. The passionflower and the pumpkin are growing well on the other side, but the cucumber and other squash I sowed went AWOL. I put in a jicama seedling and put in a few extra seeds, so we'll see what happens, but next year, I will have different plans.

The hops are flowering like mad on the trellis--it's nice walking through the arch with the hops dangling down. I can't wait until there are chayote, pumpkin, and passionfruit dangling down too!

Here's a look of the trellis tunnel arch from the back side. It's more unruly over here because of the pole beans. I cut down the pole bean population significantly--I don't want to imaging what it would look like if I hadn't.

If I hadn't whacked back the pole beans, you would only see a mass of green leaves cluttering up this... Oh, wait, it is anyway! The sweet potatoes are coming into their own nowadays, and with the hops and pole beans, they're creating a nice foliage cover for my figs, pomegranate, bay laurel, and ginger. Yeah, I have five potted plants sitting in that photo (actually on top of the soil within the tub that 'Teamaker' hops are planted in), but can you see them? All but the ginger is actually visible--at least partially.

I whacked back the pole beans partially because they were crowding out everything else they were near, such as the cotton, artichoke, purple bush beans, and the peanuts. They're still monsters, but a bit less crazy. The sweet potato vines, however, are starting to take their place crowding out the peanuts.

The jalapeno is across the path from the peanuts, and I've gotten a few from it.

But the past week or so, it decided to die on me. I'm not sure what happened! All the leaves just started yellowing and going limp.

I know what happened to this plant--it dried out while I was on vacation.

I've kept watering it, however, in the hopes that perhaps it wouldn't be completely dead. And it's not! There's some new growth at the base. I hope I can nurse it back to life, as long as I water it often enough.

The deer are helping manage the pole beans growing near the fence on the path.

This is my Burkina Faso eggplant. I love the angular leaves--I'm still waiting for it to start fruiting, however.

At 7 to 8 feet, the sorghum is towering over the corn, which bent over during one of the many summer storms we've had.

This tiny pepper is 'Explosive Embers.' I haven't picked any yet, because they're so small, but I'm pretty usre they're a bit spicy.

Here is the first pumpkin fruit that's starting to fill out on the trellis arch. I can't wait!

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Cactus Jungle

Another stop on my tour of gardens and nurseries in the San Francisco area was Cactus Jungle, in Berkeley. I wandered around that shop all greedily checking out the plants, taking photos, almost stepping on the dogs. I didn't realize I had been there for over two hours until I stumbled out of the shop (with only two plants).

Manfreda or Mangave, I'm not sure--the photo I took of the tag was too blurry to read.

I didn't notice a tag on this cactus. Awesome tall, fuzzy, flowering cactus! Update: A reader e-mailed me a possible ID: Cleistocactus strausii. Sure looks like it to me!

Opuntia rubra, maybe a bigger version of what I have out front!

Lewisia 'Little Plum' has awesome flowers. This was a contender for my plant purchases, but I decided to go for smaller, easier-to-transport plants. Lewisia is still on my list to own at some point, however!

Adenium somalense

Ibervillea lindheimeri

Oxalis is a genus that's like the quirky best friend in a horrible high school romance movie, the one who's always there and never shares his/her true feelings about the main character. After a series of horrid events, the main character loses his/her love interest and realizes that the quirky best friend is the perfect guy/gal for him/her. This O. vulcanicola and the O. herrerae below made me realize that I have always enjoyed being in Oxalis' company but that I also have the capacity to love them.

Oxalis herrerae

A set of huge Pachypodium. I want one--but perhaps a tiny starter plant. I'll have to wait a few decades for them to get this large, though.

I needed a helping hand to get this Calandrinia grandiflora flower to sit still so my iPhone would focus on it.

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UC Berkeley Botanical Garden

Continuing the California posts, here are a bunch of photos I took at the University of California Botanical Garden at Berkeley.

I posted about the plants I purchased already, as well as the gesneriads I found in various gardens and nurseries on Petal Tones, the blog of the local DC area chapter of the Gesneriad Society.

I could have spent hours and hours at UCBBG. The horticulturalists there were so friendly, and the grounds were quite vast. But after missing several buses to campus and hiking up a mountain to get there, a two-hour visit seemed more reasonable. It's definitely a place to stop by again next time I'm in the area!

Dorstenia gigas in the Arid House

NOID in the Arid House

Pachypodium lamerei in the Arid House. I'm falling in love with Pachypodium.

Pachypodium lamerei leaves

Adenium obesum flowers in the Arid House. I have a little thing for Adenium, too.

Dioscorea elephantipes in the Arid House. I'm also developing a thing for caudiciforms--I think it is an extension of my love for tuberous Sinningia.

Gasteria batesiana in the Arid House

Welwitschia mirabilis in the Arid House

Euphorbia obesa in the Arid House

Ariocarpus collection in the Arid House

Cactus flower in the New World Desert.

Protea cynaroides in Southern Africa

Hibiscus schizopetalus in the Tropical House

Heliconia rostrata in the Tropical House

Amorphophallus titanum in the Tropical House. This one is named "Malodora." There were two named "Odora" and "Odoardo" hidden behind the wet rock wall behind this A. titanum.

Restrepia hemsleyana flower in the Fern & Carnivorous Plants House. It was hard to photograph a lot of the carnivorous plants and orchids in this greenhouse, because they were behind glass.

Aglaomorpha heraclea in the Fern & Carnivorous Plants House

Sarracenia collection in the Fern & Carnivorous Plants House


By The Bay

San Francisco Bay, that is.

I have copious photos from various gardens and nurseries from my visit to San Francisco last month. These are the photos that are unassociated with any particular place that I can remember. San Francisco at the end of June is a beautiful town!

A nice wall of various Tillandsia at Sight Glass cafe. The coffee took an eternity and was tiny, but it was damn good.

It was necessary to see the bridge, of course.

And I met Xena and Gabrielle. This made me incredibly happy!



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