by, 04-03-2014 at 06:30 AM (3501 Views)
Every year, at a certain time, I begin to get antsy in anticipation of spring. . . of digging my hands deep within the soil, smelling the richness of the earth & eagerly anticipating Plant Porn- Spring Catalogs loaded with gorgeous plants that might (or might not) really exist. For me, spring is a reprieve from months of long, arduous work inside, hours spent behind the computer screen writing and analyzing code, responding to emails and questions, etc.
I love weird and unusual plants, oddities that others generally prefer not to tackle with and each spring, I reward my year long frugality & hard work with a new addition to my garden. One year it was a dragon arum or as some would call it, a Voodoo Lily (or Corpse flower). It has a rather unique bloom and the flower, although brief in blooming, smells like a corpse!
Among the voodoo lily I have multiple fruit trees including several kiwi, pomegranate, peaches, mac apples, 2 types of figs, 3 types of cherries, persimmons, a Rambutan tree and a few others. This years guilty pleasure will be coffee bean plants- 3 different varieties. I love the idea of growing my own coffee and roasting it.
Odd plants really strike my fancy- like the Codariocalyx Motorius - the Dancing plant. It's also known as telegraph plant or semaphore plant and it's rapid movements or "dance moves" are really amazing to watch. I've recently found some seeds online and now I'm considering adding that to my collection this year.
Another rather interesting specimen that I've encountered is Giant Hogweed- something that I first encountered in Alaska several years ago when another, less wary traveler in our group decided to play with the local flora. The photosensitive sap reacts with the sun instantly and starts a chemical reaction that burns through the skin and tissues, leading to necrosis and the formation of massive, purplish lesions that incredibly, may last for several years. In this case the lady was transported to the hospital by ambulance after she picked a leaf during a walk to bring back to camp. People have planted it along their property borders to deter intruders and after a recent string of break-ins, I'm not beyond growing it as a "fence" myself now that the kids are old enough to stay clear of it.
Another favorite that I've had for years is the Selaginella lepidophylla, better known as the resurrection plant. It can survive almost complete desiccation- drying into a tiny ball of near dust and then, when watered, it literally springs back to life within a couple hours.
Each year as the new catalogs emerge, I find myself thumbing the pages eagerly perusing for the most unique plant to add to my collection . . . this year is no exception, I'm desperately wanting to bury my hands int he dirt . . . not the many pages of tax forms that we're forced to read and fill out year after year after year.
I digress, . . . This year we've decided that it's time to put together a small greenhouse to extend our growing season and avoid the many GMO laden "food-like" produce that's plaguing the shelves at the supermarket.
I'm still debating what to add but here's a partial list we've come up with so far:
- Several Varieties of Lettuce
- Bell Peppers
- Strawberries (in gutters)
In the Regular Garden:
- Jalapenos (regular garden)
- Summer Squash (reg garden)
- Zucchini (regular garden)
- Tomatoes (several varieties
- cayenne peppers, makes a great, fragrant edible border!
Are you planning your garden? What are you growing this year? Do you have any weird or fun plants as well?