Saturday, October 9, 2010

A Very Green Post (but not in a hippie way)

Somebody recently made a comment about my "green thumb", which elicited gales of laughter from my husband, and a chortle from me. Wait, strike that, reverse it. Either way it was funny because up until we moved into this house last year, I had what I despondently referred to as the "thumb of death."

Not for a lack of trying, I managed to kill off things that were supposedly simple to grow like cacti, herbs, and daisies. Every once in awhile I'd get lucky, like the poinsettia I threw in a big pot after Christmas one year that turned into something verging on scary it was so big. Until Hurricane Wilma tore it up. I had some moderate success with basil one year. That was about it. 

 Here, though, it's different. I feel like most things just flourish without my having to do too much. And the more success I have the more obsessed with plants I become. This is a really long intro for essentially me saying that today we got to go to the USF Botanical Gardens fall plant festival. It was hot, and crowded, and my youngest did protest loudly and lingeringly at being carted around in a stroller. BUT we walked away with quite a fun assortment of plants. First of all, I got a pitcher plant, which is something I've been wanting for ages now. I don't know why. Probably because it looks vaguely menacing, like something that might--just MIGHT--grow up really big one day and eat you. 

I got a Brown Turkey Fig. I don't know why. To my knowledge I've never eaten a fig (unless you count Fig Newtons, and most people probably don't) so I don't have a clue what I'll do with them. Mostly it was nostalgia for fig tree smell, as we had one at the museum where I lived as a kid. And it was five bucks. Why not?

Raspberries. Yum. Hopefully they'll do good here. My blueberries did well so I'll keep my fingers crossed.

This is one of the things I'm most happy about--my Meyer Lemon tree!! Citrus trees are not cheap, especially at Home Depot or other nurseries. I got this puppy for fifteen bucks, and as you can see it's already loaded with baby lemons! I'm really excited about this. I use lemons constantly, and they're so expensive. So hopefully this little guy will keep me lemoned up for a good while.

A passion fruit vine. My husbands choice. I think passion fruit smells like cat pee, so I wasn't that into it. But we went as a family, so.....

Mangoes! I have to keep this tree indoors for the first year apparently, as they don't tolerate the cold well at all. That's fine. It can be a natural air filter for us. The real dilemma is how to keep mister grabby-pants (aka Malcolm) from denuding the thing while it lives inside with us. 

I also got a Brazilian Cherry tree but it looks just like the mango so I didn't take a picture.

Now, does anybody remember my sweet potato disappointment a few months back? Y'know, how the whole bed was full of nothing but roots? Well today I walked out my front door and noticed a vine growing next to my elephant ears. I pulled it up because here in Florida vines are the worst weeds ever. Turns out it was a sweet potato plant! I have no idea how it got there. Weird, eh? I replanted it in an empty useless bed, just for the heck of it. We'll see what happens.

Now for the real shocker--here's a picture of my sweet potato bed. The one that had nothing but roots. The one we ripped all the vines out of to let our resident wild bunny eat them.  Almost the whole bed is full of vines again. Back in August we tore up all the soil and mixed in a bunch of peat to lighten up the soil (since sweet potatoes apparently don't make tubers when the soil is too dense) and this is what happened. I'm leaving it alone for a good while to see if sweet potatoes will magically appear. Maybe this Thanksgiving we'll have a bounty of orangey goodness! Or, at the very least, the bunny will have more food. 

My hardworking husband, resting after the Herculean effort of uprooting a bunch of palm trees (I hate palm trees!) so we'd have a good place for my lemon tree to reside. Thanks, babe!

And lastly, the aloe and vining spinach my good friend Jenn gave me. Because every garden needs some aloe.

Keep your green thumbs crossed for me, will ya?
Happy Saturday


Susan said...

Awesome, Jenn! I'm green with envy ;)

Rachel Hauser said...

I'm trying not to envy your lemon tree. Wow, that's a lot growing!

P.S. Hey, now, gotta love the hippies.

rachel.lyn said...

you are my new farmer's market. i'll be over with a basket as soon as this stuff is ready!

Jenn Grigoryev said...

Ray-ray, I think it'll probably be awhile before you can come shopping at my house. We'll have to go to the St. Pete farmers market for now... once you've squeezed out Willow and are up for walkies.

And Rachel H., I don't dislike hippies. I just don't enjoy B.O. mixed with patchouli, that's all. :)