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Friday, November 18, 2011

Sweets, Snakes and Walmart Figs

I never knew that sweet potato vines produced flowers, but here they are, looking like morning glories. The net tells me that researchers clip and prune and dry and soak such vines in order to get flowers, and they don't always get them. Hot, wet Florida produces them with one palm tree tied behind its back.                                                                                 Horticulturalists want the seeds so they can breed plants for desired qualities, like color or shape or flavor of the fruit. So I guess I will have to watch for seeds and try planting them next year. I'll be the east-coast Luther Burbank. 
 Whoever named the rattlesnake bean either thought the reptile was beautiful, or never saw the blossoms. How do these ethereal beauties relate to the rattlesnake? The bean pods do grow with mottled markings that could resemble a rattler if you squint real tight. I got just a few of them when I planted the beans last summer. They're supposed to like the heat, but to paraphrase garden guru Margaret, there's heat and there's Florida heat. They squeezed out about six beans and shriveled to sticks. In  "cooler" fall weather, they thrive.  

Figs! Purchased at a store that otherwise gives me hives: Walmart. Margaret told me to buy plants there. "No, really." So I stopped in to their garden department and discovered gorgeous, vigorous growing things like this fig tree, scarcely a foot tall, but with this pretty fruit on it. To foil the verminous squirrels that get most of my figs, I've ensconced this plant in a tomato cage and wrapped it with bird netting. I will eat those figs. I will.

1 comment:

  1. So, why do I get colored lines instead of colored background? I highlight the whole post and click the color setting and get these random patches and lines. Phoo.