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Archive for trailing plants

Trumpeting in the new: Vine announces itself and season

DSC02341(3)It’s not officially summer yet, but here in Florida, I think we can call it early. If the temperatures and tropical storms on the horizon aren’t enough of a giveaway, leave it to nature and the garden to provide the ultimate testimony. In living color.

Here in Zone 9, seasonal changes are not as pronounced as in cold weather climes, but nonetheless there still are plants that rest and go dormant while waiting for “summer” to make a triumphant return. And seeds can take root in short order—whether you plant them yourself or they blow in on a balmy tropical breeze. (Not a bad metaphor for a returning transplant like myself!)

Case in point: I recently observed the phenomenon in a hedge along the front of the house… It hadn’t been trimmed in a while and isn’t known to flower, yet suddenly¬† towering shoots appeared to be sprouting from it with clusters of orange flowers bursting forth. After a closer look I realized that the shoots weren’t part of the hedge, but a vine not included in the original landscape plan that had arrived of its own accord, in a defiant act of self-propagation. Now it was entwined Read the rest of this entry »

A tale of two sweet potato vines – healthy growth inside and out

DSC00619DSC00625DSC00328While my purchased sweet potato vine grows fast and furious outside, my home- grown vine, sprouting from an actual potato, is on quite a growth spurt inside, too.

As you can see, the longest stem has grown from mere sprouts (third photo) to about two-feet since I started the project a couple months back. Of course, my next challenge is to figure out how to get rid of the potato and create a traditional indoor plant from the vine.

The jar of water that I suspended the cut sweet potato into is now filled with fibrous roots and I have multiple leafy stems protruding from the potato. I’ve decided to take off some of those stems as cuttings and try to root them using one of the peat pellets left over Read the rest of this entry »

Flower boxes look good for now; but, I definitely need a new plan

DSC00403DSC00413No, dear friends, my plants are not happily basking outside today as I had planned.

Not because the weather didn’t hold up. Not even because I didn’t want to repeat all that lifting just to do it again in reverse a day and a half later. No, after stepping out onto my balcony with the best of intentions, I looked up — and then backed out. Or rather, backed back in… into my condo, that is.

I decided that maybe it wasn’t such a good idea to tempt fate and mess about outside while a huge metal scaffolding platform hung overhead — no Read the rest of this entry »

A sweet, potato project: Lazy, drizzly day perfect for vine time

Sweet potato vine is a staple in my garden.

Sweet potato vine is a staple in my garden; I've already picked up two for my planter boxes.

‘One potato, two potato …’ I was thinking of the children’s rhyme today when I compared two sweet potatoes that had been languishing in my larder since Easter.

One looked much like it did when I bought it, while the other had several sprouts jutting from it — purple sprouts. And, what’s more, a closer examination revealed what looked to be tiny purple leaves extending, in turn, from them.

Dig the tiny purple leaves

Tiny purple leaves jut from the sprouts of my sweet potato.

The garden is great for awakening a sense of wonder. Even if it’s a long time coming. I’ve used sweet potato vine in my planters for several years now, but only recently started to ponder their relationship to, duh, sweet potatoes.

A little online research gave instructions on how Read the rest of this entry »