Thursday, June 5, 2014

Thunderstorms you say? I'll beleive that when I see it!

Welcome back to another episode of Lost In The Farmers Market or LITFM to all you internet abbreviation fans out there. This episode is one of the more important ones of the year because we have a major announcement and some good photographs from the garden. So let’s start with the announcements since that part is time sensitive.  In case you have not been to the Sustainable Neighbors page lately this weekend, specifically on Sunday the 8th between the hours of 1 and 4pm there is a garden tour. There are two Locations and this is an unstructured tour, you can go to one location or both and visit in any order you choose. The two locations are Melissa’s Celtic Gardens and My own Test Gardens. The full information including driving directions on both is posted on the Sustainable Neighbors site.

For the record I have to say that visitors to the test gardens will get to see what’s on the growing rack before anyone else, including a few items not due for sale for a few months. Visitors are welcome to purchase stuff off the racks and as per tradition if it’s outside and on the racks it’s available for sale. But of course today’s main topic covers some good garden photographs and a little bit of advice concerning our strange weather.

First off, we know the weather is hot and miserable, rain has been so unreliable that for the first time in test garden history in North Carolina I ran a rain barrel empty irrigating the plants in the month of May. For record I expect to brain a barrel dry in August or July but may is typically unheard of. We’ve received no precipitation of any note (less than 0.05”) and supposedly there is a band of thunder storms headed our way. So maybe we have some relief in the cards but honestly I’ll believe it when I see it. Now keep in mind, as a rule of thumb most new plantings need daily or nearly daily watering for roughly two weeks to get the transplants established. Larger transplants such as trees or shrubs may need longer care to reduce the effects of transplant shock.

Solanum quitoense – Bed of Nails/ Naranjilla
Here are True Facts about the Bed of Nails Plont. If you asked a gardener who spends too much time in the sun to suggest the perfect plont to define sexual deviancy he might just select the Bed of Nails..... and then open his trench coat to flash you. Being a part of the nightshade family pretty much guarantees some shady business is going on. That’s right belladonna I’m looking at you with your saucy murderous haucinogenic mayhem. The bed of nails plont is named for its spine covered leaves and stems which might just be the fantasy of one Marquis De Sade. That’s right kids…ask your parents if you can Google that. Enjoy the nightmare fuel....just doin' my part. Bed of nails is best known for being painful…and being painful and…well it’s a tropical depression of pain. The spines make handling it, harvesting its fruit or attempting to get the money you loaned it it back a pain. In fact even after it dies its dead spines are still dangerous making it well…you get the idea.For those of you not excited by this, some have suggested it as a barrier plont beneath a teenage daughters window. It's like a total C*** block and cold shower all in one just thinking about it. In fact some theorize that the only reason bed of nails has fruit is to lure people into its thorns making it the sociopath of the garden.*

Centaurrea cyanus - Bachelors Buttons
I’ve had pictures of this up before but not while it is in full bloom. This plant is a result of the same seed mix that introduced the evening primroses, Larkspur, small pink poppies, several cosmos and the tickseed plant pictured below. Honestly I don’t know why the plant is called what it is as buttons in that shape must’ve been a pain to get undone but the blue color of the flowers is quite striking.

Coreopsis tinctoria –Plains Coreopsis
I admit the angle on this one is a little funny because this little tickseed was growing under a much larger evening primrose. There are a few of these guys in the crescent bed and they came in with the wildflower seed mix and hopefully will naturalize.

Hemerocallis fulva – Tawny Daylily
These daylilies finally bloomed in a corner of the yard and much to surprise they are the breed of day lily often indicated as entirely edible and one of the better ones for foraging. The pretty orange blooms are a double bonus however as they do brighten an area under a Crape Myrtle.

Lampranthus sp. – Ice Plant
I don’t have precise information on this species of Ice plant, but I do know it’s a tender perennial in our climate as opposed to normal ice plant (delosperma cooperii). The change in leaves and the variegation do make the extra fuss worth it and finally it’s decided to bloom. This picture was taken in the early evening after the flowers had closed yet it took a year to get it to bloom at all.

Plectrantus amboinicus – Cuban Oregano
That’s right; it’s a member of the Swedish Ivy family and yet is edible and in taste and scent sort of resembles a mix between basil and oregano. The normal ones you might see at the store have smaller solid green leaves but as of late varieties have appeared that look like this or that also have splashes of pink on the leaves.Ironically it makes for a fantastic house plant so you have a supply of herbal goodness year-round.

This covers the garden topics and we must move on to a discussion of the farmers market this weekend. The weather has said there is a 50% chance of showers that’s the same for Thursday and Friday so hopefully the weather system isn’t going to mess with Saturday. The weather for Sunday is supposed to be clear and sunny and hopefully what storms we get will cool off the temperatures a bit. The Fayetteville Farmer’s Market runs from 9:00 am through 1:00 pm and may go later if there is enough foot traffic. The market is located at 325 Franklin Street in the Transportation Museum’s parking lots and is a rain or shine event. I might add the Sustainable neighbors Garden tour is on Sunday between 1:00 and 4:00pm information about the tour can be found in the link at the beginning of this article. But enough of the event information below is this week’s plant list.

Southward Skies: A northern guide to southern Gardening
This is the second edition of my book, which was published using data compiled from several years of test garden operations. It’s written to aid gardeners of all skill levels in successful garden methods that are targeted for the south east but had proven to be a valued resource for gardens across the eastern coast. It’s certainly a good gift for that gardener you know or for yourself if you’d like to have a reliable field guide. The book costs $25.00 and we do take checks for this item, you can even have it signed.

2x Eggplant, Casper , 3.5” pot ($3.00)
2x Eggplant, Early Black Egg, 3.5” pot ($3.00)
2x Eggplant, Louisiana Long Green, 3.5” pot ($3.00)

2x Pepper, Jalapeno, 3.5” pot ($3.00)
2x Pepper, Habenero, 3.5” pot ($3.00)
2x Pepper, Sweet Banana , 3.5” pot ($3.00)
2x Pepper, Pimento, 3.5” pot ($3.00)
2x Pepper, Carolina Wonder, 3.5” pot ($3.00)

2x Tomato, Brown Berry, 3.5” pot ($3.00)
2x Tomato, Cherokee Purple, 3.5” pot ($3.00)
2x Tomato, Martino’s Roma, 3.5” pot ($3.00)
2x Tomato, Rainbow Cherry Mix, 3.5” pot ($3.00)
2x Tomato, Red & Yellow Currant, 3.5” pot ($3.00)
2x Tomato, Reisotomate, 3.5” pot ($3.00)
2x Tomato, Underground Railroad, 3.5” pot ($3.00)

8x Strawberry- Ozark Beauty, 3.5” pot ($3.00) (On sale!)


2x Artemesia, 3.5” pot ($3.00)
4x Basil, Sweet, 3.5” pot ($3.00)
3x Basil, Thai, 3.5” pot ($3.00)
3x Basil, Cinnamon, 3.5” pot ($3.00)
3x Basil, Red Rubin, 3.5” pot ($3.00)
2x Bee Balm, Lambada, 3.5” pot ($3.00)
3x Chives, Common, 3.5” pot ($3.00)
3x Fennel, Black, 3.5” pot ($3.00)
1x Lavender, Munstead, 3.5” pot ($3.00)
1x Mint, Chocolate, 3.5” pot ($3.00)
2x Marjoram, 3.5” pot ($3.00)
4x Oregano, 3.5” pot ($3.00)
2x Parsley, Italian, 3.5” pot ($3.00)
1x Rosemary, 3.5” pot ($3.00)
2x Sage, 3.5” pot ($3.00)
3x Thyme, 3.5” pot ($3.00)

Coming Soon:
Black Hungarian Pepper
Potatoleaf Hillbilly Tomato
Japanese Black Trifele Tomato
Angel’s Trumpet “Bloomfield”
Passion Vine
Cucumber, Poona Kheera
Cucumber, Armenian
Melon, Vine Peach
Melon, Horned

This wraps up another episode of LITFM, I hope you all didn’t mind the jokes about the bed of nails plant; those jokes just had to be made. Feel free to let LITFM know if you want that to be a recurring spoof or if I should quit while I am ahead. Barring that remember to keep an eye on your hanging baskets and small pots during this type of weather as they may dry out faster than you expect. Thank you for reading

*P.S. All of the above is a joke, if you do not get the reference, look here and be prepared for hilarity.

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