Tag Archives: Paisley Plant of the Week

Paisley Plant of the Week: Wonderberry or Sunberry

Paisley Plant of the Week: Wonderberry or Sunberry

Big drama in the plant of the week this week. Scandal, heartbreak, a reputation in ruins, all happened with this two foot high plant.

To start with, what’s in a name?

Luther Burbank

Luther Burbank (1949-1926) was a great botanist in his time. He was said to have developed 800-1000 new species of plants. Even a fraction of that total would be amazing. Unfortunately the man was not without his naysayers. I believe there is a certain amount of professional jealousy that may have been involved with some of the more vicious attacks on his character.

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Paisley Plant of the Week: Jelly Melon

Paisley Plant of the Week: Jelly Melon

Kiwano or Jelly melon

What is this thing? Roughly the size and shape of an oblong personal melon of some kind. But, then it’s “horned” and bumpy, and well, it’s orange. Open it up and, woah Nellie, it’s green! Bright green! Is this someones idea of a garden joke? Sort of.

In Africa, where it originates, it is called “gaka” or “gakachika”. It can be called kiwano, melano, horned melon, English tomato, or cherie. It has many names. I think it’s because it’s kind of hard to peg. It can be eaten while it is still green, allowed to ripen to it’s full bright yellow and orange or at any stage in between.

Fruit from Outer Space?

It’s called a melon, but it’s really a cucumber. It’s kind of big like a melon, but inside it looks like a cucumber and it’s banana, citrus, cucumber, zucchini flavor all at once will have you wondering just what is this thing?

I love the Jelly Melon for a few reasons.

  1. It bears smallish size melons, perfect for a trellis.
  2. It’s interesting color and texture provides imaginative decoration in the garden and in the kitchen.
  3. It’s good in juice, you can also make a jam with it.
  4. It is extremely productive.
  5. You can pick the fruit small and pickle them.
  6. It’s high in antioxidants, vitamin C, iron, magnesium, B6,  and and has about 2g of fiber when you eat it skin and all. That’s pretty nutritious for one fruit Read the rest of this entry

Paisley Plant of the Week: Wisteria

Paisley Plant of the Week: Wisteria

 

Robin Red Breast, Here comes spring!

All gardeners that I know have a “signal” that is the harbinger of spring for them personally.

For some, it’s the nodding of the daffodils. For others it’s the insistence of the robins with their red breasts. Perhaps it’s the forsythia with it’s cheerful disposition and blazing confidence.

Nodding Daffodils

The NHL playoffs? To each his own.

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Paisley Plant of the Week: Rich Sweetness Melon

Paisley Plant of the Week: Rich Sweetness Melon

“Why don’t melons get married? Because they can’t elope.”

When we moved to the Flint house, there was already a small garden in place. It was very small, but I really did love it. I loved it so much that I could completely forgive everything I gave up to come here. A soaking tub, gone. Marble counters, cherry over sized cabinets, history. My beautiful, glorious, sink down in neck deep water every single stinkin’ day soaking tub, a memory.

We arrived in East Texas, I immediately love the idea of being so close to my relatives. We’re less than an hour from all of the Parsnips immediate family and most of the extended. We’re close, but not really too close, if you know what I mean.

We live on a peninsula of the lake, there is not really a reason for anyone to “just drop by”. You wouldn’t be “in the neighborhood” unless you were taking the jet ski out, in which case you’re welcome to drop in first.

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Paisley Plant of the Week: Winged Asian Bean

Paisley Plant of the Week: Winged Asian Bean

Have I got a paisley plant for you and she’s a beauty! How would you like a plant that you could eat every single part of? A plant low in calories, high in protein and high in flavor? Look no further!

Asian Winged Bean

The Asian Winged Bean has arrived!

Asian Winged Bean plant

Grown much in the way as a pole bean, the carefree vine loads on the beans beginning in September and will continue to be generous right up until your first frost. As I mentioned before, every part of this plant is edible. Not only edible, but delicious. The tuber has a nutty flavor and has up to 20 grams of protein, far more than a potato or even a sweet potato.

The leaves can be eaten fresh, or cooked like spinach. Unlike spinach, they are readily available in even your hottest weeks. The flowers are a beautiful lavender and have the taste and texture of a good mushroom, lovely in salads. And finally the pods, a mixture of a snow pea and asparagus flavor, can be eaten raw, cooked, or they can be dried and cooked like any other dried beans.

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Paisley Plant of the Week: Ground Cherry

Paisley Plant of the Week: Ground Cherry

Ground Cherry? Where have you been all of my life?

Grown just like a tomato, this gem of the garden is a delightful addition to any garden. If you love to make jams and pies but don’t have room for many large bushes, this could be an option for you. So what is it?

Ground Cherry Plant

Ground Cherry

Physalis peruviana

You can put Ground Cherry anywhere you would put a tomato plant. The differences are small, but worth mentioning. For one thing, Ground Cherry is quick to germinate and grows faster than tomatoes. Another slight difference is Ground Cherry stems are stiff and rarely if ever, need to be staked. And I guess the most important difference is that the fruit grows in a paper like husk.

Ground Cherry Harvest

They remind me of the Chinese lanterns…fun. Oh, and they have pretty flowers too. A ground cherry by your eggplants make a lovely row.

Flower of "Clammy" Ground Cherry

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Paisley Plant of the Week: Basil

Paisley Plant of the Week: Basil

It is possible you think I have my days mixed up and that I meant this to be a Throwback plant. After all, basil has been around for thousands of years, right? Yes. However…basil is so paisley! I mean to tell you how. I promise, you’ll be wanting to order one or two or six varieties of basil for your gardens by the end of this post! That is a bold statement but I have the basil to back it up.

 

A short history of this very interesting plant…

Basil: Ocimum basilicum

Also known as St. Joseph’s Wort. A member of the family  Lamiaceae which includes mint. Although native to India, it is grown world wide. And used in every culture (that I could find) for cooking. Most people know that it is great in the kitchen. Most people probably don’t know that in some cultures, basil is sacred.

The Greek Orthodox church uses it in the preparation for their Holy Water because it is said to have been found on the spot Constantine and Helen found the Holy Cross. In India, where it was first cultivated, basil is used in the courtroom for people to swear their truths by.

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Paisley Plant of the Week: Lemon Cucumber

Paisley Plant of the Week: Lemon Cucumber

The Paisley Plant of the week is…(drum roll here) Lemon Cucumber.

Cucumber: Cucumis sativus

Variety: Lemon or True Lemon This is classified as an heirloom that was introduced in 1894

 I love to grow cucumbers. This year I have six different types going on the cucumber fences. My favorite cucumber is the Lemon (sometimes called True Lemon) Lemon cucumbers are the approximate size, shape, and color of a lemon, but their flavor is pure sweet cuke. The skins are very thin and tender so they need no peeling. These little guys make awesome pickles but are delicious straight from the garden.

Lemon Cucumber vine-Flint, TX July 2011

The vines are vigorous but quite manageable. The plants have good tolerance to most of the things that aim to sink them. I have on occasion fought powdery mildew with this variety. I have learned to water these guys only in the morning so they can be completely dry in the evenings. They like that.

Other than that, enjoy a bountiful harvest of Lemon Cucumbers. I’m giving a couple of recipes you might enjoy as well. Oooh so paisley!

Lemon Cucumber Flint, TX August 2011

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