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How to Find Great Plants, Issue #3

Here is issue #3 of How to Find Great Plants (apologies for the one-day delay, my weekend was spent moving boxes and furniture). I finally managed to choose 8 of the 36 entries to feature this month… so difficult! Be sure to read them all or you’ll miss some delightful plants!

Photo Caption: "Pumpkin on a Stick" isn't a true pumpkin (Credit: Little Green Bees)

FOOD: Little Green Bees: Pumpkin on a Stick

Don’t you love it when we name a plant after another plant? It’s not at all confusing, right?! Becca’s humorous post at Little Green Bees details an eggplant that few of us are familiar with. In addition to being a fun fall decoration, it’s good in Asian recipes like this one.


Photo Caption: Callirhoe involucrata (Credit: Allan Becker)

ORNAMENTAL: allanbecker.gardenguru: Callirhoe involucrata

Wine cups, or callirhoe, is a plant I fell in love with in the Plant Delights Nursery display gardens. Allan’s post at allanbecker.gardenguru says to plant it in the foreground so it receives well-deserved attention. I also want to mention the very similar looking rock purslane (Calandrinia spectabilis) that Bed of Spices submitted. Use them to echo each other in the landscape (it’s like they were separated at birth)!


Photo Caption: Peanuts are a legume (Credit: Mud Pie)

FOOD: Mud Pie: Peanuts

I love Ali at Mud Pie’s imagery of an elephant ransacking a peanut tree. As she points out, the peanuts you eat actually grow underground just like the Irish potatoes featured at Out from Under My Hat or the sweet potatoes at Information Central Gardening. Choose some historically significant heirloom peanuts sold at the sources listed below!


Photo Caption: Texas Betony - Stachys coccinea (Credit: Hill Country Mysteries)

ORNAMENTAL: Hill Country Mysteries: Texas Betony (Stachys coccinea)

The word “hummingbird” is enough to sell me on an ornamental plant so I’m glad the camouflaged one pictured in Kathleen’s photo caught my eye. Her Hill Country Mysteries post says that this plant stays evergreen for her in Texas… and that it blooms from March through October! Can’t beat that testimonial!


Photo Caption: Sliced Figs (Credit: Allotment Heaven)

FOOD: Allotment Heaven: Figs (Ficus sp.)

My large fig tree hasn’t quite reached the potential 33′ mentioned by John at Allotment Heaven. It still put on some impressive growth while I was living elsewhere — this year should be a bumper crop! I might use his suggestions to discourage birds from picking the ripe fruit before I do.


Photo Caption: Paper bark maple (Credit: Aberdeen Gardening)

ORNAMENTAL: Aberdeen Gardening: Paper Bark Maple (Acer griseum)

Alistair’s post at Aberdeen Gardening actually talks about a handful of different maples in addition to Acer griseum. He says this one is in no rush to grow up, but with bark like this I think it is worth the wait!


Photo Caption: Mixed salad greens in containers (Credit: Our Happy Acres)

FOOD: Our Happy Acres: Salad Greens in Containers

Some of us don’t have many options for growing food through the winter. A container salad garden like the one at Our Happy Acres can fit in front of a kitchen window or on an apartment balcony. I wish I could reach through the screen and grab a bowl of the delicious greens in The Villager’s post! Those of you blessed with even more indoor growing space (greenhouses) should consider tomatoes like the ones at Our Plot at Green Lane Allotments.


Photo Caption: Rattlesnake Master - Eryngium yuccifolium (Credit: Restoring the Landscape with Native Plants)

ORNAMENTAL: Restoring the Landscape with Native Plants: Rattlesnake Master (Eryngium yuccifolium)

Heather’s post at Restoring the Landscape with Native Plants showcases a beautiful, but prickly, prairie wildflower. I was so surprised when she said it’s a favorite perch for gray tree frogs in her garden! Its form reminds me of stick verbena (Verbena bonariensis) — I wonder if it would be less prone to the mildew my verbena gets.


I loved reading through everyone’s entries this month! Mark’s ‘Cavolo Nero’ Kale post made me hungry (I’m still hungry), The Garden Roof-Coop’s sunflowers post made me forget how darkly overcast it is outside, and Casa Mariposa’s penstemon post made me laugh.

We had some outside-the-box interpretations on recommending a favorite food or ornamental plant with “rabbit proof” flowers at Plant Postings, a tutorial on buying California native plants at Town Mouse & Country Mouse, and urgent vegetable gardening at AfricanAussie.

I recommend that you read (and comment on) them all — absolutely no duds here! Thanks everyone for making the editorial process such a struggle. :)

An “F” represents a food post and an “O” represents an ornamental.

  1. F: Information Central Gardening: Sweet Potatoes
  2. O: Got Geosmin: Petunias
  3. O: Bed of Spices: Rock Purslane (Calandrinia spectabilis)
  4. O: Hill Country Mysteries: Texas Betony (Stachys coccinea)
  5. O: My Garden Haven: Tall Slipper Plant (Pedilanthus bracteatus)
  6. O: Kebun Malay-Kadazan girls: Pyrethrum Daisies
  7. F: Our Happy Acres: Salad Greens
  8. O: The Garden Roof-Coop: Sunflowers
  9. F: A Green Earth: Turmeric, Pepino & More
  10. F: Mud Pie: Peanuts
  11. F: Out from Under My Hat: Irish Potatoes
  12. O: Teza’s Hortus Magnificum: Spigelia marilandica
  13. O: The Vermont Gardener: False Hellebore
  14. F: Our Plot at Green Lane Allotments: Greenhouse Tomatoes
  15. F: Tasty Travels: Onions
  16. O: Experiments with Plants: Foxglove
  17. F: My Garden, My Hobbies: Garlic Chives
  18. F: Mark’s Veg Plot: Kale ‘Cavolo Nero’
  19. O: The Violet Fern: Jewelweed
  20. O: Aberdeen Gardening: Paper Bark Maple (Acer griseum)
  21. O: Canoe Corner: Zinnias
  22. O: Go Right… in My Garden: Miniature Morning Glories
  23. O: Restoring the Landscape with Native Plants: Rattlesnake Master (Eryngium yuccifolium)
  24. O: The Queen of Seaford: Bald Cypress (Taxodium distichum)
  25. F: AfricanAussie: (Urgent Vegetables)
  26. O: AllanBecker.GardenGuru: Callirhoe
  27. O: Plant Postings: Rabbit-Proof Flowers
  28. O: Town Mouse & Country Mouse: California Natives
  29. O: Casa Mariposa: Penstemon whippleanus
  30. O: Gardens Eye View: Water Lilies
  31. O: Journeys and Jonquils: Cushion Spurge (Euphorbia polychroma)
  32. F: Allotment Heaven: Figs (Ficus sp.)
  33. O: Welcome to Ginny’s Garden: Zinnias
  34. F: A Charlotte Garden: Nasturtiums
  35. F: Little Green Bees: Pumpkin on a Stick (Eggplant)
  36. F: Appalachian Feet: Florida Cranberry/Roselle (Hibiscus sabdariffa)

It’s a short month so don’t forget to submit your posts for issue #4 of How to Find Great Plants before February 25th. For details on this blog carnival and how to enter, click HERE.

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