Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Flowers and Passion Fruit

We have had about 2 inches of rain since I reported the inch of rain on Monday. Praise the Lord!

Everything is perking right up after that wonderful rain.

My kids have seen the hummingbirds more than I have. They have seen them 4 or 5 times. I was worried about pollination on the Scarlet Runners, because I haven't seen many bees, either, yet this year. In several places, the places where there were flowers now look like this. Just a nub.

But today I found this.

Do you see those 2 little baby beans right in the center of the picture? I have several more that look like that. So I am hopeful that we will get to eat some scarlet runner beans. (We plan to use them as shelly beans, because I had heard they taste similar to butterbeans and my crew likes those pretty well.)

In the Twenty Foot Garden, I have been watching my green beans. Today I saw the first flowers. Yea. We may be eating fresh organic green beans soon.

Then, just after I lay my youngest down for her afternoon nap, I got a call. "Do you think I could stop by?" Dot Dot wanted to know. "Sure. Come on," I said. 

She came and brought me red passion fruit vines! Woot! Woot!
Now to just get these planted. 

And here are the purple ones she gave me a couple weeks ago.
They still look weak, but they still seem to be hanging in there.
The rain does seem to have perked them up some. 
It is great to have friends willing to share pass-along plants with you. :) 

Friday, April 13, 2012

View of Dot Dot's Garden

In a former post, I told of getting some passion fruit vines from our dear friend Dot Dot. I don't know whether my passion fruit vines will make it. They look pretty weak so far. Here's hoping.

But I had the opportunity to walk around her garden with her today. 

This is an overview of the front yard. She didn't know I was coming.
It always looks this good. 

Here is an overview of the back yard. 

This is her husband's plot of ground. He caged it to keep the
birds out of his tomatoes.
She has about 400 day lilies. I don't know how many gladiloli she has. I forgot to ask, but she has little clumps of them all over her yard.

I asked her what her favorite plant of all the ones she has is. She said that she really doesn't know. She loves her glads, she loves her day lilies, she loves her hydrangeas and hibiscus. 

I asked her to name her favorite day lily. The one that is blooming. 

I asked why she stopped buying day lilies. She said that she and a friend would shop for them together. They would buy one and split it so that each of them could have one in her yard. A few years ago, they just stopped.

"Why?" "There was no more room to plant them."

On a side note, her husband's garden is a new arrival. He has only been gardening for 3 years. He asked his wife for more of the yard for his garden. She said "No." 

I will leave you with a few close ups of some of her beautiful flowers.

blooming day lilies

blooming day lily

almost finished blooming amaryllis lily

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Passion Fruit Vines

Passion Fruit Flower Picture from Wikipedia

Click the link for a picture.

One of the treasures of our family is a wonderful couple named Dot Dot and Robert. They take up a great deal of time with my kids and lavish them with loving attention. My children simply adore them.

They have a wonderful garden. I have been asking Dot Dot if I could photograph it for you. I know you would enjoy it, too.

In conversation, I told them that I had read online that Passion Fruits were edible. After a long discussion, I offered to be the guinea pig. I ate a couple of the fruits last fall. They have an interesting, unusual and perfumey flavor, to me anyway. And maybe a bit slimy. I think I could get used to it, but it is nothing like anything I have ever experienced.

So the fruit is edible.

The flowers, Oh the flowers are stunning.  They are completely covered with bees. They have this really interesting stamen that stands up from the flower. The ones at Dot Dot's house are purple with light yellow. After the bees finish with the nectar, the caterpillars take over and harvest the leaves. These are the caterpillars of the Gulf Frittilary butterfly. Passion Fruit is their favorite host plant.

Click here for an image of the Gulf Fritillary.

So the Passion Fruit Vine is also an important part of maintaining our butterfly friends and feeding our bee friends.

She gave me some today. I hope they grow. I'll take pictures if I get anything from them.

(Man, I hope we get some. I would love for my kids to get to see the life cycle of the Gulf Fritillary. Wouldn't that be a cool science thing for them?)