Thornless Blackberry Propagation

An all-too-familiar experience, I stumbled upon a solution to problem I didn’t know I even had! Months ago, I purchased 5 Thornless Triple Crown Blackberry plants. In their first season at my home, they produced a few fruits, which I was quite grateful for, but wasn’t expecting anything more than their simply acclimating to their new home in large containers in my back yard.

We’d had an unusually wet winter in our area and gardening would have been a muddy affair, so I let nature and my plants alone for most of that time. The sunny days of spring here have revealed to me that some of these 5 plants decided to propagate themselves during that time. The canes of the plants grew quite long and the tips of some of the plants had reached and dipped into the soil of a few of the adjoining containers, while others dipped into the outside the containers directly into the surrounding raw soil of my garden. This propagation technique, whether done on purpose by the gardener or by nature is called tip layering (more information on several kinds of layering techniques: https://content.ces.ncsu.edu/plant-propagation-by-layering-instructions-for-the-home-gardener).

Check out the roots forming at the tip of a cane that wandered into another container. I severed it from the parent plant so both can continue growing in their containers and will (hopefully) be thriving and fruitful. The second photo is the wandering canes that found their new homes in  the raw garden soil, which will also (hopefully) find great happiness in their new homes.

I am so grateful for these unexpected learning opportunities since now, it seems, I will likely have all of the blackberry plants and blackberries I can possibly handle in the near and distant future. It’s such an awesome and humbling thing when good fortune, such as this, just shows up. I’m exquisitely pleased!

 

Aunt Ruby’s German Green Tomatoes

You’d think I’d never grown tomatoes before, but I’m so excited when a tomato plant is fruiting! I ran out of raised row and container space (first world problem) so I planted one Aunt Ruby’s German tomato seed in the ground. It must love this location because the plant has grown tall and wide and is covered in tomatoes. Wow! This makes me want to plant a third of these and other tomato seeds in raised rows, a third in containers, and a third in the ground next year. Best laid plants!

The tomatoes are in various stages of maturity, but the one pictured may be ready to pick in no more than two weeks. This beautiful heirloom tomato looks mighty fine and, I’m sure, will be very, very delicious!img_3374

CONSUMER ALERT UPDATE: The non-fruit parts of tomato plants are poisonous if ingested. More information on toxic plants can be found here:

http://www.calpoison.org/hcp/KNOW%20YOUR%20PLANTS-plant%20list%20for%20CPCS%2009B.pdf

Asiatic Jasmine Groundcover Cuttings

I stopped by a nearby garden center today and found in its clearance rack an entire flat of solid-colored Asiatic jasmine (Trachelospermum asiaticum) groundcover cuttings. Wow! I’ve been re-imagining my front and back yard garden spaces this year. The back yard will primarily be a food garden. The front yard has been more of a challenge. I have a few bushes, a shrub, and a tree, which are lovely, but I wanted to add an interesting element to freshen things up. The idea of having sometimg_3373hing fragrant felt right.

Having read elsewhere about the potential for this plant to become a weed, I decided a happy compromise would be to grow these cuttings in containers. I like the option to move this plant around as my garden design evolves. There is also topiary potential, which lights up my imagination! I am already envisioning a fragrant pathway to my front door. And why not?

I am very pleased that this garden center is so near, making budget-friendly gardens a reality!

CONSUMER ALERT UPDATE: The sap from this plant can irritate the skin. More information on the toxicity of this plant can be found here:

http://www.hortweek.com/trachelospermum/landscape/article/1078435

Lemon Cucumber

Mildly sweet, this cucumber is wonderful straight from the vine. I pulled one off the vine minutes ago, scraped off the bristles, rinsed it off with the garden hose, and ate it in the garden. IMG_3372Very luxurious, and delicious! The vines are still in various stages of maturity, so I will continue to enjoy them over the next several weeks. Started from seed and grown in containers, I will be growing this heirloom cucumber in years to come!

Armenian Cucumbers, Garden Debut

This is my first attempt growing Armenian cucumbers. Some I’ve grown in containers (as shown here), with tomato cages, and others I’m attempting to grow in raised row gardens. I only planted the seeds in the raised row gardens over the weekend. I started all of these plants from seed … which I’ve kept in an unopened packet for over a year! Be sure to keep those older unopened (and even opened) packets of seeds, because they may still be good. A type of muskmelon (as are cantaloupes, which I’m also growing in a raised row bed garden, from seed), I am very eager to make some wonderful salads where these cucumbers will be the star attraction!IMG_1536IMG_1537

Rescued Thornless Raspberry Plant, Fruiting

While one of my rescued thornless raspberry plants seems to have stopped fruiting for the season, one of the other two plants is now fruiting, which is a happy surprise! These rescue plants were not in the best shape when I found them in the clearance bin (with a few dead canes and leaves), so I tempered my expectations that they would start fruiting perhaps in the next season.IMG_3366

After about six weeks convalescing in its new home, it seems to found its vigor and well on its way to producing perhaps a modest quantity of fruit (if the birds don’t get to them first). It is enjoying the full sun of my garden. The third plant I am keeping an eye on. It is producing new leaves (all three are producing new leaves), which is encouraging. I would be very pleased if it, too, produced fruit before the season is done, especially since I’ve sampled the fruit from the first plant, and they’re very sweet and delicious. A great way to start the week!

Angel Face Roses in Flower and in Bud!

It’s been about a month since I rescued four Angel Face rose plants from the clearance bin, and I am so pleased that each of these plants is covered in flowers and/or buds. What a short wait to be graced with these blissfully lovely flowers in my yard! The scent is very sweet and the color is wonderful. Sometimes when I take a chance on clearance bin plants, it may take a year or more to see the potential of the plants realized, mostly because of some rehabilitation that’s needed to restore them to good health. But these roses were clearly in tip-top health, only needing a permanent place to call home. A dream come true!IMG_3364

Rescued: Angel Face Roses and Thornless Raspberry Bushes

My local home improvement store has a gardening center with an outstanding clearance section, with plants of all sorts at amazing discounted prices. Their inventory of clearance plants has recently increased so, in the foreseeable future, I will be visiting at least once a week. Yesterday, I was very fortunate to have made my weekly visit and came away with 4 Angel Face rose plants, a floribunda that I’ve wanted for my home for the past several years, but finally got around to doing something about.IMG_3354IMG_3355
I also am the caregiver of 3 thornless raspberry bushes. I love to make homemade raspberry jam and now I have a wonderful resource to do it! The plants were all in reasonably good condition, although I will have to do some light pruning of a small bit of dead vegetation. Easy. One of the raspberry bushes has some young fruits on it – very encouraging!

I replanted them in larger containers (saved from years of gardening projects) and will be looking forward to many happy years with these wonderful new plants. What is seen as refuse by the store (and most people) represents a great opportunity to bring new (sometimes unexpected) plants into the garden, for a modest price. These plants have already uplifted the energy of my entire garden!

More information on Angel Face roses: http://www.helpmefind.com/rose/l.php?l=2.238

More information on thornless raspberry bushes: http://www.monrovia.com/plant-catalog/plants/3466/brazelberries-raspberry-shortcake-dwarf-thornless-raspberry/

Return of My Food Garden

In the past two years, I put my food garden on hold because of injuries. Now, mostly healed up, I am very happy to report that I’ve revived my food garden. After making two trips to the gardening center for soil, I have readied my raised row bed gardens and containers to (nature willing) produce extraordinarily healthy and delicious vegetables. Having planted seeds and watered, I am now enjoying just looking at my handiwork and dreaming of all of the good things to come in the next few months. At this point, I think that the food garden is in good shape, although, thankfully, I do have more space to put in more rows and containers, so, I’m limited by my imagination, space in my refrigerator and freezer,  (and budget!). This has been such a happy day, doing what I love to do most!IMG_3353

Dr. Huey Rose Pushing Out Grace English Rose?

Dr. Huey has struck again, this time for one of my Grace English roses. That particular plant had not produced Grace roses in the past season, and it may be because it was quietly being overtaken by the dreaded Dr. Huey rose. Dr. Huey was, apparently, the rootstock onto which this particular rose plant was grafted. My hope is that, if anything, Grace will return and co-exist with Dr. Huey (if I don’t start attempting to remove Dr. Huey first!). If Dr. Huey has pushed out Grace, I will accept it, but time will tell if that is the case. I will also keep an eye on my other English roses, all of which I’ve kept in their original containers, including this Grace. Sigh.IMG_1481

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