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It’s Time To GARDEN Once Again!

lablab
Purple Hyacinth Bean, or Lablab
(Photo found online)

Wow. Summer is leaving, thankfully, and cooler temps are beginning to pop up, a day here, and a day, there. That means I can start to spend an hour or two in my yard again, clearing out “excessive horticultural overgrowth” and planting winter annuals and veggies. For the last four months, I’ve been trapped inside, but I’ve been so busy working on my third novel, I didn’t have time to go outside, anyway, so I guess it worked out okay. Now as I near the end of my first draft, I can afford to take a few hours off a week to do the other thing that’s good for my soul. Plant stuff! 🙂

Question for any of you loyal followers who have stuck around while I was busy elsewhere. How many of you grow lablab, or purple hyacinth bean? I ordered some seeds from amazon a few weeks ago, and have been very pleased. I found a supplier offering 100 for $4.95 (the same price as those offering TEN!) I crossed my fingers that the seeds were viable, and planted them in a container by the framework of my patio gazebo. It said germination was ten days to two weeks. In three days, sprouts were popping up everywhere. In 3 weeks the first vines were nearing the top of the gazebo. And now, roughly 8 weeks later, the vines have flowers galore and purple bean pods coming out.

I’m really pleased with this one, and am planning to do the same thing on the opposing corner of the gazebo, so the vines can meet in the middle.

I’d like to hear from others who’ve grown this. There is an online argument as to whether the beans are edible, and from what I can gather, MOST sources say they can be toxic in large amounts, and recommend boiling them twice, throwing away the water each time. I don’t think I want to eat anything enough to go to that much trouble. I’ll just grow mine for looks, because the color of both the blooms and the bright purple pods is beautiful. What do you think?

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Love/Hate Plant Relationships…

You got any? After ten minutes of trying to pull up some weeds and yank some vines down, I sure do. And here’s the first one:

black_eyed_susan_vine_tiger_eyes_2

Black-eyed Susan Vine, also called Clock Vine (Thunbergia alata) is simply gorgeous when it stays where you want it to stay. But it will take off during the summer (especially when you’ve been AWOL from the garden for months) and cover everything in its path. It is an annual, so it will die, but it will leave behind a LOT of seeds that come rushing back in the spring, each year. 

Now if you wonder why a mere ten minutes of yanking this out of my trees, off of my shrubs, and down from the roof of the Bali hut is such a big deal, I’ll tell you. Because it is 95 degrees in my back yard today. NINETY-FIVE! And ten minutes is the absolute maximum I can take before I run back inside to cool down again, cursing the black-eyed Susan vine every step of the way. It’s bloomin’ HOT out there, pardon my pun. So I wish I didn’t have to deal with this vine smothering all its neighbors, beautiful or not.

What grows in your garden or yard that you love the look of, but hate dealing with? (Not counting lawns. I don’t know why anyone, anywhere grows grass, so I’m going to ignore that for the purposes of this post.) What troubles you to the point that you really want to get rid of it, but like the flowers or fruit or leaves so much, you just can’t bring yourself to do so? I’d love to know.