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Gardeners - your most unusual plants and seeds?

 
 
Reply Fri 24 Jan, 2003 09:02 am

Hiya,
I like to grow unusual plants from seed.
This year I am going to try growing Strawberry Spinach. I have never heard of it before, but hope it will prove delicious Smile
Here is a link to a pic -
http://images.google.co.uk/imgres?imgurl=www.riverhouse.com.au/coplants/images/strawberry_spinach4.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.riverhouse.com.au/coplants/strawberry_spinach.html&h=305&w=306&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dstrawberry%2Bspinach%26svnum%3D10%26hl%3Den%26lr%3D%26ie%3DUTF-8%26oe%3DUTF-8%26sa%3DN

What unusual plants have you grown from seeds? What hits, what misses?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 2 • Views: 2,346 • Replies: 14
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Thinkzinc
 
  1  
Reply Fri 24 Jan, 2003 09:05 am
Hmmm, maybe that shade of green is not very easy to read!
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jespah
 
  1  
Reply Fri 24 Jan, 2003 09:31 am
Hang on, thinkzinc, I can fix the shade for you. Oh, and my weirdest plant is (maybe this isn't so weird, although it is to me) a hibiscus. Aren't they tropical? But it's growing in my front yard, and I'm in Boston. I don't do anything to protect it (I'm a Darwinian gardener) but it is at the juncture of two fences, so it gets a small amount of wind protection that way.
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jespah
 
  1  
Reply Fri 24 Jan, 2003 09:34 am
Ah, here's the photo: http://www.riverhouse.com.au/coplants/images/strawberry_spinach4.jpg
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littlek
 
  1  
Reply Fri 24 Jan, 2003 09:37 am
http://www.tytyga.com/perrenials/flower_vines/images/5b.jpg

Clerodendron thomsoniae: (Bleeding Hearts)
Covered with white heart- shaped flowers with a red, tear-like attachment at the base of the flower. This vine is covered with deep-green leaves and climbs rapidly. Zones 9-11

I grow it on my desk. Right now it has a hot-pink bougainvilla next to it and a little hot pepper plant.
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roger
 
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Reply Fri 24 Jan, 2003 09:38 am
Just love that "Darwinian gardener", Jespah. Sink or swim, fellers.
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jespah
 
  1  
Reply Fri 24 Jan, 2003 09:53 am
Pretty much, roger.

You need mulch? Eh, make yer own! Extra water? What am I, Bahstin Wadda Company?! etc.

We're lucky we don't have a patch of weeds and thistles in our yard.
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jespah
 
  1  
Reply Fri 24 Jan, 2003 09:56 am
Here's a pic of the biscuit. I mean, hibiscus: http://images.google.com/images?q=tbn:aQFDjCkkeAgC:www.hanaflowers.com/images/gallery/gallery1_pink_hibiscus.jpg
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Vietnamnurse
 
  1  
Reply Fri 24 Jan, 2003 09:29 pm
Hi Zinc!

I like to grow many unusual plants in my basement under High Pressure Sodium lamps. I grow both annuals, perennials, and vegetables that I later plant out in my garden.

I grew one of my favorites last year, a biennial: Onopordum Acanthium, better known as Scotch Thistle! Very Happy I grow it in two very large planters and it looks so architectural and fabulous. Onopordum is also my email address name because my family once came from your place on the world map.

I like to grow all kinds of strange vegetables that you can't get at the market, such as lemon cucumbers and Black Krim tomatoes from Russia(delicious!)

A favorite annual is Craspedia Globosa, or golden drumstick. It is a wonderful globe shaped golden flower head with strappy silver foliage. Great for bouquets and dries well.
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Thinkzinc
 
  1  
Reply Sat 25 Jan, 2003 08:09 am
Vietnamnurse,
I'd like to try growing under lamps, the short days in winter mean seeds take a long time to get anywhere, the lamps would give a great head start!

I was looking at lemon cucumber seeds in the seed catalogue. They look great, are they easy to grow, do you get many fruit per plant? It would be a greenhouse plant for me, but the greenhouse is small, could probably only manage one or two because the tomatoes grow in there. I must look for Black Krim in my catalogue!

Nice to think of thistles growing in Maryland. As you have Scottish ancestory, Happy Burns' Night this evening!
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Thinkzinc
 
  1  
Reply Sat 25 Jan, 2003 08:10 am
Jespah, thanks for changing the text colour and uploading the strawberry spinach pic Smile
The hibiscus looks very nice!
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Vietnamnurse
 
  1  
Reply Sat 25 Jan, 2003 09:58 am
Hi Zinc!

The lemon cucumbers are indeed prolific! I had more than enough for the whole neighborhood. They are tasty and pretty besides in a salad. The Black Krim are worth finding. Excellent taste...balance of acid and sweetness. I grew some small pear shaped Russian paste tomatoes last year that were also very good. They were so prolific that I highly recommend them. I will look up the websites of the company where I got the seed. I think it is totallytomatoes.com, but I am not sure.

I watch the thistles very carefully when they are ready to set seed, needless to say. I give them lots of organic fertilizer so they look like they are on steroids! We had Scottish tenants in large home in Chicago that were doctoral students at the University of Chicago. They thought the thistles we grew there to be the most magnificent they had seen. At least 8 feet tall! Now that we are in Maryland, I grow them in containers on my farm...it would never do to let them go romping over the countryside like some rowdy Scots! Very Happy

I raise a glass tonight to The Haggis and to Robbie Burns. Slainte Va!
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jespah
 
  1  
Reply Sat 25 Jan, 2003 12:43 pm
You're welcome, thinkzinc. The strawberry spinach looks funky. I'd never heard of it before.

PS Thanks re the hibiscus. Hope it survives this winter.
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Thinkzinc
 
  1  
Reply Sat 25 Jan, 2003 06:30 pm
I will put Lemon Cucmber on my order form Smile
The thistles sound very healthy! I had some of those growing in the garden, they are very majestic, but for the past three years, they have stayed squat and have not flowered, not sure why.
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Thinkzinc
 
  1  
Reply Tue 25 Mar, 2003 05:44 am
I have the lemon crystal cucumbers growing on my window sill now! They are just small, but growing very fast! I have grown some extra for gifts for friends, I hope they like cucumber Smile
Sugar snap peas growing too. Not very unusual, but I don't know if they grow well in Scotland, all the ones in the shops seem to be flown from Kenya! How nice if I am able to collect my own from the garden. Have to wait a a month or so before they go outside I reckon, to avoid the frost.
Strawberry spinach growing on the windowsill too, looks like it's going to be a straggly looking plant.
Also planted seeds to grow a 'horse radish tree' - apparently a shrub, you can eat the shoots and leaves, they taste like horse radish!
Will be sowing my caper seeds soon, wonder if I will be able to fool them into thinking Scotland is actually the Mediterranean... Smile
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