Thursday, March 11, 2010

Garden ornamental eating epiphany!

I recently got a coupon from Home Depot, as I'm part of their "Garden Club" or "Home Improver club" (or maybe that's the Lowe's version?) or whatever they want to call or lump it in with now.

(Oh, and also not affiliated or whatnot with them, I'm just stating a fact and am not special in any way and it's easy to be a part of this "club")

Back to the point, the coupon is for a buy one, get one free houseplant.  I have plenty of house plants I think and in the winter that explodes because some of the edibles become houseplants, so obviously I was trying to think of houseplants of potential (especially ones that hang to save space because horizontal space is precious here).

I had a duh moment and remembered that I've always wanted to try fuchsia, because the flowers can be spectacular, it's commonly hung and finally YOU CAN EAT THE BERRIES.  And make JAM!

The only tricky part that I've heard is that some of the berries are significantly better than others and finding the variety that is tasty can be hard as big box stores tend to carry houseplants for show, rather than for actual use.

Double petal/flower fuchsia are what's often seen in the stores I know and I hear that the large showy flowers can cut down on fruit production, so that's a minus.  Also I find that many of the big box places don't always list the Latin name of the plants, so I don't know if I'll find any of the suggested fuchsia varieties below if I can't figure out their true identity:

-Fuchsia corymbiflora
-Fuchsia excorticata aka Kotukutuku
-Fuchsia splendens  and cultivar 'Karl Hartweg'
-Fuchsia boliviana 'Alba'
-Fuchsia regia
-Fuchsia venusta
-Fuchsia procumbens
-Fuchsia magellanica and cultivars 'Globosa' and 'Tresco'

While researching, I've also found that the F. magellanica is potentially hardy in this area! Some places say zones 7+ and others 6+.  Either way, here in zone 7a, if I

The coupon expires mid-March and I am also uncertain if they'll have plants like that even out yet.  Crud.  Maybe it would be better to just order online for certain?

Another silly epiphany I have was bamboo!

Down here it can grow pretty rampant and I know that some people have difficulty controlling it.  Someone I know controls her's by kicking the bamboo shoots multiple times each time they pop up and that controls them well enough.  I luckily reminded her that you can totally eat bamboo shoots and we did end up cooking them up with some soy sauce and sesame oil, which was excellent.

So, why the heck did I not think about growing bamboo before?!  (well, I was worried it would get out of control...I can eat it, and it would be an accessible resource for gardening!  I am such an idiot, why didn't I start this earlier?!  Adding to my list... "see if I can trade for bamboo this year..."

If anyone in the area has some of the either above, tasty fuchsia and bamboo (all young shoots are edible, is what I've read), please tell me if I'd be able to trade for it.  Grand plans this year, grand plans! :)


Anonymous said...

I know Home Depot has tons of plants out right now. We got a "fruit cocktail tree" (peaches, nectarines, plums, and apricots grafted onto 1 tree) from them that appeared to be at least a few years old so we might even get fruit this year. They had lots of other dwarf fruit trees too.

I don't have bamboo, and have heard of it's invasivness, but I have picked some up on the curb and the owners come out and said they have a ton more if I ever want it for garden reasons. I'll see if I can catch one outside when I ride by and try to get some roots/shoots for you to grow.

This is the season for free plants and dirt too! 2 weeks ago I found 9 ferns, 5 mums, and 2 other tropical plants. I was able to save 1 fern, the rest I cut up and put into the compost pile since they had tons of great potting soil in them. The mums I'm thinking about planting, and the others I got just for their potting soil.

I got tons of mondo grass last year, and some of it even had strawberries growing in it too (bonus!)

The weathers nice hopefully you'll get your list done in the next couple weeks!

persephone said...

@kermit: You need to tell me if you get fruit this year/send me pics! I have a fig cutting from my sis in law, but I think it died over this winter, but my mom in law's raspberry seemed to have resurrected itself, so perhaps the fig has hope too. I recall some figs start showing signs of life late here.

That's so nice of you to offer to find me bamboo shoots! If you are able I'd be thrilled and I will make you and your wife a bamboo stirfry :) One large shoot is plenty for that!

When I was on my trip in New Orleans, they had ferns growing everywhere, on the walls, in the trees and I told myself to just grab one (no one would notice one missing on a telephone pole, right..?) But I forgot. It would probably hate the weather here anyways.

I think the people here bag up their plants they toss, so it's hard to scavenge for free plants. They do toss out nice terracotta pots here and there, large ones too! If you ever need one I'll keep an eye out for you.

My list is sadly incomplete, but, as the weather got super crappy when I left/returned I don't feel so bad as I have things that shouldn't endure/can't endure nasty weather and it jolts me from my gardening madness. I need time to write and sometimes nice weather is a siren song that keeps me outside for WAY too long and so gray cold days are a good time to stay inside. Granted, I could just garden all day and write all night :P

persephone said...

@ kermit: Oh, and randomly, while I like good garden soil myself, beware of soil pests/diseases in the soil you get. I chuck any old soil in a huge compost pile of mine in hopes that the bad stuff will naturally rid itself of any badness just in case. Gayla Trail of You Grow Girl often mentions soil diseases, so I get paranoid.

Less is More said...

wow that was awesome chat post of kermit and persephone . i hope guys you have an article or post about wind spinners. hope to hear from you and your tips and ideas . have a good day guys .