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! :)