07 May 2007

Snow-on-the-Mountain, Purple Majesty Millet and Help for Growing Tropicals

Between the rain and the mild temperatures, volunteers are popping up everywhere.

The photo is of Snow-On-the-Mountain (euphorbia marginata) whose children (from last year's crop) are growing by leaps and bounds - between everything. I'm pulling some out and repotting them to give to friends, moving others into beds in the back, etc. But I still have dozens that are already 4-inches tall and dread pulling them so I weed around them until I can get them new homes.

Also - last year's crop of Purple Majesty Millet (Pennisetum glaucum) was great. I bought the extra large 100-seed package from Johnny's Selected Seeds. The first planting was a dud but the second planting in June worked exceptionally well. The trick seems to be that that they need heat to thrive. In October, we harvested 30-seed heads. If you would like a few Purple Millet seeds to plant in your garden send an email to mollyday1@yahoo.com and include your postal, mailing address.

A walk around the yard after the 2-inches of rain today showed me that nothing is in danger from a day of wet feet. The water is still standing inches deep - splash splash - everywhere and over by the tomatoes and garlic you can watch the water flowing down the hill.

Banana Garden's website is a fun place to visit for information about banana trees and other tropical plants such as bamboo, ginger, bromiliads, etc. They even have a column on planting wildflower seeds.

Their article on the difference between tender and hardy perennials is something all plant buyers need to know. Hardy perennials survive winter temperatures and freeze-sensitive tender plants(tropicals) cannot. The tender ones have to be protected over the winter if you hope to see them in the spring (dahlias, caladiums, calla lilies). Knowing the difference can save you money and disappointment.

Did you know that palms are flowering trees and the species includes iris, orchids and lilies? Me, either. Check it out if you have some interest in bananas, palms and other exotics.

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