Plant Connections & Dreaming of Chanticleer

As many of you know, I am one of the advisors for Garden Compass, a smartphone app that allows people to have a plant or plant problem identified by actual human eyeballs…when you have this app it’s like having a garden geek in your pocket.

I had a great conversation with one of the Garden Compass users this weekend. The photo below was submitted, and I saw that the person who sent it was in Pennsylvania. I assumed that it was a plant that he/she grew as a houseplant, and since it was outside it was doing well enough to flower.

I identified this plant as a Jatropha – most likely a Jatropha multifida, and here is how the conversation went:

Me: Nice plant! Good to see that you’ve “sent it to summer camp.” It’s clearly happy.

User:  Thanks, but I only wish is were mine. It is growing at Chanticleer in Wayne, PA, where everything and everybody is happy!

Me:  Ah, Chanticleer…my favorite public garden! Plant geeks hyperventilate on a simple trip to the restroom there, right? BTW – the website Top Tropicals has these for sale 😉

User:  You are so right! My husband said you must be spying on me. I always visit the restrooms.

Me: I wish I was spying on you…it would mean that I’m also at Chanticleer. Enjoy!

Here is the photo that was submitted through the app.  Don't you love how the wonder of plants can bring total strangers together?

Here is the photo that was submitted through the app. Don’t you love how the plants can bring total strangers together?

So thanks, Garden Compass,  Chanticleer, and the app user who gets pleasure from great plants. The world needs places that bring people together around wonder and beauty.


Love This!

I Love Fur Balls

I guarantee that everyone who sees this in the garden will smile.

Name:  Gomphocarpus physocarpus aka fur balls, hairy balls or balloon plant….not to be confused with balloon flower which is a whole other plant.

Type of Plant: This pretty plant is a tall annual in the northeast and as a member of the dogbane family (Apocynaceae) it’s related to milkweed and oleander among others. Although it’s an

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Powdery Mildew on Squash

This is how powdery mildew looks. If you ignore it, the plant will quickly die. May I have this dance?

I am tempted to call this post “Dancing With Imperfection.” That’s what gardeners do, after all.

One of the most frequent questions I get, on the Garden Compass App and in other venues, goes something like this: “What’s wrong with my summer squash?” or “Why is my zucchini dying?” New gardeners are especially flummoxed because they

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Garden Stirfry

This is the reason to grow your own veggies. Such meals have flavor that you'll never find in store-bought produce.

Sometimes the simple things are the best things.

I went into the garden last night and asked “What’s for dinner?” The answer was summer squash (Zephyr), red noodle beans, chard and hot peppers. I added a piece of ginger root from my fridge (wish I could grow it!) along with a little walnut oil and

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Getting Weeds Out of Patio Cracks

The "after" photo. I left a few small areas of thyme, and others will return where I ripped the top of the plants off but left the roots. All in all, much improved I think.

I recently posted a photo of my weeded patio on Facebook, and mentioned that I’d just spent a few hours working to clear it. This prompted many comments about how I should use this weed killer or that herbicide. Although all of the suggestions were organic products, they missed the point of my post, however.

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Love This!

I Love Red Noodle Bean

These have a mild flavor so are perfect for adding to any dish in any ethnic or seasoning direction.

Name:  Vigna unguiculata –  aka yard long bean or red noodle bean.

Type of Plant: This is a legume similar to a green bean although it is actually a related to the cowpea. It is known as the yardlong bean, bora, bodi, long-podded cowpea, asparagus bean, pea bean, snake bean, or Chinese long bean

Why I Love

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