Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Say What?

I've decided the difference between "elderly" and "youthful" is the different immediate thought entering your head when presented with something new.

The past few weeks my blog system and facebook have changed to include all new NEW NEW and wonderful benefits.  Every kid using these applications were thrilled and learned them in minus 3.5 seconds.  Most every person over sixty immediately thought "I don't want to change!" 

It's not that we (older folks) can't learn and no longer have the ability to change.  It takes our precious time away from things we enjoy more.  OK, I may be rationalizing.

And speaking of new things, as I was cleaning and throwing away stuff I shouldn't have kept in the first place I came across all those little plastic identification plant labels from this season's purchases. 

Here are some "annual" successes for this odd summer:

Chinese Cabbage "Michihli" oriental greens.  Mine wasn't bothered by any insects (a huge plus) or the drought conditions.  It looks like a mustard green plant, the leaves are about hand sized and the color is a light bright green.  The flavor is somewhat bitter (perhaps due to the drought) and not a strong cabbage flavor.  It holds up well in salads as well as in cooked dishes.  I'll try this again.

Sweet potato vine "Bronze"
Sweet potato vine "Bronze" has all the qualities of hybrid decorative sweet potato vines - plus.  The color is beautiful bronze on the top with maroon veins and back.  Although it vines, it stays rather compact which looks great in hanging baskets.  Another for the repeat performance list.

Coleus "Henna"
Coleus "Henna" has been a wonderful surprise.  Where my other coleus have been fragile and leggy, Henna just keeps on being bushy and beautiful.  It's a combination of chartreuse tops, glowing maroon veins, edges and underside.  Beautiful all summer and fall.

A herb, Cutting Celery, has been a nice surprise.  It looks like large leaf parsley but has a very sweet bold celery taste.  I've used it raw in salads and cooked in most anything where I want the celery taste but no crunch.  .

Some old favorites:

Torenia Dantopur "Purple Moon"
Ornamental Millets Mijo Perla "Jade Princess" and "Jester"  looks good all summer and the seed heads make great additions to dried arrangements.

Torenia Dantopur "Purple Moon" has looked lovely all summer in my partially shaded window box.  This year I combined with an asparagus fern.

This hybrid Misty Lilac Wave is an improved version of a very old variety of petunia.  It vines with abandon and cleans itself.  The soft lilac/pink/white colors are of old although it doesn't have the fragrance of the old.  I hope it will self seed.

Another new version of an old favorite:  the Discovery series orange African marigold.  Although they still need to be deadheaded to keep blooming, they are very hardy compact plants. 

What's been your summer's annual plant successes?  I'm just sure I can adapt to a new annual any day of the week because my first thought when entering a greenhouse every spring is "YES, I want that!"  At least my gardening age is still young.   

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