I’ve been writing about gardening regularly on this website for nearly fourteen years. Naturally, there are days when I sit down to write and my mind draws a blank. I keep stacks of ideas and notes next to my desk, but there are times when I am not in the mood to tackle any of those topics. On those days, I have a trick that I use to get my brain going.
I have a “stick them wherever they’ll fit” attitude towards onions, shallots, garlic, and leeks. While most edible alliums grow to be their biggest and best when the soil is rich and the sun is bright, I often start the season with more allium seedlings and sets than ideal space in which to plant them. Rather than tossing the surplus away into the compost bin, I tuck them into any little space I can find, regardless of the growing conditions. The end of the season is like a treasure hunt as I gather these little treats from their hiding spaces underneath bushes, alongside taller crops that grew and shaded them out, and even stuck into pots.
Back in late July I told you about a two-for-one squash from Argentina called ‘Pilar’ aka ‘Zapallito Redondo de Tronco’ that can be harvested young as a zucchini, or left to ripen and enjoyed later in the year as a winter squash. Well, three months have passed and I have begun harvesting and eating the fruit that were left to ripen into much larger winter squashes.
I went all out for succulents this year and had some fun putting together a range of containers using tender plants. I live in a colder climate where tender succulents must be brought inside to overwinter, and for this reason I have tended to stick to making mixed plantings of hardy succulents only (with the exception of echeveria). While I grow many tender succulents, I often relegate them to one plant per pot to make shifting them between the outdoors and in an easy task. But not this year. This year I let my succulent love flourish!
The following photos are of one of the mixed succulent containers I planted this year.
With flat and fleshy, bluish/silver/green leaves that reach out horizontally as if the plant may take flight, Propeller Plant (Crassula perfoliata var. falcata) is an aptly named South African succulent that I think you’ll love. For those who are curious, according to “Stearn’s Dictionary of Plant Names for Gardeners,” the Latin “falcata” or “falcate” means sickle-shaped and indeed they do resemble a series of sickles stacked up a stem. How’s that for a little Botanical Latin learning on a Thursday afternoon?