I miss the bees. No, they’re not gone from here because of Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), widely responsible for the loss of bees. Most years, they would have been here and perhaps gone on to greener pastures by now.
The bees come for my witchhazel, and the reason for their absence this year is because my witchhazel didn’t bloom. It usually blooms in late winter or very early spring. And it won’t bloom this season at all. The reason is because it bloomed last fall.
It’s not uncommon for an early spring bloomer such as witchhazel to jump the gun and bloom in fall. And the cause for this behavior is growing conditions through summer that send the plant into a kind of sleep, then fall conditions that all of a sudden shake the plant awake. My guess is that the plant considered the very dry weather last summer an ersatz …
Over the years, my Arnold’s Promise variety of witchhazel has earned its keep with branches showered in fragrant, golden flowers late each winter. Some years, like last year, part of the bush would blossom in autumn, then put on a repeat performance in late winter. (Branches that blossom in autumn don’t blossom again in later winter, but other branches, which hold off in autumn, do.)
I should have read the fine print more carefully before I selected this variety of witchhazel. My plan was for the plant to visually smooth the transition from the corner of the house to an upright stewartia tree to a moderate-sized shrub (Arnold’s Promise) to some subshrubs (lowbush blueberry) to ground level. Except that Arnold’s Promise has grown to 15 feet high. Which it’s supposed to do, according to the fine print. Which I didn’t read.
I take a few cells (actually, short lengths of stem) from some pear trees for cloning into whole new trees. And then, on the other side of the farmden. Arnold’s Promise surprises me with blossoms — again!
Deb and David gather around the kitchen table as the contenders are brought forth, each steeped in its own cooking juice in a custard cup. The event is the long-awaited bean test, home-grown Cannellini beans vs. store-bought Cannellini beans vs. home-grown Calypso (Yin Yang) beans. Mostly, we are interested in
whether the home-grown Cannellini’s would be better than the store bought, a possible reason being that stored, dry beans get tougher with age.
I planted a very short row of the Cannellini and of Calypso beans back in the middle of May. I do mean short, only about 5 feet each. After all, this planting was for testing, not for production.
The beans I planted, as well as kidney beans, pinto beans, and some other dry beans, and green beans, share the same botanical lineage, Phaseolus vulgaris. All can be grown just like green beans …
The High Mowing Seeds giveaway is over and the seeds are on their way to the winner; but let’s have another giveaway! This time it’s a copy of my newest book, Grow Fruit Naturally. I’ll select randomly from all the comments offered by everyone who writes in as to what state they live in and what fruits they grow successfully and unsuccessfully, and what their favorite fruits are. The deadline for getting comments in will be Wednesday, April 3rd, at noon.
Philadelphia should not be called the “city of brotherly love.” No, I didn’t get mugged on a recent trip there. It’s just that more evident — to me, at least — is Philadelphia’s greenery. The city is oozing greenery, with over 10,000 acres of park land and hundreds of community gardens and small orchards right within city limits.