The glorious and oh-so-common salvia — or do you say sage? — still standing, two days before the new year. This is the first yellow one I’ve seen — a gift from the plant swap, no doubt. So hardy. So beautiful. And one of the easiest plants to identify — look for a square stem. Works every time. I hear you can smoke it. Me? I’d rather look at it.
Gardeners are always looking for explanations for why something does or does not do well. Not enough rain. Too much rain. Too hot. Not hot enough. This is one I heard this morning from Nancy T. at the fall plant swap: “It may not have rained at the right time.” Then — about a certain plant — “If it wants to it will bloom.”It amazes me people want more Mexican petunia (are they crazy?) or are willing to plant crocosmia, a notoriously fickle bloomer. No wonder the red and orange variety are called “lucifer.” About the innocuous plant that pops up everywhere with the delicate little pearly blooms, it can be called pearl of India or jewels of Opar. Somewhere in my notes I scribbled an organization in Pooler called the “rustic relics.” Interesting. Then I heard a tale from Mary T., who brought me some American beautyberry jelly and a wild betal leaf plant (piper sanmentosum), about P.T. Barnum, who used to be the mayor of Bridgeport, Conn., and a certain noxious plant he grew everywhere in town. But what was the plant? Too many stories flying around at once. Several people said they have grown pineapples. Now i see, based on the following note, it’s necessary to transplant pineapples to a bigger pot. Bob English brought two beautiful persimmon. Gives me hope. Larry Yawn says he has some good rusty junk for me. And Anne Hart gave me a Jacobinia plant. It looks lovely. As usual the best trading went on in the makeshift parking across the street under the overpass. That’s the prime location for waiting to see what goodies are arriving next and then to grab it before the person can cross Boundary Street. I watched that happened with a staghorn fern, which I spotted and coveted, and a large black elephant ear. You snooze you lose. Reminder: send Fran Z. some sorrell seeds.