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This is an eryngium or sea holly. It is a pretty beast and not necessarily easy to grow. We have another in the nearby back border, but it is a totally different variety.

Where did it come from? Who knows? But it’s growing out of a crack in the pavement narrower than my little finger. The article says it likes poor soil. I guess!

But wait! There’s more! Growing out of the same little bit of a crack in the pavement is also a mint plant. There are dozens paving slabs all around the house, but these two are thriving entertwined in one little sliver of soil. I don’t understand gardening at all.

Bananas. I think these two are honorary banana plants.


Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: August 4, 2021, 8:57 pm

No one understands gardening. That’s part of the appeal.

Comment from Mitch
Time: August 5, 2021, 12:04 am

“Life, uh, finds a way.”

Comment from durnedyankee
Time: August 5, 2021, 12:40 am

if your plan is to grow weeds, it gets easier.

Comment from Uncle Al
Time: August 5, 2021, 2:20 am

I live in Florida. Growing stuff here is so ridiculously easy it isn’t fair to gardeners to call what we do “gardening.” There are so many things that thrive here getting nothing more than rain and in some cases a bit of fertilizer two or three times per year.

Many years ago (zOMG! 47 YEARS!1!) as a young man living in a small Washington, DC, apartment, I had no outdoor garden at all, so I got interested in indoor stuff. No, not the smoking kind, but orchids, gesneriads, ferns, dwarf palms, and a few odds and ends that included a spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum). I really liked that hanging spider plant but it required a fair amount of work. Water quantity had to be just right, and it was fussy about mineral content. Also, it was finicky about what kind and how much fertilizer it got. It took about a year and a half before I got it right and it really took off, producing lots of its cute little spidery pups. I was rightfully proud of it!

I got my friend from upstairs, also a house plant aficionado, to look after my indoor garden while I went on a two week vacation to visit my sister and her family in Rio de Janeiro. Soon after arriving, I saw a gardener pushing a lawn mower around the smallish yard at a nearby home. It was a lawn made up entirely of spider plants. And he was MOWING it. I never felt the same about indoor gardening ever again.

Comment from Deborah HH
Time: August 5, 2021, 2:12 pm

JavaMan has worked hard this summer, getting ready for next summer. He’s built a greenhouse, four raised-bed gardens, and a three-bay compost corral. The greenhouse was new—a kit—and JavaSon was here to help him. I’ve helped a little with the other things, but I don’t stand on ladders 🙂

We gardened in growing bags this year, and a “gutter garden” hung on the porch rail. Also a small in-the-ground patch. All with mixed results. But we learned a lot, and the investment was modest. Except for the lavender. I lost 5 out of 16 lavender plants. That hurt. All I want is enough lavender to make sweetie gifts for my DAR sisters. Lavender bouteilles and wreaths, et cetera.

We’ve had three hail storms this summer, but we managed to drag the grow bags underneath the porch canopy before there was too much damage. One storm dropped small hail, but pounded us for 50 minutes. Now we have new roof shingles, the house is being painted this week, and a new garage door is on order—a goofy size so it has to be custom built. Plus new gutters. Even the fence is getting a powerwash and new stain.

Next up is building some passive solar heaters for the greenhouse, so we are scrounging around for old windows. And shelving for the greenhouse. I think we’re going to start with cinder blocks, 4v4s, and hard wire mesh.

All suggestions welcome 🙂

Comment from BJM
Time: August 5, 2021, 4:38 pm

@Deborah…Miah at Roots & Refuge has a YT vlog how-to build a greenhouse with salvaged windows. He and Jesse have had to scrounge to build their infrastructure, so he’s fairly adept at creating what she wants/needs from the salvage/scrap pile. They just sold their Arkansas homestead and moved to a raw 27-acre parcel in SC to start over. They makes me tired.

Comment from durnedyankee
Time: August 6, 2021, 1:07 am

Look into rainwater harvesting Deborah. If you have any slope at all on your property you can build one of those in ground pipe systems. I’m looking at putting one in for our place in East Texas. One good rain, say an inch, would collect nearly 2000 gallons if done right (if….and based on the square footage of our roof).

Comment from BJM
Time: August 6, 2021, 3:36 pm

@Durned…Here’s an Arizona homesteader with a rainwater collection system. There are many off-grid homesteaders building systems on YT…but this guy has really thought it through.

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