Tag Archives: gardening

Bobbe’s Garden and the Purple Hyacinth Bean Vine

Do you remember the Jackie and the Beanstalk Magic Seed Packets I offered last April for free with orders of Kits or Yarn in the HeartStrings Shopatron store? Several people took me up on that offer to receive some purple hyacinth bean vine seeds (sometimes also called Egyptian Bean and several other names I have since come across) .

I’d been wondering the last few days who actually planted the seeds and how they were doing. It’s about that time of the year when even those with later planting season should now be starting to see pretty flowers and maybe even some  brilliant purple pods forming.

A lovely person, Bobbe J, apparently intercepted my thought waves. Because this weekend I received photos to enjoy and given permission to share. Bobbe is not only an avid knitter, but obviously has a green thumb as well as doing outstanding photography.  Here is what she said:

“The vine is so wonderful … The flowers are fantastic and the beans are just coming.  NO EAT BEANS. Wonderful plant thank you for sharing.”

Purple Hyacinth Bean Vine in Bobbe's garden - photo credit Bobbe J.
Purple Hyacinth Bean Vine in Bobbe's garden - photo credit Bobbe J.

Can you picture yourself knitting in Bobbe’s garden while enjoying this setting? Doesn’t her garden look beautiful, inviting and calming? I wanna be there! Thank YOU so much for sharing, Bobbe.

A closer shot of Purple Hyacinth Bean Vine in Bobbe's garden - photo credit Bobbe J.
A closer shot of the Purple Hyacinth Bean Vine - photo credit Bobbe J.

If you missed the offer earlier this year, I now have Jackie and the Beanstalk Magic Seeds (a.k.a. purple hyacinth bean vine) available for purchase. You too can grow lovely flowering vines like this, and I hope you will!

p.s. The reason Bobbe mentioned “No Eat Beans” is because I included a caution on my seed packets about the raw beans being poisonous to eat. Apparently if they are cooked well, they are ok to eat. But why take a chance? At least I have never done that so wouldn’t want to suggest it to someone else. I just enjoy seeing the vines with their beautiful dainty pink flowers and brilliant pods.

Why is it called Dollar Weed?

Living in a swamp (basically), one of our most hideous unwanted plants is Dollar Weed. Now why do they call it that? I guess it is because of its silver- dollar-shaped leaves. But I really think it is  because of all the dollars I have spent trying to control this stuff!

Dollar Weed

Spring in these Southern Louisiana parts has come even earlier than usual (in fact, some days have been like summer!). The Dollar Weed infestation is already rearing its mighty head. And so I will be heading out soon to the store to get the spring dose of Weed and Feed fertilizer for the lawn.

But look — Here’s something I came across on the internet. Have you ever heard of using sugar like this to get rid of lawn weed infestations? Like he says, I’d be really concerned about switching out the problem to an ant infestation, though?


If Dollar Weed weren’t so prolific in taking over why lawn and gardens, I could maybe enjoy its plump round leaves of bright green that look like miniature lily pads. (which, by the way, I want to wish you luck of the Irish on this green St. Patrick’s Day).

But getting back to the Dollar Weed, it tries to strangle my grass. And spreads at an astounding rate everywhere I see around here. Oh well. Another year fighting this. If you have any ideas, let me know.


What flower is this?

Last spring I planted a few seeds I had been holding onto for 8 years. I had collected them from a fellow fiber-friend on the other side of the state. Jean – are you listening in? All I remember was that I was attracted to these flowers she had growing along her fence and that she was happy to share some seeds. I am sure she told me the plant name, but of course I didn’t write it down at the time.

Viney Flowers - What are they?
Viney Flowers - What are they?

So with just 3 of these plants along my back fence, I had a glorious fence-ful of viney flowers that I enjoyed through the summer and into the late fall. They even served as a nice back-drop to the preliminary photographs I took of the “Half-note Symphony” shawl.

Half-note Symphony Shawl
Half-note Symphony Shawl

But I still do not know the name of this flower/plant. Do you?

p.s. If this flower is looking somewhat familiar to you, but you need a larger photo to look at, try this. But beware that it is a 3.8 MB file and could take a while to download depending on your connection speed.

A bounteous harvest of Thai peppers

I feel like singing a jingle something along the lines of “pick a peck of peppers”. Amazingly, my single Thai pepper plant I grew this summer, was still going strong all through the fall and into winter. It was approaching 5 feet tall and was huge around, just loaded with dense peppers everywhere. I’ve had such a bounteous harvest! Yes, these slim little guys grow upwards like this. Aren’t they cute?

Thai peppers grow upwards to the sky
Thai peppers grow upwards to the sky

Do you need any Thai chili peppers? I have plenty, plenty to share.

Picked dried Thai peppers (with stems removed)
Picked dried Thai peppers (with stems removed)

I don’t actually have a peck, but it certainly has felt like I was reaching that quantity after picking, and picking, and picking some more. In case you do not know, a peck is 2 gallons = 8 quarts i.e. 1/4 bushel. At just about 2 inches in length, these slim peppers pack really tight into a container … meaning a peck of them would be … well, way more than I am willing to count. Here’s a photo comparing a U.S. quarter to the size of these peppers.

The peppers average about 2 inches long
Even just one of these small Thai peppers can impart an incredibly hot, spicy punch to your favorite dish

Even a small container will probably last anyone quite a while, because just one can really spice up a dish. These things are hot-hot. Good thing we like hot, spicy food here in New Orleans, lol.

It was a bonus that I enjoyed a colorful plant all through the summer, fall and even into the winter. The cut stems of plant while the peppers are drying make colorful decorations, too.

Thai peppers are colorful decorative plants
Thai peppers are colorful decorative plants

I’ve now cut back the plant to the ground, but am already seeing new growth. Looks like there could be even more hot peppers from this same plant in the future. I guess I should name it Pick-A-Peck-O-Peppers.