Saturday, August 15, 2009

Chinese Red Noodle Bean

A new addition to my beans this year is the Chinese Red Noodle Bean from the Bakers Creek Seed catalog. They are really an interesting plant. For most of the summer they sat at the bottom or the trellis with only a couple inches growth.

Just at the moment I had given up on them they sprang to the top of the trellis and produced some interesting flowers .They either resemble an alien or an angel, not sure which.
Then, magically , the red beans appear, looking like a cascade of fireworks.

I picked one off and tried it right off the and it was good! (and almost a meal in itself.)
I gathered the longest ones and brought them inside. I knew I was going to blow the kids mind with these babies. What was their reaction? Nothing, nada, zilch- not even the usual eye roll.

Whatever, I'm a dork I know. But these are really cool beans.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Tennessee Spinning Gourds

Every spring my husband and I get into an argument about the gourds I'm planning to grow in the garden. He thinks gourds are utterly useless and take up too much valuable space that could be put to better use. I , on the other hand, keep expanding my selections of gourds each year and stick them wherever I find an empty spot. This year I've found a new favorite. The Tennessee Spinning Gourd, or Dancing Gourd as it is sometimes called.

The leaves are a brilliant shade of green and have a nice size and shape to them.

The gourd themselves are about two inches long with pretty green stripes.

The vine has neat fairy tale- like tendrils all over it that adds interest to this lovely vine.

Here is one that is just starting to form.

The gourd can be used as a top when turned over and spun on it's skinny end. They also are a nice size to paint and use as jewelry.

The little gourds are prolific. I have one plant growing out of a big pot in my kitchen garden and it already has about a dozen spinners on it.

As you can see I've totally flipped for this beauty!

I just can't stop taking pictures of it.

Even the dog likes it!