Peanut Butter Tree

 

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We moved into our new house last year in fall, most of the shrubs and trees had shed leaves by then. In front yard, a wonderful smallish tree caught my attention – It had pinkish buds with blue berry like fruits. Quite unusual I thought. In Summer around late July this tree started blooming – had thousands of small pink-white flowers that looked like Jasmine and had very strong aroma. Many people who visited us in summer wondered about this tree, they had never seen such thing.

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And I kept looking…searched folia, USDA plant database, internet but couldn’t find the name.  All of a sudden, 2 days back, I landed on Petunia’s blog. I was jumping in joy to have stumbled on her page. Thank you thank you Petunia. There it is – It’s called Peanut Butter tree or Clerodendrum trichotomum or harlequin glorybower

More research on it –
USDA link is here –http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=CLTR

Why is it called Peanut Butter Tree?
Internet tells me leaves of this tree have very strong pungent smell, when rubbed these leaves give out peanut butter smell. well, I never noticed before, I went to front yard for my own taste test, and yes, it does kinda smells like peanut butter.
Now that I remember about flowers, stamens of this flower do have strong PB like aroma. when stamens removed, flowers give out very sweet fragrance – earthy jasmine like.

Pumpkin Patch

Me and girls hit pumpkin patch at the base of Sahalee way yesterday, it was good fun.

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What’s that got to do with gardening? oh yes, I witnessed first hand how pumpkins are grown in rich, moist soil. learned that sunflowers + corn + pumpkins are grown in vicinity because sunflowers ward off bugs on corn, yellow pumpkin flowers attract abundant bees helping pollination, birds gathering to collect sunflower seeds eat harmful bugs…organic growing concepts at their best.

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Beets are ready

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Purple/Red beet heads are peeking out of ground and ready to be harvested. These were started from seeds on 20th June , transplanted in a month and ready by 5th October. That’s 100 days till harvest. Not all of them are ready yet, some are still in ground, not sure if this depends on amount of sun or water they are getting.

Notes added later: I went back and checked seed packet information, these are – Detroit Dark Red. Packet says 60 days till harvest. (?, it’s almost 100 days now…)

I am finding that Vegetables in my backyard are typically taking plenty more or less time to mature than what’s on seed packet, it just varies. Peas and cucumbers were earlier than maturity days on packet. Peas (50 days, maturity days listed on seed packet – 70 days) and cucumbers (muncher, 45 days, maturity days on packet 62 days) . On the other hand, butternut squash listed as 90 days, I seeded those on 1st June, it’s 130 days today and all I have is tiny tiny green fruit that may never ripe. I think I just have to go by what works for me, make a journal of success/failure from this year.