Asparagus Peas

Tetragonolobus purpurea or Lotus tetragonolobus (asparagus pea)

Text and photos ©Nancy J. Ondra

I’m always on the hunt for plants that really earn their space in the garden, so when I ran across a listing for asparagus pea (Tetragonolobus purpurea; also known as Lotus tetragonolobus), I knew I had to try it.

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Dark and Light – Part 2

Sambucus nigra 'Aurea' and Pennisetum glaucum 'Purple Majesty' with Mirabilis jalapa 'Limelight' and Basil 'Osmin'

Text and photos ©Nancy J. Ondra

Continuing on the burgundy-and-gold theme in honor of this month’s Garden Bloggers’ Design Workshop, I offer up some more high-contrast combinations from my front garden, focusing mostly on annuals and tender perennials. (For the first part of this series, see Dark and Light – Part 1.)

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Wildflowers of Memory

Fieldbook of the American Wildflowers title spread

Text ©Nancy J. Ondra

Taking inspiration from Jodi’s post Garden Bloggers Muse Day meets Wildflowers in Winter at Bloomingwriter, I’ve dusted off some of my favorite wildflower guides.

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Six More Weeks?

Frost on the meadow

Text and photos ©Nancy J. Ondra

So, the groundhog Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow yesterday. How could he not, with all those lights set up around him? I’ll admit, it did look wintery here this morning, after a nice bit of freezing fog. It does wonders for adding a bit of sparkle to the unmown bits of the meadow, and it makes me glad I haven’t been too quick to tidy the garden for spring.

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Dark and Light – Part 1

Capsicum annuum 'Explosive Embers' and Talinum paniculatum 'Kingwood Gold'

Text and photos ©Nancy J. Ondra

A while back, I wrote a post at Gardening Gone Wild about one of my favorite color combinations: burgundy to black with chartreuse to yellow. Since we’re concentrating on color for this month’’ Garden Bloggers’ Design Workshop, I have a perfect excuse to revisit the topic with some more of my favorite combinations. Above is a detail shot of ‘Explosive Embers’ pepper (Capsicum annuum) with ‘Kingwood Gold’ jewels-of-Opar (Talinum paniculatum), two easy-to-grow annuals.

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Are Alpacas the Answer?

Duncan and Daniel

Text and photo ©Nancy J. Ondra

“What made you decide to get alpacas?”, people ask me. Well, the fleece has some value, if you can find someone who wants it, and they’re fun to watch and hang around with. Plus, the endless supply of manure is invaluable for the garden. But apparently that’ not all they’re good for! Check out this link from The Onion: “Congress to Raise Alpacas to Aid Struggling Economy.” If only I’d gotten a boy and a girl, instead of two boys. (But no, I wouldn’t give up either Daniel or Duncan to get a girl instead.)

‘Red Noodle’ Beans

Yardlong bean 'Red Noodle' (Vigna unguiculata)

Text and photos ©Nancy J. Ondra

The topic of arbors and pergolas for January’s Garden Bloggers’ Design Workshop has gotten me thinking about some of the climbers I tried on my new arches last year. I’d decided that the orchard arch ought to have something edible, so when I found ‘Red Noodle’ (also called ‘Chinese Red Noodle’) bean in the Territorial Seed catalog, it seemed like a good choice.

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