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Monday, April 29, 2013

A gardener would never say...

Plants for sale at the Eliz. Lawrence garden in 2012
A gardener would never say...

"I am not buying any more plants until I've planted the ones I've already purchased."

Nor would they say...

"Oh, that's a great plant that I've never seen, but I am too far from home to buy it here. I'll wait and look for it closer to home."

And for heaven's sake they wouldn't be caught dead saying...

"I don't think I'll buy any new plants this year."

A gardener would never say any of those statements.

But if they did say one of them, because they were tired, or out of their mind, or their body had been invaded by space aliens, it would only be true for about five seconds.

A gardener's resolve  to not buy any plants would melt like butter in the hot sun at the the first sign of a plant that waved a leaf at her (or him) when they walked by it at the nursery.  That resolve would be swept away like dust in a hurricane at the first glance at the rows and rows of new plants at the garden center or even the big box store. 

A gardener's resolve to not buy plants would be wiped from their mind as if they were hypnotized the minute they spied a plant that was interesting, perceived to be better than what they had, had just the bloom color they were looking for, had a great scent, had great leaf color, or they thought for one second that another gardener was standing there and going to buy it first.

A gardener would never pass up such a plant...


Saturday, April 27, 2013

My Holy Grail of Old Gardening Books

My holy grail of old gardening books.
A plain cover with a simple drawing of some little spring flowering bulbs.

Inside, the title page shows that it is The Little Bulbs by Elizabeth Lawrence.

Turn the page again to see that it is a First Edition

Turn the page back to see...
Elizabeth Lawrence signed it on November 1, 1966, with best wishes.

A signed, first edition book by Elizabeth Lawrence. This has been my holy grail of old gardening books that I've been seeking since discovering the charm of old gardening books.

"Gardening, reading about gardening and writing about gardening are all one; no one can garden alone."  from the preface of The Little Bulbs by Elizabeth Lawrence


Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Mystery of Plastic Pots

Plastic pots? Where do they all come from? It is a mystery, yet to be solved.

As spring continues, the first of the plastic pots filled with new plants are beginning to congregate on the front porch and the back patio, my two favorite plant staging areas.

Once I get everything planted, hopefully before the 4th of July, I'll have towers of square and round, black and green plastic pots of all sizes. I'll have stacks of flats and piles of plant labels. 

Once I've planted all of these pots and flats of plants, I'm going to need a good plan to hide the evidence to recycle many of them, keeping just a few because you never know when you might need a pot or two or one hundred.

Some people may look all shocked at the number of pots that will accumulate over the next month or so and think that it represents a lot of plants. They may wonder where I planted everything and what my gardening budget really is.

Let me set the record straight on behalf of all gardeners.

We should draw no conclusions about the number of plants purchased based on the number of plastic pots left over. It is a mystery how there could be so many.

Every gardener knows that the empty pots make it look like we bought many more plants than we think we bought.  How else would you explain that even though we may have dozens or hundreds of empty plastic pots, we still need more plants?

Again, should anyone be looking for evidence of the number of plants a gardener has purchased, they should not try to count the leftover plastic pots.   It is like counting blades of grass to figure out how big a lawn is.  It's an impossible task and the answer won't mean anything.

In fact, what we should be doing is figuring out other causes for the accumulation of plastic pots in the spring.  I have several theories including one involving garden fairies dragging pots to my house from the neighbors' garages and recycle bins.  Plausible, yes, but I have not yet ruled out the spontaneous replication of plastic pots, brought on by a process that involves sunlight and dirt. I'm still working out how that might happen.

I have doubt that I will eventually solve the myster and  find the cause for the excessive number of plastic pots around here.  In the meantime, while I come up with other theories,  let me repeat, I do not believe the number of plastic pots tells us anything about the number of plants purchased.


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Wildflower Wednesday: Invasive Plants

Road trip!

Last week, I went on a road trip with the Hoosier Gardener to the Cabin at Wildflower Woods, the home of the Indiana author, Gene Stratton-Porter (1863- 1924).

In her lifetime, Stratton-Porter wrote 26 novels including Freckles, A Girl of the Limberlost, and The Magic Garden.

She was also an amateur naturalist and wildlife photographer and her novels reflect her love of nature in general.  Her second home, The Cabin at Wildflower Woods on the shores of Sylvan Lake near Rome City, Indiana, is surrounded by a forest, her gardens, and an orchard.  

In the woods, the wildflowers were just beginning to bloom on the day we visited.


The garden plots were green with the foliage of Star of Bethlehem, Ornithogalum umbellatum.


Not good!  This highly invasive spring flower chokes out everything else that tries to grow in these beds and has spread out of the beds and up into the woods, where it chokes out many of the native wildflowers.

The staff members at this state historic site work with volunteers who attempt to dig out Star of Bethlehem as often as they can, but it seems impossible to dig it out completely.

This Drooping Trillium grows in a bed where volunteers have spent hours digging out the Star of Bethlehem. If you look closely, you can see the green shoots of more Star of Bethlehem coming up all around the trillium, even after all that digging and sifting of soil to remove the bulbs of the plant. It is a never ending task to dig out this invasive plant.

Like many spring bulbs, eventually the Star of Bethlehem foliage will die back and the staff and volunteers at this state historic site can  plant annuals and other plants in the garden beds.

For those who scoff at the idea that a plant can be that invasive, a trip to The Cabin at Wildflower Woods in the early spring should convince them that invasive plants can be and are a problem in many areas.

Every state maintains lists of plants considered invasive in their state. Do a good thing today. Search online for your state's list of invasive plants and make note not to plant any of them in your garden.  Don't buy them even if you see them for sale at garden centers or big box stories. Don't scoff and say you'll control the invasive plants. You won't. You can't.  You shouldn't.  Why do you want to?  There are always better choices and hacking back an out of control invasive plant is not a fun way to garden.

For more posts about wildflowers, visit Gail at Clay and Limestonehttp://www.clayandlimestone.com/2013/04/wildflower-wednesday-practically.html, our hostess for Wildflower Wednesday on the fourth Wednesday of the month.

Links of Interest:

Gene Stratton-Porter State Historic Site

Indiana Native Plant and Wildflower Society

Indiana Historical Society biography of Gene Stratton-Porter

What I did when I found a Star of Bethlehem blooming in my garden

Monday, April 22, 2013

A Moment of Beauty

Double tulips with grape hyacinths
The sole purpose of this post is to share this picture with you. 

It is a picture of a chance encounter with a moment in time in my garden when I was there, kneeling and weeding. As the light of another day began to fade, I looked up from the ground, from the weeds, to see this moment.

This moment, this picture, these blooms won't happen again in this same way.

But I'll keep gardening, weeding and kneeling, and hoping that many more such moments happen in my garden in the days to come.

Thank you.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

And then it bloomed

My plan was to cut down the large Korean Spice Viburnum (Viburnum carlesii) on the right side of the gate.

Then I would move the much smaller Korean Spice Viburnum on the left side of the gate to another location in the garden.


After all, the larger viburnum has a big dead branch in it, and it's getting on in years.

Plus, I have two honeyberries, Lonicera caerulea, growing in one gallon pots on the front porch that I want to plant where these two viburnum are currently growing.

Honeyberries, which should get to 3' - 4', maybe 8' tall, produce edible blue berries which are supposed to be similar to blueberries.

When I read about honeyberries this winter, I immediately thought of planting them on each side of the gate since the gate is the official entrance to the vegetable garden.  I dreamed of them joining the raspberries and grapes that form a living fence separating the vegetable garden from the rest of the garden, and providing me with food. I could just imagine a visitor  seeing these shrubs loaded down with blue berries and asking "What's that? Then I would invite them to try one. "Mmm", they would say in my dream, "those are good."

I bought two varieties, 'Blue Moon' and 'Blue Velvet', because you need two varieties for pollination. 

But then, guess what?

That old Korean Spice Viburnum bloomed.


This is one of the best smelling blooms of spring, if you want my humble opinion. I like it better than witch hazel, better than lilac, better than peony, better than crabapple.

I tried not to lean in and smell it, I tried to show restraint, I tried to hold myself back. But I couldn't resist.

I leaned in slowly, sniffed a tiny bit, closed my eyes, then drew in a big breath of Viburnum carlesii and decided right then and there that I am going to cut out that dead branch, trim the whole shrub back a bit after it blooms, put a nice layer of mulch over its roots and make sure it gets some good organic fertilizer.  I'll do the same for its little buddy on the other side of the gate which has struggled through two droughty summers since it was planted. They'll be fine. I won't get edible berries from them, but I will get lovely sweet-flowers in the spring, food for the winter weary soul.

Those honeyberries?  Well, I think there is room elsewhere in the vegetable garden for them, in the corners. They are pollinated by bees so I hope the bees don't mind buzzing one and and then going 60 feet over to the other one so I get some berries. 

(Apologies for the pictures... I took them just before dusk...)

Friday, April 19, 2013

A few little attentions make for success in the garden

Lettuce and radishes are coming up in the veg. garden
I've discovered  "a few little attentions which make for success in the garden and minimize the sum of the season's work" hidden in an old gardening book.

They were buried in the introduction of The Busy Woman's Garden Book by Ida D. Bennett (1920).

When I read them, I realized that I'd be embarrassed to have Bennett visit my garden right now. No doubt she'd shake her head, point a finger at my weeds, and tell me to pay a little more attention to my garden.

Would she point out any of these attentions to you if she visited your garden?

The first attention of note is "your garden will give back to you must what you put into it - no more, and the more you give to it the less it will exact of you; neglect it ever so little and it will prove a hard taskmaster indeed..."

In other words, pay attention to your garden because it takes a lot of work to turn a neglected garden into a garden that gives back more than you give it.

The second attention is "one cannot garden successfully on the principle that one can work in the garden when there is nothing else to do, no one to play with, nowhere to go".

Easy to say but hard to do sometimes - garden first, then go do something else.

The third attention is "there are always critical times in the life of the garden; - the gardener must recognize these and be prepared to give just the assistance the condition requires at just the time it is required".  She also wrote, "The failure to co-operate with nature at the right time may result in many hours of wearisome work."

Seems pretty simple. Just do each task in the season and time it is intended to be done - plant in the spring, harvest in the summer, clean up in the fall and the tasks will be easier tod o.

The fourth attention is "if the planting is closely watched and the weeds cut off as quickly as they show a seed leaf above ground, and before they have stuck their roots deeply enough into the ground to make more than a mere stirring of the soil necessary, an entire week's crop of weeds will be destroyed with one stirring of the soil".

I can never quite quite do this. Pull weeds when they are little, and you'll have no trouble with weeds at all.  By the way, this is also one of Loudon's rules of horticulture.

The fifth attention is "There is much in choosing the right time of day for work in the garden".

Of course, use the day to your advantage. Weed in the morning, transplant late in the day. Then the weeds will fry in the heat of the day, and the transplants will thrive in the cool of the night.  At least that's Bennett's theory.

I do need to pay more attention in my garden and soon, before the henbit takes over again, before it is too late to plant, before I have anyone like Ida D. Bennett come and see my garden.

A little henbit and a dandelion under a viburnum
 Bennett might not like seeing all this lack of attention.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Women in the garden

'Lady Jane' tulips in bloom
I find it interesting that in some old gardening books, the authors felt compelled to point out that women can indeed garden.

 J. B. Whiting wrote in his 1849 book, Manual of Flower Gardening for Ladies: With Directions for the Propagation and Management of the Plants Usually Cultivated in the Flower Garden:

“Gardening is not only one of the most innocent, but, when practised merely as a recreation, one of the most healthful, of all occupations; and, for these reasons, it is especially suitable, as an exercise both of the mind and the body, for ladies who pass much of their time in the country. To watch and tend the delicate seedling, through all the stages of its gradual development until it becomes a perfect plant; to mark the unfolding of the tender young leaves, and to observe the progressive expansion of the flower-buds into full-blown flowers, seems a peculiarly fitting employment for a refined and gentle female.”

There you have it. Gardening is innocent, recreational and healthful!  It exercises the mind and the body.  It also involves quite a bit of  watching plants.  All good, especially, if one is refined, and gentle, and female.

Ladies, go forth and garden with the blessings of J. B. Whiting. 

Monday, April 15, 2013

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day - April 2013

Welcome to Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day for April 2013.

Here in my USDA Hardiness Zone 6a garden, spring is slowly arriving.  How slow?  I went back through all my bloom day posts for April, back to 2007.  Based on my records, this spring is one of the slowest so far, perhaps as slow as 2008, if not slower.   We are definitely way behind last year's spring.  Way behind.

But there are still many blooms to enjoy including these tulips and star flowers (Ipheion uniflorum) growing by the front step. I'm sorry to say that I don't have a name for these tulips. I do know that from a distance they almost look like daffodils.

Since it is still early in spring, we keep our eyes to the ground to see grape hyacinths (Muscari sp.) blooming. I have some pink ones.
And the more traditional purple grape hyacinths.
These are really not in a good location. I should dig them and move them elsewhere. I might plant them in the lawn.

Out in the lawn, the crocuses are long gone but here are there are a few violas that I'm hoping will naturalize.  Up by the house, several clumps of violas made it through the winter and look great now.
 

I was excited to find that where the redbud tree provided shade until it fell over last summer, some of the woodland wildflowers I rescued a few springs ago returned.
I love these spring beauties, Claytonia virginica.  I've always watched for them, even when they didn't grow in my garden, because they really do signal that it is officially Spring.

Oh, did I show you the 'Lady Jane' tulips?
Just one group is starting to bloom but there will be many more over the next week, which promises to be warm and spring like.

Across the way, Leucojum is in bloom.
If you squint at that picture you can make out some tiny Forsythia blooming in the distance.  The forsythia and the Star Magnolia (Magnolia stellata) in the front give us a chance to see some flowers at eye level.
Around the neighborhood, the Bradford pears (Pyrus calleryana) are in bloom. I have none in my yard, preferring to wait a week or so longer for the blooms of the Serviceberry (Amelanchier sp).

I'm also excitedly waiting  to see the first blooms of the dogwood (Cornus florida 'Cherokee Princess') that I planted last fall.

What's blooming in your garden in the middle of April? Is it a slow spring for you, too? Or is it right on time?  Tell us by joining in for Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day, one of the longest running memes for garden bloggers, going back to February 2007.

It’s easy to join in. Just post on your own blog about what's blooming in your garden right now, outdoors or indoors. You can include pictures, lists, common names, botanical names, whatever you’d like to do to showcase your blooms.

Then leave a comment and put your name and a link back to your bloom day post in the Mr. Linky widget below, so we know where to find your blog and can visit you virtually and read about your bloom day blooms.

We can have flowers nearly every month of the year.” ~ Elizabeth Lawrence



Friday, April 12, 2013

When is it acceptable to plant in a straight line?

Peas in a veg. garden
Dear Hortense Hoelove,

I've been debating about when it is acceptable to plant in a straight line.  Mostly I've been debating with myself so I thought I'd get another opinion. I could think of no one I'd rather have the opinion of than you, Hortense Hoelove, my favorite garden advice columnist.

Sincerely,
Carol

Dear Carol,

I'm so glad you asked about planting in straight lines.  Let us first address planting in vegetable gardens. I think most gardeners will agree that planting in straight lines, let's call them rows, in a vegetable garden is the correct way to plant a vegetable garden.

I will admit that some gardeners deviate from this rule of thumb at times, but for ease of planting, staking, covering, and harvesting, most gardeners will agree that it is always correct to plant in a straight row in a vegetable garden.

However, in other areas of the garden, the answer to when is it acceptable to plant in a straight line is "it depends on the design".  However, most gardeners will agree that bedding out plants in straight lines is something that should be left to the Victorian era.  Today's modern gardeners will find that their gardens will be more pleasing if straight lines, in general, are avoided.

But it is not always clear cut.  Here for example are some tulips that were planted to follow a curve.
Technically, a curve is not a straight line. Plus, technically, these are groups of tulips planted to follow the curve.  However, I think most gardeners would say that the gardener who planted these tulips probably also grows vegetables, hence her tendency to plant in straight lines or nearly straight lines.

I further suggest that this gardener should look within herself to figure out why, in spite of having a curved edge to this border, and other plants in the border that were not planted in straight lines, she persists in planting in straight lines, or nearly straight lines.

As noted, I suspect she also grows vegetables. I suspect she needs help.

Hortifully,
Your favorite advice columnist, Hortense Hoelove 

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

A peek into the mind of a gardener

A peek into the mind of a gardener on the first warm hot day of spring.

Gosh it's hot suddenly I didn't notice that the magnolia was budded out like that is that early or is that on time since when does grass grow that fast I really should have mowed the lawn yesterday but who knew it could grow that fast I had forgotten and oh my goodness that henbit is flowering I better pull it before it sets seed  hey are those dandelions in the lawn and what happened to all my crocus blooms they are gone already the forsythia is blooming isn't there something I'm supposed to do when the forsythia bloom I really should cut back those spireas so they'll bush up nice and it might help them recover from the drought geez it is getting kind of dry out here I should water all those violas I planted around the garden hold on violas I'm coming with some water I wonder if those bags of mulch will move themselves from the back patio to the front where I edged the beds maybe I should call someone to edge the backyard beds there are a lot more back there but I sure am glad I finally sowed seeds for lettuce and radishes I wonder if we'll have more frost maybe this will be the year when we have the earliest last frost ever if I knew it was I could plant out the tomatoes except they are still just little seedlings right now this spring seems to be going by awfully fast wow those pink grape hyacinths sure are pretty.


I wish spring wasn't going by so fast it seemed so slow at first but that must have been some illusion because it is going to fast now there is a lot I wanted to do and oh my is it hot out here or what?

And that was a peek into the mind of a gardener...

Tuesday's high was around 80F.

Fridays' high will be around 49F.

Sunday, April 07, 2013

Garden fairies discuss nouns and verbs

Garden fairies here.

We are garden fairies and once again, we have arrived just in time to save this blog from sure and certain oblivion.  If it were not for us garden fairies, Carol would have posted some absolute drivel on here.

We think this evening she was going to post about how "garden" is both a noun and a verb and so is "weed".  Earth-shattering news here folks. Yawn.

And guess what? She likes "garden" as a noun and a verb but she doesn't like "weed".

Really. We are garden fairies and it is hard to tell sometimes that Carol does not like weeds, as much as she lets them grow around here.  What we think is that she doesn't really like the verb weed.  Who does?  But she needs to get over that, and soon, or we garden fairies will never find our way out of the henbit to the rest of the garden.

Fortunately, the weed situation around here is not nearly as dire as it was last spring when Carol's sister came and weeded.  In fact, it isn't that dire at all.  We are garden fairies, we would tell everyone if it was. If it was that weedy around here, we would send out an S.O.G. (Save our Garden) alert faster than a rabbit can eat through a row of peas.

Did we say something about a rabbit eating through a row of peas? Why yes, we did. We've seen it happen and it is frightening. Carol's peas are coming up now so she'd better get some row cover to protect those little sprouts.  Did we say sprouts? Hey, that's another garden-y word that is both a noun and a verb. Sprouts sprout, right? We are garden fairies, we find these dual use garden words fascinating.

Let's see now... there is plant the noun and plant the verb, flower the verb and flower the noun, and  bloom the noun and bloom the verb. Oh and seed the verb and seed the noun.  Not to mention, soil the noun and soil the verb.

Hmmm... maybe words that are nouns and verbs isn't such a bad idea for a blog post, after all, especially since Carol forgot to take pictures today, so we can't show every one the new tulips that have sprouted up in the garden to show what a pretty plant they are in bloom and flower, growing in the soil amidst the weeds, where they might seed themselves if given half a chance.

Did we use all our dual-use gardeny words?  We are garden fairies, we hope so!

Submitted by Violet Greenpea Maydreams, Keeper of the Dictionary at May Dreams Gardens

Friday, April 05, 2013

It's good not to be housed-up

It's good to no longer be a "housed-up" woman.  Just ask Eben E. Rexford.

"The general impression seems to be that gardening is essentially man's work, and that women and children are not equal to it. This is another mistake that will rapidly be done away with, for the woman of to-day is no longer a housed-up woman. She is rapidly learning the value of fresh air, and the tonic of outdoor life is fast taking the place of the doctor's prescriptions. The writer knows of many women who have found work in the garden not only a healthful occupation but one so delightful that they look forward to spring with most pleasurable anticipations, and long for the time to come when they can get to work out of doors." Eben E. Rexford, A-B-C of Vegetable Garden (1916)

Thank you Eben E. Rexford for setting the record straight. I could not imagine being "housed-up".  I need the tonic of the outdoor life!

In other news, my peas, planted on March 17th, are starting to come up.

And daffodils are replacing crocuses as the dominant spring flower.


And lest you be concerned that women should only grow flowers, Rexford also wrote that "the vegetable-garden is no harder than the flower-garden, and neither demands more strength or time than the average woman is able to give it if she makes use of labor-saving tools".

It is good  not to be housed-up, especially in the spring.



Wednesday, April 03, 2013

15 random thoughts on gardening

My soul and mind shall always be in the garden, no matter what else is going on.

You can take the gardener out of the garden, but you can't take the garden out of the gardener.

Gardeners are like boomerangs.  Just try to throw us out of our  gardens. Somehow, we'll find our way back.

You can tell how happy gardeners are by how dirty their hands are.  The dirtier their hands are with the dirt of their own gardens, the happier they are.

Sometimes, the best part of gardening is breathing outside air.

When it comes to life's problems, if you apply a little gardening knowledge to them, you can generally figure them out.

How do you find time for gardening? If you find your passion, you will find the time.

If you commit to lifelong gardening, you've committed to lifelong learning.

Beauty is reason enough in a garden.

I can describe my ideal gardening budget in three words:  whatever it takes.

I do not believe in gardening with moderation.

If every day you think of gardening... well, that's good, isn't it?

"Finished" and "garden" should never been used together in a sentence.

Seeds are like dreams, some come true and some don’t. We always want to have dreams, and we always want to have seeds, too.

Garden it forward.



Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Plan now for Easter 2014 blooms

I watched. I waited. I held my breath. I hoped.  I prayed. I planned for crocuses to be blooming in the lawn on Easter.  I planned for sunshine and warm-enough-to-be-outside temperatures.

And lo and behold, there were crocuses blooming in the lawn for Easter and it was sunny and around 60F when we started the big egg hunt.

I love it when a plan for the garden works out just like I planned it would.

The crocuses even helped hide one of the eggs.

No kidding, this was one of the last eggs found, and then it was only found because I stood next to it and motioned to one of the hunters so she would see it.

There were other flowers blooming on this very early Easter including Lenten roses (Helleborus sp.), star flowers (Ipheion uniflorum),  irises (Iris reticulata) tiny daffodils, white crocuses, violas, and the first tiny tulip (Tulipa biflora).


Now it's time to plan for next Easter, which will take place on April 20, 2014, three weeks later than this Easter. In garden-time, that means a whole new set of blooms for the big egg hunt.

I'm already making plans.


I'm going to go through my gardening journals for the last few years, both online and on paper, and figure out what should be blooming in my garden around mid-April.  There won't be crocuses in the lawn by then - they'll be all bloomed out - but there should be more trees and shrubs in bloom, along with tulips and daffodils.   

I'm also going to study the bulb catalogs and websites to pick out more bulbs that should bloom mid to late April and order them to plant in the fall. 

And of course, I'm going to watch and see what is blooming in my garden in three weeks.


I love it when a plan for the garden works out just like I planned, and hope that next Easter turns out to be as nice as, if not better, than this Easter was in the garden.

Monday, April 01, 2013

Green Bean Announcement

I am thrilled to announce that I've been asked to test out a new variety of green beans with the code name 'Leporidae'.

The thrilling part for me is that these green beans have  been bred to be rabbit resistant.   Early trials have been very promising, thought the plant breeders have only done limited testing which involved placing a rabbit next to the plants at various stages of growth, from seedling to mature plants dessicated by drought and later frost.  The rabbits usually sniffed the plants and then quickly hopped away.

The plant breeders have decided based on these promising early results to expand the trials for 'Leporidae', planting the beans in areas where rabbits have previously been a problem.  That's why my garden is the perfect trial garden.

I have battled rabbits for years. I've tried trapping-removing-releasing, spoon barricades, ground hot pepper dust, truces, agreements, and pretty much every other trick in the book.   The most successful method was the spoon barricades. But it was a pain in the you know what to set up a spoon barricade if you are going to grow a big patch of beans, not to mention it looked ridiculous in the garden.

That's why I am so thrilled to trial these green beans.  The plant breeders have been a little vague about what makes these green beans rabbit resistant, but it involves genes and splicing. Oh, I know what everyone is thinking now. These are GMO beans. They put rabbit genes in green beans. They are bad for us.  But, the plant breeders assured me that the beans don't taste a bit like rabbit to humans, because we don't have as keen a sense of smell or taste as rabbits do.  But the rabbits smell their scent on the beans and refuse to eat them.

They did mention that if I see any fur on the beans, it should be easy enough to wipe it off before cooking the beans, and I should avoid eating the beans raw.

Anyway, I am quite excited to receive these green bean seeds on this first day of April. I am counting the days until 'Leporidae' green beans are growing and producing in my garden.