GH: What’s growing in your garden right now? Have you had any particular gardening triumphs or failures lately?
HC: Currently I am growing a lot of tomatoes (Barry’s Crazy Cherry, Blue Beauty, Traveler’s Tomato, Blush, Ceylon, Red Currant, Afghan, to name a few), cucumbers (Lemon, Cucamelon, Persian and Striped Serpent, which is actually a muskmelon), peppers (Padron, Haskorea, Petit Marseillais, Criolla di Cochina, Nardello, Diavolicchi), zinnias, cosmos, dahlias, agastaches, mountain mint, nepitella, purslane, scabiosa, gravillea, pincushion, squash, cucuzza, passionfruit, African blue basil, rudbeckia, goldenberry, Phoenician mullein, rosemary, lemongrass, stinging nettle, mint, hollyhock, oregano, amaranth, four huge cannabis plants, Crandall’s black currant, eggplants, bronze fennel, rose geranium, lemon verbena, basils, roselle, okra, kale, turmeric, melons, raspberries, boysenberries, three grapes (Thomcord, Flame, Muscat of Alexandria) and the list just keeps going and going.
I’ve put in a lot of fruit trees: Medlar, four figs (Panache, Flanders, Honey, Violette de Bordeaux), two apples (Ashmead’s Kernal, Golden Nugget), a peach, Satsuma plum, ice cream banana, three persimmons (Fuyu, Hachiya, Lilac), almond, citrus (Chinotto, Santa Teresa Feminello Lemon, Eureka Lemon, Variegated Pink Lemon), two olive trees (Arbequina, Nocellara del Belice) and Jaboticaba.
We have this Buddleja Globosa, two until recently, that has grown from eight inches to eight feet or larger that just hasn’t produced any flowers. They are a flower Yasmine uses a lot and comes down to us from Oregon. Though it grows well here, it must need more chill hours to produce flowers. It is from Chile originally. I am about to potentially take out the last plant, even though it adds a nice texture to the garden.
This year I planted two types of currants. It was a gamble. According to CRFG (California Rare Fruit Growers) currants should only be an experimental endeavor in Southern California. I planted Primus White and Crandall Black. Primus White did not produce any fruit. It in fact barely got going after it’s dormancy phase. I just ripped them out. They looked pretty sad. Crandall did so well, even produced a lot of fruit in this first year, although I wonder if it got its chill hours from where it came from. It’s still growing, foliage is looking healthy and I have hopes for the following years.