Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Boring Update & Castor Beans

Yesterday I posted about the Power Company and worries over having to move plants.  Well, I am happy to say they were a Boring Bunch of Excavators.   They were able to go under most of the garden, phew!!

I couldn't have asked for more accommodating workers, these guys were great!   They aren't done with the installation yet, but the digging itself is over.  I think all that's left is for them to bore under the road itself and hook it all up. 
I stayed in the house and took this picture through the dining room window, I didn't want them to think I was taking pictures for purposes of complaining or something.  I suppose I could have told them I was photographing them for my blog, and maybe they would have posed pretty?  Actually, I think they would have!  Anyway, look at the size of the cable they are burying, wow.
 Yuck, I'm glad I don't have to work in this mess.  They broke a hydraulic hose and had to send someone to town to have it fixed, so in the meantime I gave two of the guys a quick tour of the yard.  I've never met workers with such respect for plants.   They were very careful and I told them I was very grateful.  I should bake them some cookies, shouldn't I? 
 They even tiptoed around the impatiens planters with the big cable.

Since it was supposed to rain (and did, by 4PM) I didn't get a whole lot done yesterday, other than mowing our lawn and then running up to Mom's with the lawnmower and cutting her lawn which resembled a hay field.  If there's one thing growing around here this summer, it's the grass.  We have to mow almost every three days or end up raking it into piles. 

After I got back from Mom's,  I took some pictures of my castor beans.  The first one here is of 'Carmencita'.

These are my poor, little, pitiful 'Carmencita' castor beans; they didn't like the wet location they were planted in.  Normally they would be over 6' by now.  I do love their red sheen, though.

So then I went over to take a picture of my 'blue' castor beans, but it is kinda hard to tell how big they are with nothing for a comparison.  I needed someone to stand by the plant to show how big it is.  Just then, David came home from technical college a little early today, so I told him I needed him to stand by the plant.  He wanted to grab the camera and have me stand by them, but since I looked even more awful than usual he grudgingly volunteered to appear on the blog. 

 There's David, our youngest son, who is over 6' tall, but it looks as if the castor bean is even taller. 

Thank you, David, you may go now. 
The stems on these castor beans do have a blue tint to them and so do the young leaves:

They have a very interesting flower which turns into:

A very spiky seed pod

 Some of the leaves are huge. 
And they look very nice backlit too.
 We are in for a few rainy days with a possibility of thunderstorms, so I wanted to write about the castor beans in case they are blown down in a storm.  It would take quite a storm to tip them over, but lately we've had some doozies, so I'm not going to tempt fate.  
Oh, I should say where these two plants came from; earlier this spring I was at the greenhouse of a  friend of mine who had all sorts of unusual annuals, and I came across a flat of these beans.  (Ok, to be a little clearer, they aren't beans, at least not in the usual sense....the correct name is 'Ricinus Communis' and no, you don't eat them, in fact, I guess the Guinness Book of World Records lists it as 'the most dangerous plant in the world.' )

  Anyway, my friend asked me if I would like to take some for free as she was given the seed by a man who said they would be 'blue' castor beans and she didn't think she would be able to sell all of them.   So I took two of them home and the rest is history.  They do look rather blue to me, sorta, kinda.  I wish I knew what cultivar they are, but haven't had any luck with my search.  I will save the seed and plant them again next year. 

Almost every visitor to the gardens asks what they are, and when they find out, many of them take a step or three backward because they have been told how poisonous this plant is.  I assure them the plant isn't going to attack and as long as they don't eat the seed or possibly chew on a leaf, they are perfectly safe around them. 

They do make for a tropical-looking backdrop, don't they?

 Ok, growing late again and time for sleep, I think I bored myself.....  Talk to you soon!



Darla said...

Glad you had some workers with a respect for plants..also glad they are boring that cable. I haven't tried Castor Bean, have always admired the foliage, and now am interested in the blue.

FlowerLady said...

So happy to hear those workers were so considerate of your plants. I think they might enjoy some home baked cookies. ;-) Love your blue castor beans, never seen them before.

It looks like we're going to get some rain too.

Enjoy some indoor time.


Ellada said...

Great post, have a great day.

Meredehuit ♥ said...

Love the castor bean leaves!

Alison said...

Love your castor beans! I grew some last year, but never got around to sowing the seeds this year. What do you have yours planted with? They are such a striking plant, it's hard to figure out what companions to use.

It's great that your workers were so respectful of your plants, that's unusual. You should definitely do something for them as a treat.

becomingkate said...

I'm enjoying all the pics. Thanks for sharing!