New plants for the New Year.

January is a great time to plan your garden & landscape for the coming year.  Many of us feel the “New Year’s” urge to make improvements, both in self and our gardens.

On my plant list this year are (1) some I have never grown before, (2) others I haven’t grown in a long time, and of course some old favorites!  I buy my seeds from many companies, so any labels seen in these photos are not intended to be an endorsement of that particular company – you have to try them all and see what suits you best!

  1.  Among those brand new to me this year are Banana Tree Musa (Ensete ventricosum) as an annual or houseplant, mixed cacti  from seed,  Luffa to make sponges, from seed, and Kumquats from fresh fruit.

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  2. Previously grown in past years include Papalo, (a summertime Cilantro substitute),  Hibiscus sabdarrifa, the dried flowers of which are used to make Hibiscus Tea (Flor de Jamaica), and Hyacinth Bean (Dolichos lablab), the flowers of which can be added to salads for a different taste and as a pretty garnish.

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  3. Tried and true Old Favorites include Lemon Trees from seeds of the lemons I use in making marmalade, and Moringa oleifera, which I am growing from seeds I harvested this year from my own tree.  Moringa bean pods are amazing when dried – great for flower arranging!  Each of my four pods contained 24 – 28 beans and the first ones planted are beginning to sprout.  The flowers are wonderfully fragrant, and the leaves are great on salads, in scrambled eggs, smoothies and many other dishes.

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