Osmanthus Fragrans, Sweet Olive

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Posted by John Minton | Posted in Plants | Last Updated March 3, 2014

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Yellow Osmanthus Fragrans Flowers

Osmanthus Fragrans, commonly known as Sweet Olive, is an evergreen shrub or small tree. Osmanthus Fragrans naturally grows up to 30 feet tall, but will remain in a smaller shrub size if grown in a container. This is one of the most amazing scented plants I grow. I enjoy it even more so than varieties of Privet or Lilac as Osmanthus Fragrans flowers last for months at a time, they are less allergenic and heavily blooms at a different time of the year than many of the plants I grow. The Osmanthus Fragrans flowers smell like a combination of perfectly ripe mouth watering peaches, apricots and vanilla. Just amazingly mouth watering and sweet.

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Eugenia aromatica, Clove

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Posted by John Minton | Posted in Plants | Last Updated February 23, 2014

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Clove Flower Buds

Eugenia Aromatica is the much sought after Clove tree. It’s the tree you get the Clove spice from! I’ve been dying to grow my own clove trees for some time but it’s been hard to find seeds for sale and when I have found them they have been very expensive. The thing is, Clove trees don’t exactly grow in the USA, but as my natural curiosity far out weighs any common sense, I gave in and bought Clove seeds November 2012 from Fruit Lovers website. I followed their directions, immediately plants the seeds in sterile potting soil, keeping the seeds at approx 85°F during the day and 75°F at night in my laundry room. I lost 5 of 6 seeds, from what I can tell to rotting, and 1 that grew well. It has taken a little longer than anticipated for the one seed to take root and in the end I lost the Clove tree over the Winter.

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Acer Saccharum, Maple Tree, Maple Syrup

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Posted by John Minton | Posted in Plants | Last Updated February 23, 2014

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Acer Saccharum is one of the varieties of Maple Tree that you can get Maple Syrup from! It’s one of the neatest trees I have growing in my back yard right now even though this is only their second season from seed. Like most Maples it grows beautiful green leaves in the Spring that turn to lovely shades of reds, yellows, oranges and browns in the fall – bringing color and character to an otherwise plain and boring yard. They make excellent shade trees with their thick and full crown of leaves – many other Maples prefer to sit in part shade but the Acer Saccharum prefers more sunlight. As long as you water it during the hot Summer months when it’s younger, it should do just fine. When it’s older you probably won’t have to water at all. Acer Saccharum is very tolerant of many conditions which makes it ideal for use in suburban developments. In fact, Acer Saccharum Maple Tree will grow in nearly any soil except straight sand and will tolerate climates with snow on the ground…in fact a little snow is beneficial – I’ll explain in a little bit.

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Air Layering, Propagation Method

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Posted by John Minton | Posted in How to's | Last Updated February 3, 2014

Air Layering is the same basic principal of Layering, that is, to get a branch or vine to root into a growing medium so it can be cut from the mother plant and grow on it’s own. Air Layering is exactly the same thing, except it’s not done in the ground, it’s done in the air!

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Gelsemium Sempervirens, Carolina Yellow Jasmine, Yellow Jessamine

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Posted by John Minton | Posted in Plants | Last Updated February 23, 2014

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Gelsemium Sempervirens Flowers

Gelsemium Sempervirens, also commonly known Carolina Yellow Jasmine, is a viny false Jasmine with wonderfully beautiful and fragrant yellow flowers. Many people call Gelsemium Sempervirens a Yellow Jasmine because of it’s Jasmine shaped and fragrant flowers. Gelsemium Sempervirens is frost tolerant and has lasted outside the entire Winter season here in California, which got down to 28°F this year. As the Spring comes in, Gelsemium Sempervirens blooms are just starting to open. A couple of the vines have stretched out to nearly 10 feet, so I hang them over the fence. Gelsemium Sempervirens can grow pretty big, Gelsemium Sempervirens likes full sun, and will completely grow over and cover any trellis, fence, or climbing structure. Regular pruning is needed to keep Gelsemium Sempervirens looking nice and to prevent it from over growing once it fills in it’s habitat.

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Solanum lycopersicum, Tomatoes

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Posted by John Minton | Posted in Plants | Last Updated March 3, 2014

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Red Tomatoes

Growing Tomatoes is one of the most common and rewarding plants to grow in a home garden. Until you have some home grown Tomatoes, you simply have not had a real Tomato. My favorite Tomatoes are the Yellow Pear Tomatoes, Cherry Tomatoes, Roma Tomatoes and the big and juicy Beefsteak Tomatoes! These are safe to start with if you aren’t sure what you are after – they are all about the same to grow and all have varying flavors and fruit sizes!

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