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Ipomoea batatas 'Blackie'

Ipomoea batatas Blackie, Ornamental sweet potato vineProbably the most common plants used in planters in the Chicago area has to be these ornamental sweet potato vines. You can find the chartreuse colored vine and this darker form growing in all parts of the city in the planters the city maintains. They spill over planters or are used as ground covers to great effect. My favorite is the two common ones you see is "blackie" even though it has a politically incorrect common name I love the dark foliage. I have one planted with my "black" calla lily and oxalis.

Columbine Seedling

We've been experiencing a bit of rain in Chicago these past few days and one benefit from it is the seedlings that have emerged or have been given a boost by extra water. I was taking advantage of the fact that the soil is saturated with water and pulling weeds is relatively easy when I spotted a couple of seedlings. One of the seedlings I spotted amongst the weeds is this columbine seedling.

Columbine Seedling, Seedling Identification

When I Collect Nasturtium Seeds

I was out in the garden today picking a few blooms from my Nasturtiums to decorate a salad with when I noticed how many seeds were being produced by my plants this year. When I first grew them I was worried I wouldn't be able to recognize the Nasturtium seeds and that I would somehow lose them all to garden critters. Once these annual set seeds it is pretty easy to spot them if you move the foliage aside and inspect your plants. For the most part the seeds are produced in pairs like in picture of nasturtium seeds in this post but on a few occasions I've observed them growing in groups of three or four.

how to collect and save nasurtium seeds