Tag Archives: aji amarillo

geoffrey bale palazoo reale genoa 1

Photo by Geoffrey Bale of a tapestry in the Palazzo Reale, Genoa, Italy.

Any close and worthwhile contact with the earth tends to make one original or at least detached in one’s judgments and independent of group control.—L.H. Bailey

*pear tree bed

March 15. New beds keep a gardener happy. Eight years ago, this garden began with a six-foot diameter ring of stones around a dying plum tree.  It hasn’t been easy, it isn’t pretty, it’s the best creative endeavor, it attracts and nurtures life. Nature makes a garden, humans help.

*face west pond back door

March 26, looking West from the back door on a rainy day. Ditch lilies, Hemerocallis fulva, on the rise.

*face west 3

March 28, facing West. Buddy Chamaecyparis, a gallon pot eight years ago, perished in July’s unprecedented heat. I didn’t give enough care, I knew it wanted shade. Farewell, Champ–who will the lilies lean on next year? Maybe something purple. The trellis poles await bamboo, a fresh-cut pile of ten-foot poles stacked by the garage. At the back of the property is the stump of an enormous Mulberry, Morus rubra, decades ago split in half six feet above the ground by a great natural force (lightning the legend, flood likely). The thick laterals extended at least 15 feet on both sides of the boundary line, sprouting to ten feet through a tangled understory of Lonicera maackii and piss Elms, Ulmus pumila. This was the eldest of three Mulberries on the property, by far the most attractive to birds, and officially on the neighbor’s side for removal. It took a crew of five and heavy machinery to do the job. Look at all the new light. This year, the aging Cherry gave a spectacular bloom and a symphony of bugs, faded and gray in this picture.

garage bed 1

April 12. Garage bed facing East. New bamboo and the last year for this old raised bed. Self-seeded wild arugula at right; seedlings of escarole, Calendula and Asclepias center and left; snow peas starting to climb the bamboo. In the trellis beds, seeds of bitter melon, pole beans and cucamelon; and ‘Pintung Long’ eggplant seedlings next to the short bamboos. The barrow and big pots hold tomatoes, ‘Rosita’ eggplants, basil and petunias. Yellow chard and elderberry cuttings in other pots.

garage bed 2

April 12. Garage bed facing West.

main path face northeast 1

April 30. Garage bed from the main path, facing North. Tulips, Salvia and daisies on the left. Lysimachia nummularia ‘Aurea’, golden Creeping Jenny, on the ground. It is a beautiful living mulch, it’s infamous vigor kept in check by our Summer heat, drought and a thick mulch of straw in early July.

*tulip gavota 2

April 30. Tulipa ‘Gavota’, returning for the third year.

*snapper returning to big pond 6

In early May, a couple of snapping turtles migrate from the nearby creek to the big pond on the back patio. The creek usually dries up by the end of June–but in this 2018 garden, August was wetter than April.

**robert burns 2

Robert Burns basking in Summer digs. I saw him last in early September.

**allium christophii 2

May 25, Main path North of Garage Bed. Starry Allium christophii in front; glaucous leaves of Rudbeckia maxima, giant coneflower, at left; tall shoots of Helenium ‘Rubinzwerg’ back left; pink puffs of red clover, Trifolium pratense, weaving. The red patch behind the creeping jenny is self-seeded ‘Hopi Red Dye’ amaranth.

bean pole

May 25. Garage bed facing West. ‘Danish Flag’ poppies in foreground, underseeded with lettuce; marigolds, jalapeno and poblano peppers along the horizontal bamboo. ‘Black Vernissage’ tomatoes in the tall cages. The few fruits harvested were fine in salads, unremarkable from the vine, no fault of the cultivar in this weather.

**trellis seedlings

May 30. Pole Beans on the left, Cucumbers and Bitter Melon on the right. Bush Beans below. I usually plant these crops a week or two earlier–our last predicted frost date is April 21–but my tardiness made no difference this year. We went from Winter to Summer in three weeks, which included a killing frost. Pole beans, usually the most reliable crop in the garden, did poorly.

*entrance 7:9

June 9, Entrance

*ride face west 2

June 6. The Ride facing West, Garage Bed, 8:30PM. Buckets of Aji amarillo and ‘Amana Orange’ tomatoes. Beans along the bamboo look their best here, heat and rabbits soon took them. Until 2018, I counted on a personal Summer’s worth of beans, cukes, okra, a few great tomatoes, mustard greens and amaranth. It flipped this year, amaranth the sole constant; peppers were delicious and abundant–Aji, ‘Fish’, Jalapeno, Poblano, ‘Santa Fe’, Serrano–and I haven’t enjoyed so much pesto in decades. Basil and all the Mediterranean herbs were unusually generous, and the potted Bay grew a foot taller. Two of seven ‘Munstead’ lavenders overwintered, a rare triumph.

*buckets mid-june

June 6. Five-gallon buckets, bottoms removed, filled with loam, manure, compost and worm castings. ‘Amana Orange’ tomatoes in the left row, Aji amarillo peppers middle and right. ‘Will Rogers’ zinnias in between the buckets.

cricket katydid scudderia sp

Katydid on Genovese Basil.

**front elder darlow ninebark

June 10. In front on the creekside, left to right, Burroughs elderberry, ‘Darlow’s Enigma’ rose (fifth year), and dark-leaved ‘Summer Wine’ Ninebark, Physocarpus opulus ‘Seward’ (second year). I seeded white clover as a no-mow living mulch last year and will add more this Spring.

**urn bed herbs dianthus lychnis allium

June 5, Urn Bed face East. Rue; ‘Drumstick’ Allium; tarragon in front; Lychnis coronaria; unknown red-flowered Dianthus; and chives.

lonicera major wheeler

June 1. Lonicera ‘Major Wheeler’–a tough, floriferous and non-fragrant honeysuckle–on the chain-link in front.


**snake path face west 3

June 5. Snake Path facing West.

*linaria maroccana

Toadflax, Linaria maroccana ‘Northern Lights,’ blooming at the beginning of June from a mid-March sowing. I have seen great sweeps of toadflax blooming wild in Spain but this is the first time I’ve had it in the garden. Charming.

gravel bed face east 6:15

June 15. The Gravel Bench, facing East.


Late June. Gravel Bench, facing North. Echinacea purpurea, juvenile Ricinus communis ‘Carmencita’, and red ‘Serengeti’ lilies. Rosa ‘At Last’ and Petunia ‘Ultra Blue Star’ in the bench pots. Elderberry blooms fading in back.

*afternoon light new elders

June 25. Flowers of Sambucus canadensis ‘Bob Gordon,’ collected from the wild in Missouri in 1999. Mr. Gordon encountered his namesake during a routine ramble in the woods, describing it as a specimen of unprecedented size and vigor. He wasn’t kidding: two-year plants from seven-inch cuttings are now eight feet tall. Harvesting elderberries is a fiddly task. After cutting the berry clusters, I put them in the refrigerator for a few days which seems to help loosen the berries from the stalks. All parts of the elderberry plant contain toxic cyanide compounds, only fully ripened berries should be consumed, stems and green berries must be removed. Six hours of careful picking yielded three gallons of useful berries which became one gallon of elderberry liqueur: vodka, elderberries, lemon and orange zests, black peppercorns and brown sugar syrup; strained and aged for at least three months.


“Young Hare” by Albrecht Durer, 1502. Photo Wikimedia Commons.

*small barrows

July 1. The small barrows, home to ‘Cherry Falls’ tomatoes (bred to cascade), bright orange ‘King Theodore’ nasturtiums and ‘Genovese’ basil. ‘Red Globe’ amaranth in the pots. The tomatoes had unusually curled leaves and yielded poorly, which I now know is due to juglone, a growth-stunting compound contained in all parts of black walnut trees. I knew the barrows were under the drip line of the walnuts but I thought juglone was soil-based. Wrong; plus tomatoes are highly allergic to juglone. Even rainwater dripping from the walnut leaves was enough to cause harm, though it didn’t bother the basil at all.

*garden edge face west

July 7, facing West. Green light before a storm. Pale lavender blooms of bee balm, Monarda fistulosa, in the distance. Plenty of bumble and small bees this year but very few honeybees.

*feeling the heat chamaecyparis miscanthus 7:29

July 15.

*lilium ‘scheherazade' 8

July 15. Lilium ‘Scheherazade’. Photobomb Monarda.

*lilium auratum gold band eryngium yuccifolium

July 15. Lilium auratum ‘Gold Band’ with ‘Rattlesnake Master’, Eryngium yuccifolium.

*lilium tiger

July 15. Tiger Lilies budded at once, blooms barely lasted four days.

*little path bedraggled

August 9. Little Path, facing East. Daylilies, asters, snapdragons and lilies in front. Ipomoea ‘Solar Tower Black’ on the pole at left. It really does climb, eight feet by first frost.

*empty bed 7:29

August 12. Seedlings of flowering tobacco, Nicotiana x mutabilis ‘Bella’, on the move, while tender and pinnate-leaved Cassia didimobotrya languishes in the hot semi-shade of the mulberry tree. I’ll replace it with the native and perennial Cassia marilandica in 2019, not as fine in structure but much tougher. A border of catmint in front. self-seeded Leonitis everywhere.


Eacles imperialis on the front screen. Wow! Indulgent of my documentation, measured relaxed wingspan just under seven inches. Shook the screen twice but it hung tight. Early next morning, it was gone.



Lilium ‘Bright Diamond’ and Hemerocallis ‘South Seas’.


Hard storms getting harder.






Main Path facing South. Berberis ‘Tangelo’ front left.



Main Path from the South.


Sparse fruit on native Elderberry, Sambucus canadensis ‘Burroughs Creek’.

















Red clover, Trifolium pratense.

aji amarillo yamashiro

Aji amarillo, Capsicum baccatum, a staple in Peruvian cooking. “In Spanish, “Aji” means chili pepper and “Amarillo” means yellow, translating the name to literally mean “yellow chili pepper.” Although this slightly fruity, medium to hot pepper begins with a yellow coloration, the tinge changes as it matures and it actually becomes a vibrant orange.” Photo and text via Yamashiro.

To see a world in a grain of sand and heaven in a wild flower. Hold infinity in the palms of your hand and eternity in an hour. – William Blake

Permaculture Plants: Red Clover
Red Clover is one of the most popular green manure, fodder, and cover crops grown in the world. As a legume, it puts atmospheric nitrogen into the soil. …There are a number of varieties available, but they can be grouped into two divisions: early-flowering and late-flowering. Typically, late-flowering (also known as Mammoth) Red Clovers are used in more northern climates.
Temperate Climate Permaculture

Fermented red clover extract stops menopausal hot flushes and symptoms
Fermented Red Clover extract is demonstrated to decrease significantly both the number and severity of daily hot flushes. The study also found that the extract prevents the normally accelerated menopausal bone loss affecting one in three women over the age of 50. These findings are very promising as the benefits take place without any of the side effects of traditionally proscribed hormone therapies that increase the risk of cancers and cardiovascular diseases.
Medical Xpress

– Blanket Flowers: Plant Care and Collection of Varieties
Produced above a clump of hairy, narrow, gray-green leaves, the blossoms of perennial blanket flower have petals that may be solid colored shades of yellow, wine red , orange or peach, or may be banded in combinations of red or orange with yellow. The petals of some are frilled, while others have a unique, tubular shape.
The National Gardening Association

Why No Dig
Save time and effort by helping natural processes to work with you: undisturbed soil can develop its own aerated structure so vegetables/flowers grow more easily and weeds grow less.
Charles Dowding

The Rambling Rose and the Climbing Rose. What’s the Difference?
Ramblers are distinctly different from the Climbing Roses in that they have blooms in clusters of seven (the climbers have clusters of five) and their leaves are in groups of seven (the climbers have groups of five). The other difference is that the Ramblers will only flower once eg. the Banksia Rose,  whereas the Climbers will flower repeatedly eg. Madame Alfred Carriere. However, two ramblers do flower repeatedly – ‘Malvern Hills’ and ‘Snow Goose’. Ramblers also have very few thorns compared to the Climbers.
All My Favourite Flower Names

– Verily Robot Will Raise 20 Million Sterile Mosquitoes for Release in California
Alphabet’s life sciences arm, Verily, says it has built a robot that can raise a million mosquitoes a week and has used it to produce infertile male insects. The company has started releasing the first batches of what will total 20 million sterilized mosquitoes in Fresno County, California.
MIT Technology Review

Passiflora incarnata; Purple passionflower, Purple passion vine, Maypop
Purple passion-flower is an herbaceous vine, up to 25 ft. long, that climbs with axillary tendrils or sprawls along the ground. Intricate, 3 in., lavender flower are short-stalked from leaf axils. …The name Maypop comes from the hollow, yellow fruits that pop loudly when crushed.
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Discovering Aji Amarillo Peppers
In 2012, we were asked to grow Aji Amarillo peppers for one of our customers. They are used extensively in Peruvian cuisine, but here in the U.S. they are often in short supply. It is now almost 3 years later and we still haven’t been able to deliver the Aji Amarillo for the customer who requested them. Paradoxically, Aji Amarillo has become one of our favorite peppers, although it feels like we are only scratching the surface of its potential.
Mother Earth News

Fish Pepper: A Peculiar Pepper With Deep Roots in African-American History
Fish peppers are a mutation of serrano or cayenne peppers (history has never been certain), bearing the recessive gene that causes albinism. They start as pale cream-colored fruit, gradually maturing into light green with dark green striations, then orange with brown striations, and then finally red, at which point the peppers are at their hottest.
Garden Betty

How the transgenic petunia carnage of 2017 began
Two years ago, plant biologist Teemu Teeri was walking by a train station in Helsinki when he noticed some vivid orange petunias in a planter. The flowers reminded Teeri, who has studied plant pigments at the University of Helsinki, of blooms created in a landmark gene-engineering experiment some 30 years earlier. As far as he knew, those flowers never made it to market. But he was curious, and he stuck a stem in his backpack.

Charles Jencks: The Garden of Cosmic Speculation
It all started with a swimming hole.

Eight dreamlike abandoned settings being reclaimed by nature
Eventually, abandoned structures become completely swallowed up by vegetation and the earth itself, leaving few traces of our human footprint.

Weeds are flowers too, once you get to know them. – A. A. Milne

passiflora incarnata

“Passionvine blooms spring through fall, and the flowers are 6 to 7 centimeters across and extremely fragrant. The vine spreads by seed and root and can become hard to contain in one area. After planting Passionvine you may begin to find it jumping the borders of your flower beds and sometimes springing up many feet away from where it was originally planted. Individual vines can grow up to 36 feet in length.” Photo and text via the Museum of Science and Industry, Tampa, Florida.

centranthus tunnel photo messy nessy

Red valerian, Centranthus ruber, reclaiming the “Little Belt” railroad tracks (La Petite Ceinture) in Paris. The line was closed in 1934. Photo Messy Nessy.