Home & Garden
Yes, A True Citrus
Oranges? In New York, planted outdoors in the ground? Yes, I have them ripening on the branches now. No matter if they ripen thoroughly or not because, although they are true oranges, delicious flavor is not one of their assets. It’s still a plant well worth growing.
The plant is the aptly named “hardy orange,” actually a true citrus species, Citrus trifoliata. (Previously, hardy orange was a citrus relative; botanists recently moved it to the Citrus genus from the closely related Poncirus genus.)
Mostly I planted hardy orange for its stems, whose show is at the same time intimidating, interesting, and decorative. Stems of the variety that I grow, Flying Dragon, twist and contort every which way, and then add to the show with large, recurving thorns. Stems and thorns are forest green, even as they age, and remain so all through winter to make the plant especially …
Nasturtium In Its Element
It’s nice to see that at least someone or thing enjoys the current cool, wet weather. My eight ducks, for instance. As I open the door to “duckingham palace,” each duck pads out onto the slurpy ground as happy as a lark (a lark on a sunny day, I assume). Also enjoying this awful weather are the oat cover crops that I’ve sown in some of my vegetable beds. The oats are especially lush and green, as is your and my lawn grass. The same goes for beds I recently planted with lettuce, radishes, arugula, turnips and other cool weather vegetables.
Nasturtium flowers, which I planted back in May, went hardly noticed all season long. But now they are lush, their red flowers boldly staring out against the background of their round disks of bluish green leaves.
The plants’ present prominence comes, first, from the weather. Native from the …