Six on Saturday – Lessons Learned

Gardening is a learning experience that never ends. This Saturday’s Six represent my most recent lessons.


Lesson 1:  Build it and they will come is true of butterfly gardening. I have been planting for  pollinators for about six years. This is my first White Peacock butterfly.


Lesson 2: Tree Spinach cuttings root really fast and I don’t think I am going to eat any. A friend gave me these cuttings two weeks ago, they are growing and putting out flower buds already. Tree Spinach or Chaya is a very healthy tropical vegetable, filled with cyanide unless you cook it and then it’s OK. The vapors from cooking are also toxic, and if cooked in a aluminum pan the broth will give you diarrhea. The nectar in the flowers is very nutritious for butterflies-leaving this one to the butterflies.


Lesson 3: I really dislike Culantro. The plant in the lower part of the picture is Culantro, I bought this to try as I love Cilantro and this is supposedly easier to grow. It is easy to grow – unfortunately tasting like soap. The first time I have picked herbs out of my lunch. My husband was appalled. The plant sharing the pot is Dill, decimated by last night’s Italian Wedding Soup.


Lesson 4: I like Jaboticabas. I ate a few from this tree. A tropical fruit tree also known as Brazilian Grape Tree. It flowers and bears fruit on its trunk. The fruit is like Scuppernong Grapes with a big seed. This one is in a nursery, I have one in my garden – they are well known for taking years to produce fruit; still waiting.


Lesson 5: Rabbits like spinach and will raid the garden regardless of patrolling Greyhounds.


Lesson 6: Wind will blow over a tripod of even the thickest bamboo if the Passionfruit vine is big enough. Time to move this.

That is my Six this Saturday. Follow this link to the Propagators blog to see more posts like it. THELINK




23 comments on “Six on Saturday – Lessons Learned

  1. Noelle says:

    Fabulous butterfly, and I found your tropical plants fascinating. The leaves on the spinach look very similar to Papaya leaves. They would look great in a flower arrangement, if they hold.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Eliza Waters says:

    What a beautiful butterfly! Butterfly gardening must be so rewarding in FL. I once visited a garden for them near Ft. Lauderdale, with so many there, I must have taken 100 photos!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lovely when things come right like the butterfly gardening.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. janesmudgeegarden says:

    The butterfly is beautiful, and well done for getting a photo of it. I followed one around my garden for ages yesterday but it wouldn’t stay still for long enough. I’ve never heard of jaboticaba before so I looked at it online. It looks very strange with its fruit clinging to the trunk!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. cavershamjj says:

    Wow that tree spinach seems like one to avoid! I think it’s trying to tell you something with all those defence mechanisms. “Don’t frickin eat me” being the main message!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. You’d have to be very hungry to want to give the tree spinach a go. Looks like it would make a good foliage plant though.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I wonder who was the first human to try spinach tree and who was the first to figure out how to eat it without dying.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. tonytomeo says:

    I learned #2 with carrots. I loathe carrots. I grow carrots because they are easy and the neighbors like them. Ick!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Lora Hughes says:

    Such an fascinating Six, so different than what we see in the UK. The tree spinach is a lovely looking plant, but I think I’d give it a pass as something to eat. Those tree grapes are interesting looking. Can you describe the flavour? They look yummy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, the Jaboticaba tastes like grapes. Muscadines or Scuppernong grapes, they are native to the Southeastern US, I am not sure you would see them in the UK. A bit sweeter than green grapes.


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