Another update, but first…

Can anyone tell us what the heck is this plant???

Unknown plant, help!
Unknown plant, help!

Several instances of this strange, vine-y plant started growing in our new stone bed and in one of the half barrels several weeks ago. We were a little baffled but figured that maybe it was something we had forgotten we planted. Now the things are crawling up the tomato cages and are spreading like there’s no tomorrow! We thought that they might flower at some point, but they just keep growling long vine with those distinctive leaves you see above. Are they something other than a weed? Is it some kind of ivy? Should we pull them now or let them grow? Internet searchers have been fruitless, so we’re hoping someone out there can help us identify it.  Here are the plant’s details:

>The vines emanate from a single stem.
>Some of the vines are green, while the big, climbing vines are green with red stripes.
>The 7-pointed leaves grow in pairs (on of each side of vine) about 6 inches apart from each other.
>The vines are “sticky” — they are somewhat bristly to the touch.
>They don’t throw shoots (like strawberries), so they aren’t replanting themselves. The vines just keeping growing longer and longer!
>As of yet, there aren’t any signs of flowers.

If you know what this plant is, please let us know in the comments. (And many thanks in advance!)

******

Now, onto the update. We just said hello to the first day of summer (June 21), and the garden looks the part. Everything is very green and things are starting to flower, from the marigolds to the cucumbers! If it wasn’t for some sort of pest that’s been feasting on some of plants, everything would be close to peachy. Check out the gallery below to see how things are coming along.

The zucchini are still pretty small, but a couple are already flowering!
The zucchini are still pretty small, but a couple are already flowering!
The wax beans have taken over this barrel. Believe it or not, there are ground cherries trying to make their way through in the center.
The wax beans have taken over this barrel. Believe it or not, there are ground cherries trying to make their way through in the center.
This tomato plant in the stone bed is very happy. Look at all those flowers!
This tomato plant in the stone bed is very happy. Look at all those flowers!
The bed alongside the house has turned into a veritable tomato farm. There are so many plants here, we've lost count! The marigolds along the front are also starting to bloom, and they are very pretty.
The bed alongside the house has turned into a veritable tomato farm. There are so many plants here, we’ve lost count! The marigolds along the front are also starting to bloom, and they are very pretty.
Did we mention that we're going to have a lot of tomatoes? A LOT! (Peppers, as well. Maybe. Hopefully!)
Did we mention that we’re going to have a lot of tomatoes? A LOT! (Peppers, as well. Maybe. Hopefully!)
Okay, so maybe we have a little weeding to do... In the center there is a tomato plant. And where is this little guy? In the flower bed out front (as evidenced by the violas top left)!
Okay, so maybe we have a little weeding to do… In the center there is a tomato plant. And where is this little guy? In the flower bed out front (as evidenced by the violas top left)!
Although we didn't get many strawberries, the strawberry plant is throwing out new shoots everyday. It's also guarding a few tomato plants are seem to be doing well.
Although we didn’t get many strawberries, the strawberry plant is throwing out new shoots everyday. It’s also guarding a few tomato plants are seem to be doing well.
A view of some of what's going on in the stone bed. One of the mystery, vine-y plants (see start of this post) is in the center there. On the outskirts we have tomatoes, greens (the arugula is flowering white), peppers, and marigolds (red and gold and beautiful).
A view of some of what’s going on in the stone bed. One of the mystery, vine-y plants (see start of this post) is in the center there. On the outskirts we have tomatoes, greens (the arugula is flowering white), peppers, and marigolds (red and gold and beautiful).
The snow peas are on their last legs and we;ve started saving seeds. Meanwhile, the soybeans are growing tall as are these couple romanesco.
The snow peas are on their last legs and we’ve started saving seeds. Meanwhile, the soybeans are growing tall as are these couple romanesco.
A view of the long bed. Corn, sunflowers, zucchini, all doing well.
A view of the long bed. Corn, sunflowers, zucchini, all doing well.
One of our little heirloom marigolds growing in the tomato bed alongside the house. Delicate, sunny flowers, they are!
One of our little Jaguar marigolds growing in the tomato bed alongside the house. Delicate, sunny flowers, they are!
We harvest new greens at least a couple times a week. This kale is soon to be harvested a well.
We harvest new greens at least a couple times a week. This kale is soon to be harvested as well.
One of our two front flower beds. This one is rather sparse, though the marigolds are trying, causing us to re-think what to do with these beds next year.
One of our two front flower beds. This one is rather sparse, though the marigolds are trying, causing us to re-think what to do with these beds next year.
This is other front flower bed. A bit jumbly but the marigolds are doing much better in this one. If you look close you can see the violas as well.
This is other front flower bed. A bit jumbly but the marigolds are doing much better in this one. If you look close you can see the violas as well.
Not the best image of our cucumbers, but they are starting to flower and produce tiny vines. They'll be taking over this bed soon enough!
Not the best image of our cucumbers, but they are starting to flower and produce tiny vines. They’ll be taking over this bed soon enough!
This is the other half barrel with the cowpeas. You still can't see the ground cherries in this one either, but they are there!
This is the other half barrel with the cowpeas. You still can’t see the ground cherries in this one either, but they are there!
A lot of the dill came out of this bed today (for the BEST BREAD EVER!). Here, though, is where we're dealing with some sort of pest problem. In the front, something is tearing up our romanesco and kale leaves.  We found a few small caterpillars, which might be the culprit, and are doing more investigating.
A lot of the dill came out of this bed today (for the BEST BREAD EVER!). Here, though, is where we’re dealing with some sort of pest problem. In the front, something is tearing up our romanesco and kale leaves. We found a few small caterpillars, which might be the culprit, and are doing more investigating.

Whew! If this garden gets any bigger, we’re going to need to take aerial shots to get everything in! (And since we only plan to expand, guess we’re going to have invest in an airplane now. 🙂 )

 

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4 thoughts on “Another update, but first…

  1. fmajewicz 06/23/2014 / 4:54 pm

    Check out Goldenseal. I have a book with all sorts of plants and Goldenseal is the only one that comes close. Perhaps its a variation.

    • Garden State-ments 06/24/2014 / 8:55 am

      That’s a really good guess. The leaves do look very similar, but the plants don’t show any berries or flowers like goldenseal. But you’re right, it could be a variation.

      We’re still asking around, but no confirmations yet.

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