I am currently growing two similar calendula varieties. I believe the flowers in this photo are ‘Antares Flashback’ and the other variety is ‘Triangle Flashback.’
But seriously. This has become like a game of spot the difference.
I was sure I kept them correctly labeled throughout the growing and planting process but with multiple flashbacks simultaneously in play who can tell the difference? I’m barely holding my shit together as it is.*
*I know. That joke is cheese. Guffaw.
I grew this tall variety from seed this year but was a little late getting started so it is only now starting to produce the first flowers. And it is tall — probably about 4 feet already. I chose this variety because it was tauted as being resistant to powdery mildew and so far that is ringing true. My plants are as green and gorgeous as can be without a speck of white powder. Considering the wet summer we’ve had I consider that a small miracle.
The Mexican Sour Gherkin (Melothria scabra) is producing lots of yummy little cucumber-like fruits. This is my second year growing them.
I’ve been trying to grow their cousin, the West Indian Burr Gherkin for two years straight but either the seeds (obtained from two different sources) have not been very viable or it just has a very low germination rate. I’m going to go more hardcore on that next year.
In the meantime these little “Barbie doll melons” are easy to grow and abundant. Although I rarely seem to get any home with me, preferring to pop them into my mouth while I work on my community garden plot where they are growing.
While out on a canoe expedition, Davin and I came upon an island with a very large hill that we decided was big enough to be called a mountain. I was determined to get to the top of the mountain and enjoy the view. Thankfully I came prepared, having brought along my runners and a pair of socks in case we came upon a spot that might be worth hiking. We wore sandals in the canoe.
We did make it to the top and this beautiful, healthy sumac was what we found growing there.
I’m tentatively identifying this as a staghorn sumac (Rhus typhina) but to be honest there are so many sumacs I find it a bit overwhelming. Staghorn sumac is one of the types that can be made into a vitamin C rich drink although I have never done this and probably never will since staghorns share a family (Anacardiaceae) with cashew nuts and poison ivy. I am allergic to cashews. They won’t kill me but I get dizzy when I eat them. My vision gets blurry and my stomach becomes upset. I’m going to take a wild guess and assume that I might have a problem with poison ivy as well.
… a ‘Black Brandywine’ tomato taken before its time was up by an unknown mammalian critter. This kind of thing is like a right-of-passage for food gardeners. Unless you’re gardening in a sterile bubble, you have probably experienced the blow of crushed anticipation when a ripening tomato, eggplant, or pepper is snatched in the night. It’s a drag but the reality is that our tasty food plants are attractive to all kinds of creatures. I’m so used to it by now, I barely flinched this time. I just shrugged my shoulders and went inside to grab my camera without missing a beat. I suppose what might be lessening the blow is the realization that I got off pretty easy this year. I don’t think I have ever made it as far as August 8 without experiencing some critter theft on the roof.
See this. And this. And this time. Oh yeah, and that other time. Sometimes I blame the wrong critter. Oops.
Now if they would just eat the whole thing instead of leaving half or more we might be able to come to some sort of cooperative arrangement that everyone can feel good about. Taking a bite and leaving the rest is just wasteful. And cruel.
And yet I still prefer a little nibbling on my prized tomatoes (Ummmm… not a euphemism) to the kinds of stuff humans have been pulling in recent years. They still win the prize for “Most Annoying Garden Pest” and seem to be in some sort of competition to outdo each other in the category of WTF?.
Where do I begin with this years’ Festival of Weirdness? I’ll save some of that for another day but will leave you with this delightful gem: What appears to be a pile of fresh human feces was recently discovered on our doorstep. And its not the first time this summer either. At least they didn’t go in the garden? Several witnesses have “examined” the pile and all agree it has to be of human origin. What was even more surprising was the woman sitting on our doorstep enjoying a beer like there wasn’t a pile of festering, possibly human feces only inches away. I do not enjoy the taste of beer but if I did I can tell you I would prefer to savor the horrible flavor that many of you think is wonderfully refreshing amidst an ambiance more appealing then the sounds and smells associated with ripe humanure.
Enjoy your weekend!