Whoops. I try to stay on top of rogue fruit by checking all around leafy plants, but alas, occasionally one gets away. I found this monstrous cucumber yesterday. It was hidden deeply, camouflaged by the foliage. For comparison, this is a pickling variety that is supposed to be harvested at a fraction of this size.
I’ve been thinking a lot about diversity in the garden. As I wander around, observing everything that is growing, the beautiful diversity within each family and genus, and even within the same plant amazes me. I don’t have anything super profound to say about this right now, it’s just something that I am appreciating in new ways and I think that my understanding of diversity within plants is maturing with time.
I will say this: lately, the diversity I observe on even a superficial level (I am after-all merely a gardener and an observer and not a botanist) leaves me wondering whether a photo of one flower, leaf, etc from one plant growing within a single garden can represent a specific variety.
Over the last few years I haven’t been growing enough cucurbits (namely squashes and cucumbers) to meet our eating demands, so last winter I resolved to dedicate more garden space to a range of types in the 2013 growing season. This meant cutting back a bit on my beloved tomatoes, but alas… While I was at it, I decided to expand my horizons with a few varieties that I have never grown before. The above photo represents a few of the most productive varieties of the many that are currently growing in either raised beds or large containers.
We’ve hit midsummer, a time in my area when the garden tends to go downhill. While there is much bounty to be had, many plants begin to suffer in the heat. Or it is just their time to go. Or we’re just too darn tired/hot/fed up/over it to keep up with garden chores.
Sometimes we need some perspective, a reminder to just let it be. Your garden is good as it is. A garden doesn’t have to be fancy or perfectly quaffed to provide pleasure, food, pretty things to look at, or respite.
I bought the seed for ‘Pilar’ aka ‘Zapallito Redondo de Tronco,’ an unusual squash variety two years back from New World Seeds and Tubers. I tried to direct-sow the seed outdoors twice in that first year, but was unable to coax a single seed to germinate. This spring I over-sowed indoors underneath light to be safe, and was successful with one plant. One single, glorious, phenomenal, plant!