Herbaria (September 14, 2012)

I took a break from posting the Herbaria recently. I did continue shooting the photos so I am resuming where I left off a few weeks back.

This week marks more tomatoes. All varieties have come in and many were already starting to wane at the time of this photo a few weeks back. It’s turning into a hustle to ensure that the remaining varieties as well as other frost tender plants make it into these photos before their time comes.

From Left to Right:

Top Row: 1. Unknown Currant Tomato I received the seeds for this tiny, red currant tomato in a trade. The seeds were marked as a pepper variety, but I knew they weren’t. I planted the seedlings anyway, but was not as careful as I should have been about placement. Currant tomatoes are wild and free wielding. This one is all over the place and is currently suffocating my lilac bush! 2. Tomato ‘Haley’s Purple Comet’ A pretty purple saladette tomato that is both delicious and beautiful, although I will admit that I originally grew it for the reference to my childhood obsession with Halley’s Comet, which was viewable from earth in 1986 when I was 13 years old. 3. Variegated Nasturtium This one is most likely ‘Alaska Mix.’ I have several different nasturtium varieties growing in the garden and it is difficult to keep track of the few that look similar.

Middle Row: 4. ‘Benning’s Green Tint Patty Pan’ Male Flower You’ve seen the fully developed squash and the male flower. Here’s the female with a tiny fruit developing behind it. Believe it or not we are still harvesting squash from both plants. Not long now until they are done. 5. Tomato ‘Mennonite Orange’ This is a fantastic variety, probably the best I grew this season. Every single tomato was HUGE and it is still producing even now. I had no plans to grow this variety — my friend David offered me a double that he had and I took it on impulse, forgoing another variety (I don’t know which now) that I had grown from seed. I was not disappointed. A great example of why I never make rigid plans. 6. Cypress Vine aka Cardinal Creeper (Ipomoea quamoclit) Low, ugly, wire fences separating our yard from the neighbours so I am always trying to find ways to decorate them easily. This year I sowed some cypress vine seeds behind the bed of determinate tomatoes and forgot about them. They ended up tangled into the tomatoes! It’s a stunning eye-catcher with delicate leaves and bright flowers. Next year I will find a more prominent place for it to grow.

Bottom Row: 7. Salvia greggii or microphylla ‘Hot Lips’ I’ve seen this listed under both names and decided to include both as I am not 100% on its origin. I have written several times now about my insatiable love for Salvia greggi (also known as Autumn sage). I wish it was hardy here, but alas my plants will never grow into the full bushes I have seen in gardens in Georgia and Denver as I have to pull the pots inside for the winter. 8. Tomato ‘Coeur de Pigeon’ This is a French variety that reminds me of yellow pear, albeit with a less rigorous/aggressive growth habit. This is my second season growing it and I have found the fruit to be a bit mealy. It’s not bad dried in the oven, but I haven’t enjoyed them when fresh. Still, chances are that I will give it another shot in the future as I love the name, Pigeon Heart! 9. Tomato ‘Freckled Child’ This is another tomato variety developed by Brad Gates at Wild Boar Farms (so is Haley’s Comet above). I got the seeds in a trade with my friend and fellow tomato nut Julianna. It wasn’t a massive producer this year but the fruit was so pretty and sweet that I am saving seed so I can try again. Another variety that I was initially drawn to by the name!


Herbaria F.A.Q

What is this?

An herbarium is a collection of plant specimens. Herbaria is the plural form. A collection of collections.

Every week, until I can no longer find anything living to fill up the boxes, I am photographing and posting a collection of flowers, leaves, stems, and other plant parts that are in my garden. This is an experiment in celebrating diversity and I hope it will allow me to focus more closely on the beauty that is inherent in the different parts of each plant. It also serves as a visual file of the seasons and a record of my garden, my gardening practice, and the plants that I choose to grow.

Why doesn’t this start at the beginning of the calendar year or garden season?

I would have preferred starting this project at either of those times, but alas, that is now how things worked out. The idea for this project came to me rather spontaneously one May morning as I sat pondering how I could best use a stack of nine wooden, pint-sized fruit boxes that I had recently purchased at the flea market. I have a thing for wooden boxes and I love to display little collections of cherished items within them. These nine little boxes begged to be kept together as a display — it didn’t take long before the idea came to mind: little boxes within a box, framed within weeks and months of boxes. Within the hour I had worked out the logistics of the project and was photographing my first box. That was May 16, 2012.

Gayla Trail
Gayla is a writer, photographer, and former graphic designer with a background in the Fine Arts, cultural criticism, and ecology. She is the author, photographer, and designer of best-selling books on gardening, cooking, and preserving.

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5 thoughts on “Herbaria (September 14, 2012)

  1. Your cherry tomatoes look perfect! Gardening is as close to God as some of us will ever get while working here on Earth!! Have a great day!!!

  2. yum tomatoes- thanks for sharing-
    though I am pretty sure Haley’s comet was here 1996, not 86 ??… otherwise, we are both much older than expected!

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