The theme for this week is fruit. Fruit as a plant part as opposed to fruits such as strawberries and bananas, although you’ll notice some of those, too. It seems that fruit — some edible and some not — is forming in every corner of the garden. Flower diversity is still high, it’s just that many of the flowers are there in the service of forming fruit and are not there to be pretty in their own right.
The Scorched Earth. This is also the first week that marked significant loss and suffering as a result of the intense heat and drought we are experiencing. There are going to be some significant holes in the garden by the time the summer is out. I don’t think I am going to have extra ‘Hahms Gelbe Topftomate’ seeds as a result. I inexplicably gave all of my seedlings away but one and that one was in a pot that was cooked during this week’s heat emergency. Drat. The plant went from green and lush to yellow within the span of a single day. It is holding on and could recover if things stay as cooled off as they are now. It’s amazing what one bad day can bring. It’s a good lesson and reminder in how much we should respect our farmers who are at the mercy of whatever insanity the season brings. Amazingly, all of my other tomatoes are perfectly fine.
Once again work deadlines have pushed last week’s Herbaria into this week. Still, I was sure to take the photograph last week — it just took me until this week to do the write-up.
This collection marks the 8th box that I have done so far. I figured it was high time to write up an F.A.Q for those who were not around for box #1. You’ll it at the end of this post.
Tomatoes dominated my attention last week. We enjoyed our first two varieties, and I was sure to document the occasion by adding them to the box. Each week I take care to choose plants that stand out in the garden or that have a short lifespan and will not be around by the next week. While my garden may be small, I have packed it full of so many things that it isn’t easy to keep track and I find as the weeks go on I have to refer back to old boxes to be sure that I wasn’t repeating myself or missing something important. I am now finding that despite my diligence some things have fallen through the cracks. My blueberry harvest is one example. The bushes were full of fruit just a few weeks ago, but I have since missed their season. Here’s hoping I don’t miss anything else of importance moving forward.
As you can see from the photo, this week’s garden was dominated by the invasion of the pom-pom flowers. The other major development is the heat. It is absolutely blazing out right now. In fact was already so hot by noon (when I took this photo) that I had to switch out one of my original choices because it started wilting seconds after picking it. I couldn’t keep it happy in the box long enough to take a decent photo!
When I think back on the garden over this last week, the poppies are still dominating in a big way, although I can see that they are waning. Most of them are on their second or third bloom and then that will be it. The David Austin rose (that I am stubbornly describing as orange or peaches and cream) has surprised us with a wave of buds and blooms. I didn’t see that coming as the plant is new. I did not expect that sort of performance in its first season. As the season goes so far I am happy with how well I’ve managed to time it so that there is always something coming in as something is going out. I have to admit that my success so far may come down more to luck and the sheer volume of plant matter I have planted and less to impeccable planning. HA!
The highlights of this week are my breadbox poppies, which are treating me every day to a new colour and form, and the cold hardy opuntia that have made me so very, very happy to have chanced into the good fortune of exceptionally well-draining soil that is on the sandy side. This garden is an absolute pain in the butt to water, but the growing possibilities are mind-blowing for someone like me who has a longstanding fixation/fascination with dry land flora. It’s going to be unreal next year when all of the new opuntias I have added are abloom. I may pass out from the sheer joy of it.