Sunsugars are a farmers’ market staple, which is just one reason why I do not grow them. By policy and public decree. Never shall a ‘Sunsugar’ tomato germinate in my soil!
Don’t get me wrong. The variety is absolutely delicious. They are literally like little orange candies. But why bother growing the varieties you can get all over town when you could grow something surprising?
But this year is different. I have seen sunsugars at some markets, but only some, and on rare occasions.
“This is a very bad year for tomatoes.” How many times have I heard that phrase over the last month? Tens of times? One hundred?
And so it happens that I inadvertently grew ‘Sunsugar’ this year, by chance. I won’t go into the story, but there it was, a ‘Sunsugar’ in my soil (Why does that sound like a euphemism?). It was the first plant to produce a ripe fruit (BEFORE July 1!) and it is still kicking. Which is more than I can say for some of my plants.
Sunsugar, I will never speak ill of ye again.
Yesterday, while visiting a series of test gardens, I witnessed legions of these gold and black soldier beetles (Chauliognathus pensylvanicus) aka Pennsylvania Leatherwing beetles squirming, frolicking and procreating up a storm all over a bed of ‘Tiger Eye Gold’ Rudbeckia.
As I moved around the beds I observed that they only inhabited the flowers that perfectly matched their body colours. Interesting tactic for safety since they are likely quite vulnerable during these frenzied acts reproducing the species. When not procreating, I’ve read that the adults eat pollen and specifically enjoy goldenrod. However, this was a HIGHLY cultivated property and there was nary a goldenrod in sight.
Who knew these flowers are so beautiful? Now that I know, they’re on my list of edible/useful flowers to grow in the future.
I saw these dahlias while out on a bike ride and had to turn around and go back to take some photos. I’ve come around to dahlias for looking at, but I still don’t have any interest in sacrificing space to grow them. Thankfully there are lots of Portuguese families in my area that fill up their postage stamp lawns with them every summer.
Botanical Interests sent me a packet of ‘Zeolights’ calendula back in January and this is the result. I chose this variety for the peachy/pink tones underneath the petals.
Over the last few years, I’ve expanded into several interesting calendula varieties including: ‘Antares Flashback’ and ‘Triangle Flashback’. While they lack the medicinal properties of regular ole calendula officinalis, they are still tasty as an unusual addition to salads and rice dishes.