Sunday, April 13, 2014

Long Time and No Updates

Yes, I know I haven't updated this blog in a very long time, but that doesn't mean that I haven't been gardening. The garden has been a source of beauty, peace, and bounty as always. I am going to try to be better about posting updates in the future.

Todays harvest:

In the picture you can see Fortex beans, Rattlesnake beans, Corinto cucumbers, Sugar Magnolia peas, Sugar Snap peas, Golden Sweet peas, Spring Blush peas, Carouby De Maussane peas, and Opal Creek peas. The peas are starting to suffer from the heat, but they are still producing. I can't pull them until the seeds I'm going to save for next time are ready.

Also included in my picture is my harvest of flowers.  The



Friday, April 26, 2013

Lutescent Tomato

I was looking at my tomatoes a few days ago when I noticed that one appeared to look unwell. It had several yellowish leaves. I ran through the possible causes: nutrient deficiency, heat, disease, over watering, and under watering. I noticed the flowers on the plant had white petals instead of the normal yellow ones. I remembered that one of my plants was a variety called Lutescent.

Lutescent is an unusual tomato. This variety is known to develop yellowish leaves, and this is perfectly normal for the plant. Even more exciting than the leaf color however is the color expressed in the ripening fruit. The fruit turns from green to white to orange to red. I can't wait to see the show. Hopefully the weather will cooperate and I will get to observe some fruit soon.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Everything's Coming Up Roses

It's hard to believe that it's winter in my garden. I have been neglecting the vegetable garden, but I've been working hard feeding and tending my roses. I cleared out a new area to make room for more roses. I don't NEED new roses, but I sure do like them.  It's always a work in progress.
Orchid Romance
Bermuda's Anna Olivier


Friday, December 21, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Today is the end of the Mayan calendar, the first day of winter, the shortest day of the year, and maybe the end of the world! Looking ahead, Tuesday is Christmas. I always feel like I'm rushing to keep up with Christmas. Thankfully, I have my beautiful (mostly) garden to calm my nerves.

Jude the Obscure has produced this big fat globe of a bloom. I love Jude's bloom form. The scent of this rose is probably the strongest in my garden. It smells very lemony to me. 


Heritage isn't as strongly scented as Jude, but the quality of the scent is one of my favorites. I'm not good as describing scents, but it has a sweet smell to me that is just divine.

Easy Does It

Hawaiian Sunset Vine and Mr. Bee

Sunday, December 16, 2012

What's Blooming Now

In Florida Christmas is the time for more than just Poinsettias, although there's plenty of them in the big box stores now.

Behold Princess Alexandra of Kent! What a nice leafy bush!

And the Flowers!

My new rose $7 bargain rose Ch-Ching is doing great and I'm really more pleased with it than I expected to be. My nailpolish even matches the apparently non-fading blooms.
The Hawaiian Sunset Vine is Blooming.
When the sun streams through these flowers they really do look like a sunsets.  The vine grows so well it gets out of hand, but I don't have the heart to prune it with all those buds on it. I should also mention that the vine stinks. Really, it smells like cat litter to me. Its good looks makeup for the unpleasant aroma.
Can anyone guess which of these three photos is of Gruss An Aachen?
Answer: All of them!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Cooler Weather Brings Out The Florida Blogger

I know I've said it before, but I'll say it again; It's hot in Florida in the summer! I haven't been in the mood to work in the garden, write about the garden, or even look at the garden for a while. A recent and dramatic change to cooler weather has revived both me and my garden. Flowers are blooming and bees are buzzing again. At last!

Determining the ripeness of a watermelon is the subject of this, my first post of a new season.  I have several varieties of watermelon vines growing in my Earthbox. One of the varieties, Cream of Saskatchewan, has been sitting on the vine for a while, and I decided to review my standard ripeness tests. As you may know, it is often difficult to decide when to pick a watermelon. In the past I have researched and uncovered the following tests: the calendar test, the shriveled tendril test, the fingernail test, the thumping sound test, and a personal discovery for me today, the exploding watermelon test.

To use the calendar test you simply add the days to maturity of your watermelon variety to the date you planted it. I'm usually unable to use the calendar test because I'm just not organized enough to keep track of when I first planted the seeds. I'll skip that one.

The shriveled tendril test says that your watermelon is ripe when the tendril closest to the fruit turns brown and shrivels. The trouble with this test is that it's not always reliable. Sometimes  my tendril has shriveled while the fruit is still growing. The tendril on this particular fruit shriveled several weeks ago, but I didn't want to pick it too soon.

The fingernail test says that the rind of the melon should toughen and resist slightly when you push into it. My watermelon failed this test. My fingernail went right into the rind.

The most mystical test is the thump test. The thump test states that if you slap the fruit on a watermelon, a ripe fruit should sound different than an unripe one. I understand it has something to do with the water sound inside the rind. I call it mystical because I've never been sure exactly what it's supposed to sound like. I dutifully thumped my melon, but did it really sound just right or not? This leads me  to my new indisputable test, the exploding watermelon test.

As I was thumping away at my watermelon I noticed something didn't sound exactly right. I thumped again and the fruit exploded in my hand! The whole thing cracked in the center 3/4 of the way around the melon. I guess it was ripe after all.

Cream of Saskatchewan is a small white fleshed variety. I thought it had a mildly sweet taste with none of the acidity of a normal watermelon. In the background I did taste an actual creamy taste. Maybe it's my imagination, but I don't think so. The rind is very thin and nearly the whole inside of the melon is edible. As you can see, it was tasty enough for me to eat it into the shape of a bowl with my spoon. I still have a few more left to enjoy as well.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Harvest Time

I am starting to harvest lots of pretty tomatoes from various places in the garden. I've lost a lot to birds, wind, and various other creatures, but these have managed to survive. Hurray! Something to show for all that work!