Thursday, August 27, 2009

Wanted: Tomato eaters

While I was on vacation, I invited my neighbor and my daughter to help themselves to the produce in the garden. And they did. But judging from the buckets of tomatoes I hauled in today, no one in their households is getting their RDA of lycopene. Ditto vitamin K, which may be found in cucumbers. We won't even mention the zucchini. Oh, well. More for me! I shall dine on zucchini quesadillas, cucumber salad, and fresh salsa.

I'm not much of a picture-taker on vacation, and a lot of the ones I did take were blurry and/or out of focus. But here is a horticultural mystery for you: What is this plant?

The flowers look like a viburnum, but not so much the leaves, and why is it blooming in Vermont in August? Inquiring minds want to know.

Vermont is rife with farmer's markets and sugar houses, but we didn't visit gardens or greenhouses. We even drove right by the Vermont Wildflower Farm, but we were tired and basically on our way home by then and did not stop.

There were crossing signs for deer, moose, bear, horses, bicycles, and pedestrians between here and there. We saw everything but moose and bear, but never near a crossing sign.

This year's vacation turned into a yarn tour, which wound up being very expensive. Maybe next year we should do a garden tour, as I'm less likely to buy plants while so far from home.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Water, water everywhere

After all my complaining about no rain, yesterday we received a month's worth. Five inches by my rain gauge. Now I won't worry about the in-ground plants getting thirsty while we are on vacation.

Earlier this season, my neighbor and I had a long conversation about gardening and his experiments with hydroponics. Consequently, he seemed like a likely candidate to water the container plants in my stead. Tonight, while giving him the run-down on which plants I meant (like, the ones IN THE CONTAINERS?), I said, "Help yourself to the produce, although I don't think I am growing anything you aren't." He said, "Oh. Our plants all died." That explains why he never followed through on his offer of pickling cucumbers.

And just as I predicted, the tomatoes are coming on strong, just as we are getting ready to blow town. The timing of this year's vacation was beyond my control, but really, when is a good time for a gardener to abandon the land? Perhaps somewhere between planting garlic in November and starting seedlings in February? Maybe.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Must be August

Signs of August:

1. Hot and humid.
2. The locusts drown out the crickets. And lawn mowers. And leaf blowers. And chain saws.
2. I'm getting tired of zucchini.
3. The tomatoes are almost at their peak, just as I am preparing to go on vacation.

4. Corn on the cob.
5. The forecast includes a chance of scattered thunderstorms almost everyday, but it doesn't rain.
6. Pre-season NFL games.
7. School sales in progress.
8. Some of the chrysanthemums just can't wait.

9. The other flowers are fading.

10. And some flowers are just memories.