Having a Bloomarific Day
I went to a conference in Boston, caught a cold, and came back early. This morning I took Mike's new/used camera out to the garden to play with and to see how things were doing. Um, yow. I was gone *how* long?! I'm astonished by what four days can change during the 'off like a rocket' part of the growing season.
The first thing to catch my eye were the scarlet runner beans. When I left, only a few blossoms peeked out from under the leaves, in contrast to what you can see today. I've got high hopes for the scarlets. I have no idea whether I've over or under planted, as I don't know how productive they will turn out to be. Interestingly enough, there are one or two plants with white blossoms in both this batch and the batch of 8 - 10 scarlets that I planted by the squash arbor. We'll see what happens, should be interesting.
Sharing the trellis-end with the scarlets is a "Black Cherry" tomato, and I couldn't resist a peek underneath to see if they'd started setting fruit yet. Yes! How marvelous. I don't think anyone else is setting yet, but I haven't taken a detailed survey. Certainly I've got blossoms galore on both the "Noir de Crimee" black tomato in the same planter, and the "Aunt Ruby's German Green" a couple of planters down, but I haven't seen fruit yet. I used all of the canned tomatoes making turkey chili two weeks ago, so we're down to some quartered romas and some whole sungolds and yellow-pears in the freezer. Can I use them up before the 2006 crop matures? I'd darn well better!
Encouragingly, the tomatillos have gone from small stalks about 3 weeks ago to fractal branchings of dozens of flowers. It's been hard to keep up with them and nudge them into and out of the coated-wire cage I put around them. There are some branches near the base that snuck out and proceeded to fan and fan again, so I might have to rig up some supports when they start to fruit, lest they snap off. But maybe this year I'll have both tomatillos and tomatos at the same time, for salsa. Of course, my peppers are way behind, and my cilantro has already gone by. I'll start some more cilantro in a shady area and see if I can get the stars to align this year. :-)
Last, but by no means least, I noticed this gorgeous little bloom, our first eggplant blossom ever! This is "Lavender Beauty", a thin, long style eggplant. Unlike the "Lil Spooky" and "Ping Tung Long", both of which I started as seedlings, this plant was an impulse buy from OSH or Sunnywind. I couldn't resist the picture of the mature fruit, a rich pastel lavender streaked with white. The shade of the flower is about the same color. I've never tried growing eggplant before, so this is exciting. My little hand-raised guys are just starting to feel warm enough to leaf out fully, in contrast to the Lavender Beauty. I still have a lot to learn about starting seedlings and providing for their needs! Maybe I'll heat the greenhouse next spring, or try using black 'waterbed' bags for passive solar smoothing of temps.