Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A Last Gulp of Summer

We're having what some are calling an Indian Summer here right now. It seems a little on the early side for this, because the leaves aren't turning, but it's certainly not a Dog Day, so I'll settle for showing you weird shots of the garden and saying "It's really hot right now and wouldn't you know it but I hauled the soaker hoses out of all my perennial beds and now I'm having to water by hand, ugh."

As I was digging out yet more tomatillos from my tireless tomatillo, I came across this. The husk had disintegrated, leaving the skeleton around the fruit.

There were half a dozen of these things and each one seemed equally mysterious and enchanting. They went immediately to the Greenridge Museum Of Strange Things (along with FDPG's cheezie collection, Dominic's collection of Zebra Pez dispensers, and Max's collection of old chocolate bar wrappers).

I grow sorrel in both the front and the back yard, and we eat a fair bit of it through the summer. It's such a versatile garden green, and last year when I saw a variety of ornamental sorrel (the blood veined one) I bought it, thinking it would be a nice companion piece for the edible green sorrel. I would sit them across the slate path from each other, I thought, and they could be old cronies together. Maybe smile. Wave fronds. Chat occasionally. Well, let's just say that the ornamental sorrel is a piggy piggy space hog. It's seeded itself everywhere. It's even managed to insinuate itself in amongst the Irish moss, and we can't have that, because I am cultivating that Irish moss. It's going to be a path one day: a soft sparkling green carpet gliding under the artfully arranged bench and interesting brickwork next to the beach wood trellis and no it will NOT be a really cool place for Max's HO train to thunder through OR for all that Star Wars Lego to have super wild battles on top of. So while I was digging out all that ornamental sorrel I suddenly thought of this teacup I found at Michael's the other day, in a bin marked "Damaged." It wasn't damaged, although the cup and the saucer seemed to be stuck together, but best of all it was only 98¢. Heck, I thought, it's ornamental too - just like the blood-veined sorrel. So I planted one inside the other. They were made for each other.

My first cantaloupe fell off the vine today. Here it is. You know those pictures of the planets? The ones where they show the various planets sitting next to one another, so you get a sense of their respective sizes? Well, here is my cantaloupe, sitting next to one of my Golden Boy Beefsteak tomatoes. Is that not the biggest cantaloupe you've ever seen?

And no, that is NOT a cherry tomato. Whatever gave you that idea?

We were coming home from a friend's today and I stopped at the local farmer's stand for some corn and saw this: local pop. It's even made in BC, even though it has the word SODA on the label (we Canucks don't usually use that word so I'm wondering if their marketers are American). Do you know how you can tell this is Canadian? Hint: check out the flavour. What other country do you know that has pop in Saskatoon Berry flavours? Ah, my country. So wacky.

Dominic made me buy it because a) it doesn't have HFCS in it, and b) it's called Beaver Soda (he used to be a Beaver so he saw that as a sign that he was meant to drink it).

We have GOURDS this year. And lots of them. Here are but a few. I'm guessing it was a good year for gourds. My dad said "What do you do with those things?" "They're decorative," I answered. "Oh," he said politely (doing that internal eye roll parents are so good at). Later that day Dominic asked "What do you do with those things?" "They're decorative," I answered. "Oh," he said (looking completely puzzled) "Why are they so small? Are they supposed to be like that? Why did we grow them if we can't eat them?"

Two days later Richard said "What are you going to do with those things?" "They're decorative," I answered. "Oh," he said smirking widely, "are you sure they aren't just pumpkins that failed in their mission?" (suppressing his eye rolling very poorly considering he was but one shin-kick away from me).

One week later FDPG said "Did I grow all those?" "Yup," I said. "Oh," she said, "what are we going to do with them?" "They're decorative," I said, "we stick them places and they look cool. Maybe we can hollow them out and stick candles in them and put them on the table at mealtimes. Or float them in a big planter at Halloween - or even string them up like lanterns." "HA!" she said, "I knew they were good for something. Dad said they were pumpkins that failed in their mission. But I knew he was just mad that he's such a bad gardener and I'm such a great gardener."

HA! Take that, ye scornful men of little imagination. Failed pumpkin, indeed.
(sheila aims her pointy little toes at some shins)

Got a free plant with my garden points at Ye Olde Garden Centre today. It's called Zebra Grass. Bet you can't guess why...

A Study of Two Personalities

The Zen Michaelmas Daisy. Free flowing. Loose. Always late for everything. Loses keys and driver's licenses regularly. Likes riding around town without a seat belt. Has a tinkly laugh and long curly hair. Wears lavender coloured lipstick and voluminous yoga pants. Carries a large red velvet purse from 10,000 villages. Absentmindedly chews nails.

The Type A Michaelmas Daisy. Always on time. Has specific places for keys and driver's licenses. Never loses anything. Is very thin and well dressed at all times. Probably wears tasteful makeup. Heels click when walking. Has a place in the bathroom for everything. Does not like mildew.

And I love them both equally, as every good parent does...

Latest garden surprise. I don't know where this plant came from, and I have no idea what sort of grape it is (by the way, Moira, you were right about the crocosmia), and while they are very sweet they also have a lot of big ole seeds in them. Any suggestions on what to do with them?

Finally, drum roll please, this is why they call this variety of pumpkin a Cinderella pumpkin!
There you have it - my garden weirdnesses in the last days of summer.


Vivian said...

Oh my goodness. Great post. Men. Thank goodness for FDPG.

The decorative wee pumpkins are huge over here. Lots of people line them up on the ledge above their door frame, window ledges, roof ledges... Use them as painting projects for the kids... Create a fairy sized Halloween exhibit... Enjoy them!

I LOVE the Cinderella pumpkin!

Suji said...

That is one huge cantaloupe (can Ds come over please? He loves cantaloupes) and one monster pumpkin :) He he, I'm curious about what else is in the Greenridge Museum :)

sheila said...

Yes, Vivian, thank GOODNESS for FDPG. Sometimes I despair at the men around here. They really lack the Martha gene. I like how long-lived the gourds are. If you don't cut into them they last all winter.