Friday, August 31, 2007

Tomatoes on my Windowsill for Garden Blogger's Muse Day

This poem fits this part of the harvest season perfectly for me. I found this poem in a women's magazine, years ago:
Tomatoes on my Windowsill by Robin BenzleTomatoes on my windowsill,
Lined up like happy soldiers,
from pale green as Key lime pie
To red as sunburned shoulders.

They seem to smile at the sun,
While they patiently a-ripen.
And when I do my kitchen chores,
I smile back, enlightened.

One by one I take them down
From their nest upon the sill,
And add them to a salad or
Perhaps a sauce with dill.

Then to my garden I return
To pluck another load,
And tenderly I line them up
On that shelf in my abode.

No sooner do I get them shelved,
Than my garden calls me back.
They're ripening all at once, I think,
As I stuff them in my sack.

So I give them to my neighbors and
I give them to my friends.
I give them to my enemies,
Just to make amends.

Soon, I note, they're turning red
So fast it makes me ill.
From off the vine, they drop like flies.
My plot looks like road kill.

Tomatoes on my windowsill
All rotting in a row.
I never though I'd say this but,
"Where the heck's the snow?"

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Which tomato is the best?

I have learned a lot about tomatoes by reading other people's blogs this summer. I don't know what the blog etiquette is about mentioning other people's blogs, but it has been fun to see and learn about new varieties of tomatoes, especially Hanna's This Garden is Illegal .I have grown tomatoes for years and years, they are easy to grow, and I have always felt like I had a 'sure success' with tomatoes in my veggie garden. I just grow the more common varieties, though, nothing very exotic. I usually use my tomatoes for fresh eating and cooking, and can some salsa. I especially like to grow Roma-type tomatoes, because they are heavy producers. This year I bought seeds for Siberian and used some old seeds from our seed collection to start plants: two cherry tomatoes, super sweet 100 and Sugary (grape-type), Roma and Viva Italia, Early Girl, and Brandywine. I messed up the labels and have a few plants I still am not sure what variety they are : (. Then I felt like I needed a few more plants (I ended up with a total of 20 plants), so I bought a few- a Big Beef and a Lemon Boy. Last year, I had too many cherry and Roma types, so this year I only planted two cherry tomatoes and made sure I had a variety of the 'regular' types to try out. Here are my thoughts at this point in the tomato season-
This is Brandywine, they have done ok. My DH likes this variety, they are ok. Not heavy producers, but ok.
Lemon Boy was an impulse buy at IFA (Intermountain Farmers Association). It has been fun, because it has produced well and has a different flavor as well, obviously, as color.
This is a Utah or Western tomato with the unglamorous name of DX5212. It has produced the most unblemished 'regular' type tomatoes. Good flavor, medium volume of fruits.

Mass quantities of Roma and Viva Italia. I have not seen much difference between these, heavy production, which is important to me.7 of my 20 plants are Roma-type, and they are doing just what they should be doing, giving me lots of tomatoes! Next year I want to try San Marzanos.

Hard to say whether these are Early Girls, Big Beefs or Siberian. Smaller size round fruits than I'd like, small to medium volumes of fruits. Siberian was just a hedge against a cool summer, which has not happened.
So, to summarize, I am pleased with the number of tomatoes I've grown. I will try a different grape tomato next year; DH says Sugary's skin is too tough. I will try a few Siberians next year, jsut in case we have a cool spring/summer, and keep the Romas going. I'll have to look around and see what else I might try. I will move them to a different part of the garden, though. I haven't explained how some production suffered because they are in too shady of an area. OH, and label my seeds better, obviously!!!!
Any recommendations of varieties?

Saturday, August 25, 2007

GREEN THUMB SUNDAY- a modest success

This is, of course, sweet potato vine, I grew the dark purply one last year and it never amounted to anything, so everytime I walk by this lovely, lush specimen, I smile. This pic was taken a few weeks ago, the plant has wound itself all the way to the top of the railing by now. Happy GTS, all you gardeners out there!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

More desirable silver and grey plants

At our visit to the Jordan Water Convservancy Garden, I saw some new (to me) plants with grey foliage that I hope to own some day.This plant is called Silver-Edged Horehound. I love the edges!

This one is called Partridge Feather, Tanacetum densum subspecies Amani. It had filled in between these two rocks in an extra dry part of the garden, so I am guessing it is a tough little plant. This next one is a groundcover called 'Pink Pussy Toes' - not blooming the pink blossom right now, but nevertheless, a nice, low groundcover. I'll have to get me some of all of these, don't you think?

Saturday, August 18, 2007


I have not grown balloon flowers much, I get a big kick out of the round bud. I just have one plant that almost gets lost in my 'spring' garden bed. It is one of the few things flowering in this bed now. Here's another round flower bud, my fall blooming anemone. (urg, what is it's name?) I am trying to figure out why it is blooming so early. Somehow it seems the summer has flown by too fast.
My daughter starts school on Wednesday, today we had a cool morning and a bit of rain! Now this fall bloomer has started to pop into bloom, the tomatoes are going nuts, and I am wondering again, how did this all happen so fast!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


There is a bitty spider hanging out near the center of this bloom- which bloomed today!
Today my Disco Belle bloomed! I started this from a seed! It truly is amazing, 7 inches across ! Lovely, and on a plant that is only a foot and a half tall. I am looking forward to this perennial getting bigger and bigger as time goes by. Huzzah!
Also blooming, zinnias, roses, portulacas and petunias, a few last daylilies, red valerian, my monch aster, sunflowers, snaps, hollyhocks, purple sage, and a few other odds and ends.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Summer squash-a-pa-looza

Well, I didn't pick these for three days, you can see the price of neglect! Too many of these 'little' guys for us to eat! I planted two plants close together, they have intertwined and started pumping out seemingly endless amounts of squash. The neighboring zucchini is relatively well mannered compared to this squash plant. Any good recipes out there?
I wish I had taken a picture of the 'twins' when they were blooming (on the right in the picture above), - I could tell something was up when two blooms were joined together. Maybe I'll look around for a stuffed squash recipe.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

GREEN THUMB SUNDAY - Giant flowered Purple Sage

Well, this picture doesn't do this plant justice, I saw it at the Jordan River Conservancy District water-wise garden(Salt Lake City area), and fell in love with the purple-y red flowers. The foliage is not quite that grey, either. Hope your Green Thumb Sunday is going along swimmingly!

Friday, August 10, 2007

What style of Gardener are you?

Saw a fun survey on Dave's Garden, a bit facetious, but fun: . According to this quiz, I am an academic gardener, but the description there makes me sound way better than I am! Fun, anyway, give it a try!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007


Okay, so maybe the mystery alien plant does not have leaves so very similar to a sunflower. The leaves in the foreground are the mystery plant, the ones in the back are from the neighboring sunflower. So why did I think it was another sunflower plant? Similar configuration? oh, I know, the leaves were the same color- green!

Monday, August 06, 2007

It's not a sunflower, so what is it?

When I walked into the veggie garden this morning, I was startled to see that what I had supposed was a volunteer sunflower had somehow changed into some type of alien sunflower-y like plant. hmm. This happened a few years ago, but then what I thought was a sunflower was some type of thick-trunked, spined horrible weed. This one does not have spines, at least (unless I go out there tomorrow morning and it has somehow sprouted some). I don't know what this thing is, but the leaves and form of the plant looked like a sunflower until I noticed the little green spheres instead of a sunflower head. Now that I look at it, the stems are purple-y instead of the green of the other sunflower in the garden. If anybody has any ideas as to what this thing is, please let me know! I am always amazed at the number of similar, yet not the same, types of plants that I see in nature.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

GREEN THUMB SUNDAY - Berggarten sage

Last week my oldest daughter, Edge, and I went to a water wise garden during our annual women's weekend, and I saw so many wonderful plants. I loved the purple sage that they used as a ground cover, but this sage was beautiful for it's symmetry. I hope you can get a sense of this in the picture I've posted. I definitely need some of these!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Garden Bloggers' Muse Day

God loved the flowers and invented soil. Man loved the flowers and invented vases. ~ Variation of a saying by Jacques Deval

Stressed out Peace

Well, maybe 'stressed out' is a bit of an exaggeration, but you can't see the whole plant! It needs some attention. Somehow the color of this Peace rose is not the same as it has been in years past. Maybe whiter, less yellow tones to it? Definitely need to spend some time tending to the roses. I'm feeling far behind on just about everything in the yard, I guess I am the one who is stressed out!