Friday, August 24, 2012

Flower arranging is dangerously addictive ~ Heather in Abingdon, VA

Heather here.

Gardening more than any other occupation reminds one of the ephemeral nature of our existence. Pull up the summer squash, plant brassicas. Eggs, nymphs, and pesky nibblers. Flower, fruit, seed. Unlatching petals and withering leaves. Plants are healthy one day, the next are speckled black, white, brown, or yellow with fungal diseases. The viruses move from plant to plant--wash your hands, burn the remains.

Plants sprout, vine, twist, curl in strange ways making us think of our own growth inside and outside the womb. How different our lives are, and how similar.

We will save seed from most of these flowers and give them out next season

When two pepper flowers are too close together one will sometimes encapsulate the other. When you slice open the ripe pepper there's a premature tiny green one. The mottled purple and white eggplants all have different speckling and streaks like experimental paintings. The garden is a constant scientific and societal study.

Just so many quiet things happening together at once. All of a sudden it seems the undesired grasses goes to flower. Some are allelopathic, sending signals through soil preventing other plants from growing. Foxtail Millet says, no one else can grow here except Foxtail Millet. 

Healthy plant societies can tell us a lot.

In any event, there has been an outbreak of different fungal diseases in our garden. It really seems to come all at one time. We took a few leaves to extension because we were unsure if all of the damage was fungus-related or if some was insect damage. We used our garden detective skills and did note what looked like sap-sucking damage on the underside of leaves, but there were no insects to be found. Very strange. What is this plant trying to tell us?

Two gardeners pondering

Have fun gardening in Southwest Virginia, among other things.

Our canning workshop went well. We will do it earlier next year....everything we will do earlier next year! I'm already picking out heirloom seeds--so many plant stories, so little time! We canned basil vinaigrette, pickled dilly beets, salsa, tomato sauce, and pickles with onions.

Deni Peterson in her element

Two gardeners learn together

Until next time...

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