As a purist, I often shake my head at the high cost of plant material– I mean, plants grow in the wild for free, right? Of course the answer is much more complicated and I really do appreciate the craft and beauty of great specimens grown in nurseries, but this article from Houzz is right up my alley.
In May, I enthusiastically planted a number of annual flowers from seed thinking that this beginner’s, from scratch, approach would be the way to go to maximize satisfaction with minimal capital investment. There have been some ups and downs. Well, mostly, the squirrels and chipmunks have enjoyed the all-you-can-eat buffet, but I did finally manage to put together a bright and sunny bouquet this morning. It includes two sunflowers and a few cosmos, including the interesting, older, star-like, dried blooms. I couldn’t bring myself to cut the lone surviving zinnia from the bed and the other survivor, a Mexican sunflower, I will write more about in an upcoming post. In the meantime, enjoy!
My cosmos are blooming! I went out to water the garden this evening after a fist-of-the-season, first-day-of-summer blazing hot day, and found that the cosmos I planted from seed in May have begun blooming. I’m quite excited as I tried them last year but planted too late. I like the delicate texture of the leaves and flowers as well as the bright color palette of the mix I bought.
Here at Plants Are Not Optional Headquarters, we are celebrating the Summer Solstice with a Thai shrimp dish that features Thai basil from the garden and a crisp sauvignon blanc. I hope you are marking this special day in your own way. Cheers!
Another fantastic, informative and humorous, piece in the Washington Post this morning by garden writer Adrian Higgins on the various approaches to training + containing (or not) tomato plants.
I’m not growing any tomatoes this year, though this article has me seriously contemplating a trip to the garden center this afternoon. And if that materializes, I’d put my money on me fitting “The Urban Farmer” profile. I’m pretty tempted to live up to “The Architect” however, mostly because I want to “create the two-dimensional vertical vegetative plane” as I do love a vertical vegetative plane. The one time I was in charge of tending large beds of tomatoes was in 2009 when I was gardening and researching at Dumbarton Oaks, the estate in DC’s Georgetown neighborhood. Things got a little unruly (The Hippie) prompting me to spend a week with stakes, string, and pruners to create more respectable looking beds (The Gardener). Coincidentally, I was interviewed by the very same Adrian Higgins about that vegetable garden and my research on bringing agriculture back to the estate. The Washington Post has archived the article, but if you’d like to read it let me know and I can send you a pdf.
So, what kind of tomato grower are you?
I noticed this plant for the first time a few days ago as I walked past a neighbor’s yard. I’m quite taken with the intense contrast between the icy white-blue foliage and the eye-popping yellow flowers. I saw it again by the neighborhood pool, leading me to think it’s common, but I still haven’t identified it – do you know what it is?