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Monday, July 21, 2008

Apparently, You Can Be Too Pretentious!

Two versions of an update on the vegetable garden at May Dreams Gardens…

Version 1

I spent some time in the vegetable garden this evening, harvesting and making a list of what I need to do now to make sure the garden continues to produce up through and beyond the first frost. Our first frost is likely to be sometime in early October.

The Cucurbita pepo ‘Amabassador’, C. pepo ‘Eight Ball’, C. pepo ‘Cue Ball’ and C. pepo ‘Gold Rush’ vines are gradually dying off, no doubt due to squash vine borers. I’ve gotten a decent harvest so I’ll clean up those that are beyond hope, and carefully inspect those that are left to see if they can be saved. I don’t plan on planting more as I don’t know that I would get too much from them, and I planted all the seed I ahd.

The three sisters garden, begun with a lot of promise, has fizzled. First of all, I only planted two of the ‘sisters’, Zea mays and Cuburbita pepo ‘Hi-Gold Beta Winter’ and ‘Spaghetti’ . I was waiting for the Z. mays to get taller before I planted Phaseolus vulgaris ‘Kentucky Wonder Pole’, and well, you know how it goes sometimes. I never planted those P. vulgaris , though I still might. Maybe.

Oh, and the C. pepo ‘Spaghetti’ vine is also shriveling up and dying, so I don’t think I’ll get any harvest from that.

Phaseolus vulgaris ‘Provider’ and ‘Maxibel' have been a big success. I’ve picked several messes of P. vulgaris beans and did remember to plant more P. vulgaris ‘Provider’ a few weeks ago to extend the harvest into August. My method of keeping the rabbits out of the P. vulgaris patch is working for me, as unorthodox as it may seem. And I know there are rabbits out there, because I’ve seen them on several occasions.

I’ve also done well with the Beta vulgaris ‘Rainbow Mixed’ ; it’s very pretty though I’ll confess I’ve not tried to eat any of it, so I don’t know how it tastes.

And why do we really plant a vegetable garden? For the fruit of Lycopersicum esculentum, aka Solanum lycopersicum of course. I did find two ripe Solanum lycopersicum ‘Sun Sugar’ fruit this evening and popped them into my mouth, after a quick wipe off on my shirt. They were tasty, but they aren’t that big fruit of Solanum lycopersicum that I am waiting for. I’ll need patience this year, as I don’t think I’ll have a big fruit from Solanum lycopersicum until sometime later next week.

Finally, I made a list of some clean up I need to do. Of course, I need to weed, as there are some late season weeds showing up including Chenopodium album, Ambrosia artemisiifolia and a spreading weed that I haven’t yet identified.

I also need to do something to try to straighten the Malus domestica ‘MacIntosh’ tree, which leans quite a bit in one direction. I noted no blooms on it this year, so there will be no fruit from it here at May Dreams Gardens.

But I’ll make up for it with plenty of fruit from Vitis sp. ‘Concord’ , and let’s not forget how well the Fragaria sp. did earlier this summer.

That’s how my garden’s doing right now, how about yours?

Version 2

I spent some time in the vegetable garden this evening, harvesting and making a list of what I need to do now to make sure the garden continues to produce up through and beyond the first frost. Our first frost is likely to be sometime in early October.

The zucchini squash vines are gradually dying off, no doubt due to squash vine borers. I’ve gotten a decent harvest so I’ll clean up those that are beyond hope, and carefully inspect those that are left to see if they can be saved. I don’t plan on planting more as I don’t know that I would get too much from them, and I planted all the seed I ahd.

The three sisters garden, begun with a lot of promise, has fizzled. First of all, I only planted two of the ‘sisters’, corn and spaghetti squash. I was waiting for the corn to get taller before I planted the pole beans, and well, you know how it goes sometimes. I never planted those pole beans, though I still might. Maybe.

Oh, and the spaghetti squash vine is also shriveling up and dying, so I don’t think I’ll get any harvest from that.

The bush green beans have been a big success. I’ve picked several messes of beans and did remember to plant more beans a few weeks ago to extend the harvest into August. My method of keeping the rabbits out of the beans is working for me, as unorthodox as it may seem. And I know there are rabbits out there, because I’ve seen them on several occasions.

I’ve also done well with the swiss chard; it’s very pretty though I’ll confess I’ve not tried to eat any of it, so I don’t know how it tastes.

And why do we really plant a vegetable garden? For the tomatoes, of course. I did find two ripe cherry tomatoes this evening and popped them into my mouth, after a quick wipe off on my shirt. They were tasty, by they aren’t that big tomato that I am waiting for. I’ll need patience this year, as I don’t think I’ll have a ripe tomato until sometime later next week.

Finally, I made a list of some clean up I need to do. Of course, I need to weed, as there are some late season weeds showing up including lamb’s quarter, ragweed and a spreading weed that I haven’t yet identified.

I also need to do something to try to straighten the apple tree, which leans quite a bit in one direction. I noted no blooms on it this year, so there will be no apples here at May Dreams Gardens.

But I’ll make up for it with plenty of Concord grapes, and let’s not forget how well the strawberries did earlier this summer.

That’s how my garden’s doing right now, how about yours?

*****

Apparently, you can go overboard embracing botanical names. Sometimes, yes, the common name, if it is really common, is the appropriate name to use.

*****

And apparently the spoons don't scare the rabbits away, they just keep the rabbits away from the beans... I think.Hey, bunny, that's my Cucurbita pepo 'Homemade' fruit!

24 comments:

Robin Wedewer said...

I have to say, version 1 is, well, horrid. The Latin names are just too too much. I'll take Door Number 2.

Robin
Gardening Examiner

Kathy said...

I have gotten so used to the botanical names that I didn't even notice what you were doing until you started talking about the tomatoes.

Annie in Austin said...

I gave up trying to make a sensible comment on the last post ....it was something about whatever name you learned when you first "met" the plant feels natural, so most of us would still say columbine and lilac, but may have heard Tradescantia before spiderwort.

But this post is too cute for sensible comments, Carol! Just watch out for the Sylvilagus floridanus {at least I think that's the kind of rabbit you're chasing!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Perennial Gardener said...

I think I prefer the second version too Carol. lol Sometimes the botanical names are just overkill.

mr_subjunctive said...

Still no excuse for not knowing the botanical names. I'm taking a hard line on this.

Also, although I've seen a comment or two on the other post claiming that common names are just prettier and more melodious (or whatever) than the scientific ones, that works both ways. Maranta sounds better to me than "prayer plant," and there's no name that fits the false aralia better than Dizygotheca elegantissima. The plant looks just like the name sounds. It's like onomonopoeia or something.

Dee/reddirtramblings said...

Arrgh!!! and Aaah!!! I though in the middle of the first post. The scientific botanical name is fine, but that was giving me a headache.

As usual, you are a clever girl.~~Dee

Rose said...

Just poured my first cup of coffee before reading this, and my brain was still a bit foggy. Halfway through, I thought, what in the world is she talking about??

Botanical names are great for identifying a particular species(genus?) if you want to plant exactly the same thing. But when you're discussing generalities--"my zucchini got destroyed by squash beetles, my tomatoes are ripening nicely"...--the common names are just fine, thank you. Does this make sense? I think my brain neurons are still trying to make sense of the first version:)

Anonymous said...

Wow - I gave up reading botanical names when I left Flower & Garden magazine a decade ago. Forgot how heavy it feels!!! :)
Robbie

Kylee said...

When I'm talking to someone who's visiting my garden or asking me about a particular plant, I try to use the common name, but it depends on whom I'm talking to, also. If it's someone that I know will know what I'm talking about and really wants to know the exact plant name, I'll use the botanical name. Otherwise, I'll use the common one. But like Annie said, if I learned the plant by its botanical name first, then I tend to use that name.
When I'm blogging, however, I try to use the common name with the botanical name following in parentheses. That way everyone is happy. :-)
I never use botanical names to impress people, but I actually love knowing them and think they're very beautiful. It somehow fulfills a deep need inside me to know a foreign language.
Wow. I just almost wrote a blog post. Maybe I'll do just that, in response to your post! LOL We do have different readers, after all...

Cosmo said...

What a great follow up to yesterday's post! I've just discovered your blog, and I love it--I missed July's bloom day, but August is on my calendar now (I just hope something's blooming--if this weather keeps up--it's 100 in VA today--it may be a wilty foliage day posting). I agree with you about the importance of botanical names (especially if you read English gardening books!), but sometimes I get lazy. But I resolve to be more thorough. Best, Cosmo

Frances, said...

HA Carol, how do you think this stuff up? I had hopes of seeing your sisters garden after the spring write up and had wished I had planted one too. It did seem like a good idea at the time.

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

I think food crops should be treated differently from ornamentals. There's a logic to it when you think about how animal names are English, but the food name from the animal is French (pig vs. pork). I love Latin, but I don't know the Latin names of my peppers. Conversely, I don't know the common names of some of my perennials. I like Kylee's method of using both when blogging (which I usually do if I know the common name).

ChrisND said...

It looks like there is a place for common names...in common conversation (botanical names are for specific conversation). Anyone should feel a little satisfaction if they still understood (or didn't even notice) the first version.

garden girl said...

Carol, I like knowing the botanical names of the plants in my garden but don't remember all of them and often have to refer to the tags I save. I do know them all by their common names, although sometimes I experience a brain cramp and no matter how hard I try I can't remember. Then sometime later when I'm thinking about something else the name I'd momentarily forgotten pops into my head.

Whichever - common names or botanical is just fine with me when talking about plants on my blog or reading other blogs. Sometimes I use one or the other, sometimes both.

Fun post and interesting comments!

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Both botanical and common names have their place. I like both for different situations. This is a great post about names. It just shows that you should use good judgment when using either.

Ann said...

I like knowing some botanical names but at this point in my life cannot be fastidious about it one bit. With all the multi-tasking I seem to do, I have to be conservative about how I spend my energy (physical and cognitive) and frankly, the Latin names don't always make the cut!

Square Foot Hammer said...

As hard as it was for me to read the 1st version, I would still disagree in principle against the 'common' names. Mostly because they don't translate that well globally. What you may call one thing, we (in the UK) may call it something else! But the scientific name is always standard. Still, all in moderation of course :-)

Carolyn gail said...

Working at a garden center you can imagine that almost everyone speaks botanical.

While on a garden tour in England we had interesting conversations about flowers as most English gardeners know the botanical names more than the common ones so we had fun with that.

I love the Fine Gardening plant guide. Cotoneaster is one of the most frequently mispronounced words in the shrub category and it doesn't have a common name. Most folks say " Cotton aster " instead of " Ka tony aster."

I've had customers ask for trees or shrubs by the species name but didn't know the genus which makes it difficult, if not impossible, to determine whereof they speak.

So I think it's good to know both the botanical and common name but not to overdo either.

Kim said...

I agree with Kathy - you are clever. ;-) I will admit I enjoyed reading both, but the first one only for humor.

mss @ Zanthan Gardens said...

I think Annie in Austin has a good point--sometimes it's the name you met the plant with that sticks. But botanical names do seem more appropriate with the ornamentals. Maybe they're just the aristocracy of the garden. Plain working food plants need plain common names.

2greenthumbsup said...

Carol,

Thank you so much! I've been trying too hard at times to keep up with the Jones' by including the botanical names alongside the common names. (Didn't want to appear too common myself!) Do you have any idea how much time it takes to look them all up?!? Thanks to you I'll let my common side all hang out and to hell with the Jones'!

Cathy

Entangled said...

Interesting discussion! It reminds me of conversations I've overheard where the speakers flip back and forth between English and some other language. I've always wondered what signals them to switch from one language to another, but they do it very swiftly and seamlessly.

gintoino said...

I just feel that latin names are universal, and they spare you the trouble of having to know the various diferent common names a plant might have (I know plants with 3-4 common names) Specially not being an english speaking person I prefer to use the latin names in my blog (which is writen in english and portuguese)

Debbie said...

Hmmm, I guess it is quite cumbersome in the veggie garden!

We also have had squash borers this year. This is a first for us and I was very distraught about the whole thing. I did some research on line and we did a few of the suggestions and it seems to be working. Little blighters!

Always enjoy your posts...you come up with the funniest ideas.