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Saturday, September 29, 2012

Aster Personality Quiz

The asters are in full bloom today, September 29th, the feast day of St. Michael the Archangel, which is observed by some Christian traditions.

In my garden, it is observed by remembering to call the asters by one of their common names, Michaelmas Daisies, because they are generally at or near peak bloom on this feast day.

This year, they are right on schedule and I'm thrilled, given how ratty and dry they looked through most of the summer.

I was so thrilled with them that I went outside and took pictures of them.  Again. As I do every year.

This particular variety is a passalong from my aunt, so I just call it 'Aunt Marjorie' if anyone asks what variety it is. I have loads of them, mostly in Plopper's Field.  I have so many that I may move some of them to August Dreams Garden border across the way.

One of the pictures I took of these asters/Michaelmas Daisies has prompted me to develop a quiz, in consultation with Dr. Hortfreud, based just on a picture of asters.

I call it the Aster Personality Quiz. Dr. Hortfreud insists on having her name on it.

Dr Hortfreud's Aster Personality Quiz

Please look at this picture and quickly decide what you see.  Don't dwell on it or look for something that you don't see. Just see it and decide what it is that you see.

As with all these quizzes here at May Dreams Gardens, there is no right or wrong answer, no score, no scientific basis for the results, just a peak into your personality, according to no one else but me and Dr. Hortfreud.

And now, the "answers"

If you saw a bunch of purple flowers and thought "Oh, how pretty" then you are the type of person who sees the big picture in life and doesn't dwell on details.  You might also be someone who likes the color purple.

If you saw the bee in the center of the picture, you are someone who sees the details right away.  People may have told you before that you can't see the forest for the trees, or however that saying goes.

If you saw the white daisy in the upper left hand corner and then saw all the asters, you are someone who tends to gravitate toward that which stands out rather than going with the rest of the crowd.

If you saw the asters and thought, "Are they still calling those "asters"? I thought they changed the genus name to Symphyotricum. I wonder which species these are? S. nova-angliae or S. novi-belgii? Oh, I think they are S. nova-angliae. And how many species names have hyphens like that? They are pretty, but what is the variety? And why is there a daisy in the picture? Daisies don't bloom in the fall, they are a summer flower. Is it a Leucantheum? Yes, I think it is. Is it lost? Etc." Well, if you thought all that in the few seconds of seeing this picture, you are someone who should go outside and enjoy the beauty of Fall. It will quiet your mind and maybe help you stop thinking for just a minute. Really, it would be good for you.

How did you do?  And did one of these descriptions identify you?

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

I may garden by myself...

I may garden by myself, but I am never alone in my garden.

When I am working in my vegetable garden, I can feel my Dad standing beside me, admiring the neatness of the raised beds. I'm sure, too, that he is pleased that I still stake my tomato plants, just like he used to.

When I see the asters blooming in the fall, I think of my aunt, who gave me the asters many years ago.  She would enjoy seeing all the other flowers in my garden, too.

When I look at the snowball bush viburnum blooming in May, I am reminded of my maternal grandmother, who had a "snowball bush" in her garden.  I think of her, too, when the lily of the valleys bloom and recall the many bouquets of these flowers that we picked for her when my siblings and I were little kids and visited her each Sunday.

When I pick that first 'German Johnson' tomato, I think of my paternal grandmother, a Johnson who married my grandfather, whose relatives all came from Germany.  When I pick hot peppers, I remember this grandfather, who ate hot peppers at nearly every meal. 

When I plant tulip bulbs in the fall, I recall stories of a great-grandfather who planted many tulips around his home, claiming them as a favorite flower. 

And when the violets bloom, I think of my own mother, who loved the little purple violets, most especially those we picked for her.  I could never rid my lawn or garden of violets - what would Mom say about that?

Yes, I may garden by myself, but I am never alone in my garden. 

Wildflower Wednesday: Serviceberries

When thinking about "wildflowers", we should not forget the trees and shrubs.  They often offer not only flowers, but food and shelter for insects and birds alike and interest across many seasons.

In my garden, I've planted several serviceberries, Amelanchier sp., which are members of the Roseceae family.

The white blooms in early spring are not as showy as those of their relative the apple tree, but are pretty and delicate.  Plus they don't stink like the blooms on those ghastly Callery pear trees that everyone insists on planting.

By late spring the serviceberries are covered with fruit.

These tiny red "berries" are edible but it would take a lot of them to make any sort of substantial dessert or jelly.  I leave them for the birds to enjoy.  And they enjoy them quickly. As soon as the fruit ripens, birds swoop in and gobble them up.

Throughout the summer, the foliage remains "clean and green", turning a lovely maroon color in the fall.
When a plant can provide three seasons of interest and attract and feed birds, what's not to like?

Well, you might not like that serviceberries are often grown as multi-trunk trees. If you choose to plant one with a single trunk,  be prepared to cut off suckers as they form around the base of the trunk and don't expect it to tower like an oak tree.  You also might not like that if you plant a serviceberry near a sidewalk or driveway, some of the fruit may drop to the ground and make a little bit of a mess.  But neither is that big of a problem. Don't let them stop you from planting this in your garden.  The birds will thank you for doing so.

My name is Carol and I endorse serviceberries for Wildflower Wednesday, hosted by Gail at Clay and Limestone on the fourth Wednesday of the month.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Guest Post: Vegetable Garden Update

Garden fairies here.

We are garden fairies and we are providing an update on the vegetable garden, but first we wanted to write a few words about some of the re-bloom that is going on around here.

In all our years of being in and around gardens, which is more years than you have fingers and toes to count on, unless you are some kind of, well never mind, we are garden fairies and we would never say anything about anyone who isn't normal.

Let's just say that in all the years we've been around gardens, we have never seen such re-bloom in the fall as we have seen this year.

We guess it is because the Drought of '12.  Whew, that was a hot, dry summer.  Now we are seeing new blooms on many plants including Clematis 'Pagoda', which we have posted a picture of to lure you in to read this blog post.

Did it work?

There are other re-blooms, but if we go on and on and on about those, we will go too long and no one will read about the vegetable garden.

We are garden fairies and we want to tell people the truth about the vegetable garden.

First we would like to report that we have never seen so many weeds in a vegetable garden as there were in Carol's Vegetable Garden Cathedral.  But she spent considerable time a few weeks ago weeding and weeding and weeding and we garden fairies think she did a pretty good job of it.

Ha ha.  While she was weeding, we hid her hori hori knife when she had her back turned. Oh, my, that was sure funny watching her look for it.

Then last week, you will not believe what happened.   We garden fairies were all lounging around, napping, being real quiet when we heard this big engine noise and the next thing you know, some man was leading this ginormous yellow tractor-y thing through the lawn and it was cutting a big slit in the ground.  As it slit the ground it pulled along a big ol' white pipe and the next thing you know...

We had a water spigot in the vegetable garden.
Then Carol came along and hooked up a hose and well-what-do-you-know, we have running water right here in the vegetable garden.

Will wonders ever cease?

Apparently not because then Carol came back out and cleared off a bunch of the beds that were full of stuff no longer producing food, like corn and okra, and sowed some green manure crop seeds and also planted some seeds for spinach.  We were grateful to her for doing this, so we returned her hori hori knife to her when she wasn't looking.

Now the vegetable garden looks like this.
The only thing left is tomatoes and peppers.

And then you will not believe what happened next. 

Frost.  In the garden. There was frost in the garden this morning.

Yes, there was frost this morning. It was a light frost so it didn't totally blacken the tomatoes and peppers but it sure didn't help matters.

We think that Carol will be out soon to clear off the rest of the vegetable garden and then all that will be left for us garden fairies to do is watch the spinach and  green manure crops grow and of course, attend the ceremonies of last rites that the right reverend Hortus Augustus McGarden will perform on all the plants that end up in the compost bins.  His mother, Granny Gus McGarden, will provide the music for the service. It is very moving and marks the end of the main season of vegetable gardening.

It is not to be missed.

We are garden fairies.

Submitted by:
Thorn Goblinfly, Chief Scribe and Observer for the Garden Fairies at May Dreams Gardens.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Hello Fall of '12!

Hello Fall of '12!

Good bye and good riddance Summer of  '12.

Wherever you came from, please don't come back.   You were a season of stealth.  Day by day, hour by hour you robbed my garden of all that is good about summer with your record high temperatures and your stinginess with rain.

But you are in the past, Summer of  '12,  and Fall of '12 already seems one hundred times better, though it is only been here for a few hours officially. The temperatures are cooler and the rain has returned. The flowers are bright and vibrant in shades of pink, purple, and yellow.

Yoo hoo, we can all go out again. Summer is gone. Fall is here and there's lots of gardening we can still do and lots of gardens we can still enjoy.

Hello Fall of '12!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

It's a garden

It's a garden.

It contains living plants that grow, sprawl, climb, spread, and flower. It's full of plants with fragrance, plants that have a special way of reflecting back the early morning sun or capturing the raindrops on the edges of their leaves.

It's a garden

Insects abound here, as do birds, squirrels, rabbits, meadow voles, toads, and chipmunks. Foxes, possums and raccoons pass through in the evenings, bound for who knows where.

It's a garden

Some plants die. Some plants get much bigger than I ever imagined they would, others never get to the full size I dreamed of. Many plants drop leaves and go dormant in the fall.

It's a garden.

Weeds sprout and grow.  They hide amongst the flowers growing unseen until they tower over everything.  Weeds creep along the edges of flower beds and colonize almost overnight.

It's a garden.

I'm a gardener.

I like to grow plants. I weed and mulch, plant and harvest.  I try to make the garden look nice and neat, especially in the front where passers-by will see it.

I'm a gardener.

Sometimes I'm ahead in the garden. I'm caught up with weeding and mulching, planting and harvesting. Those are magical moments for me and I'm sure for those who might look over the fence.

I'm a gardener.

Sometimes  I am behind in the garden because life outside of the garden keeps me from tending it as I wish to.  There are weeds and bare spots, vegetables begging to be picked, and plants in containers that should be planted in the garden. Those are times when I hope that no one looks over the fence and sees the messiness of the real garden rather than the garden I see in my mind.

I'm a gardener.

I wish I could garden without people getting out their measuring stick and measuring my garden on their scale, whether it be from a list of neighborhood covenants, the pages of a slicked up magazine, or their own notions of what a garden ought to be.

I'm a gardener.

You'll find no perfection here. You'll find something hopefully much better than that...

You'll find a garden.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Achieving Happiness in Your Garden: The Seventeenth Secret

A new season of gardening is upon us. 


And with fall comes another secret to achieving happiness in your garden.  This secret is one that people have been told time and again, but they don't always believe it.

I'm not sure why they don't believe this secret.  I suspect part of the reason is that many people think of gardening as something that begins in the spring and ends in the fall, more precisely on or about the first day of fall or when they get the first frost of the season.  After that, it is over for them, except for the raking of leaves which seems more like drudgery to them than gardening.

Or perhaps they are so tired of gardening after fighting the spring rains and the summer drought that what they really want to do now is hunker down inside and forget the garden until next spring.  Let the frost kill it all off and let the snow hide it, they think. They'll deal with it in the spring after a long winter of rest.

Oh what a tragic mistake that would be.  What an opportunity wasted. What a season lost. 

By now you've probably already guessed that the seventeenth secret for achieving happiness in your garden is "Plant for the long-term in the fall".

Plant for the long-term in the fall. 

Now is the time to plant most trees, shrubs, even perennials.  They'll appreciate the cooler temperatures, the hopefully more frequent rains, and use the time until the ground freezes to grow roots and establish themselves. By the time spring comes, they are all settled in and ready to grow.

Now is the time to plant bulbs for spring flowers, too. They need to go through the cool of a winter to bloom in the spring.

Now is the time to prepare the ground for that vegetable garden you promised you'd start next spring.  If you prepare that raised bed or other planting area this fall, you'll be all set for planting in it early spring.  You won't have to dance around the spring rains to prepare the ground to plant your peas in March.  You'll be all set.

Plant for the long-term in the fall. That's the seventeenth secret to achieving happiness in your garden.  Go ahead. Do it.   You'll "fall" in love with gardening all over again. You'll be so happy next spring when you see how well those fall planted trees, shrubs, perennials and bulbs grow in your garden.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Plastic garden fairies

Many people think or assume or suppose that I would like to have one of those fairy gardens that are filled up with plastic garden fairies.

Truly, I would not like such a thing.

I would never insult Thorn Goblinfly and all the other garden fairies here, including the McGarden clan who all live in the vegetable garden, Ol' Rainbow Tanglefly, who has had more close calls with his life than anyone I know, and Sweetpea Morningdew who is a bit of a gossip but has a good heart.

They just wouldn't know what to do or think  if I set out some plastic garden fairies here and there in the garden.

They'd probably laugh and then play tricks on me for doing such a thing. 

Here at May Dreams Gardens, we prefer to just plant the kind of garden that will attract garden fairies, and leave the plastic garden fairies for others.  

What type of garden attracts garden fairies, you ask?

Why, the same kind of garden that attracts birds and bees and bunnies, of course!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day - September 2012

Welcome to Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day for September 2012.

Here in my USDA Hardiness Zone 6b garden, we are recovering from the Drought of  '12, having been blessed with quite a bit of rain in August and now September.

As I look around the garden now and think back to July when it was so hot and dry, I am amazed at what is blooming and re-blooming and I am thankful to have any garden left at all. 

I am thankful for the one flower of Sweet Black-eyed Susan, Rudbeckia subtomentosa, pictured above.  

I bought one seedling of this native plant  at the spring plant sale at the Indianapolis Museum of Art and planted it at edge of the border called August Dreams Garden.  Had I known it would not see rain for three months, I might not have purchased it, so I'm glad I didn't know then what I know now about the drought because it is a sweet addition to my garden. I hope that it grows and reseeds wildly in future years.

I am also thankful for the little blooms of the Oxford Orphanage Plant, Kalimeris pinnatafida 'Hortensis'.

I got this plant directly from the gardens of Elizabeth Lawrence when I visited there earlier in the summer.  Rest assured that this prized plant, which Lawrence would likely have known by the name of Asteromea mongolica, will be planted out in the garden before the end of the weekend so it can establish itself long before the ground freezes.  

I am thankful for many other blooms in my garden.

In fact, there are so many blooms to be thankful for in my September garden, beyond the usual asters and sedums that one would expect to be blooming now, that I'm showing them as two collages rather than one by one.

There are scads of pink and purple blooms.

There are also lots of yellow blooms.

Did I mention I was thankful to be looking back on the drought rather than wondering when it will rain again?

How's your garden blooming on this mid-September day?

We would love to have you join in for Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day and tell us all about what is blooming in your garden.

It’s easy to participate and all are invited!

Just post on your blog about what is blooming in your garden on the 15th of the month and leave a comment to tell us what you have waiting for us to see so we can pay you a virtual visit. Then put your name and the url to your post on the Mr. Linky widget below to make it easy to find you.

“We can have flowers nearly every month of the year.” ~ Elizabeth Lawrence

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Dear Hortense answers a question about bulbils

Dear Hortense Hoelove,

What is wrong with my lily plant?  It has these brownish-black "things" growing in the leaf axils. Is it a disease? Is it large insect frass? What should I do? What spray should I get?

Lily Nervousgardener

Dear Ms. Nervousgardener,

If you reach for a spray, which I assume is your word for "pesticide", I shall never answer your gardening questions ever again. Really, why do you think that a spray of some kind is the answer to every single gardening question? Where and why would you get such a notion in your head?

A spray is most assuredly not the answer to any of your questions, especially this one.

These brownish-black "things", as you call them, are a blessing. A gift.  A wondrous miracle of plant propagation. They are bulbils, another way that some lilies propagate themselves.

You can harvest these bulbils and plant them and they'll grow into new lily plants which should grow to blooming size in about three years. 

Don't even start to complain that three years is too long to wait for a lily to bloom.  It is not as though you have to do anything extra in the garden during those seasons while you are waiting.  Just weed, water, fertilize like you would anyway.

Really, it will take you all of a few minutes to harvest and plant these bulbils. It's a small amount of time to offer up to increase the number of blooms in your garden in future years.  And if you don't want more lily blooms, you can grow these anyway and give the extra plants to others.

There is no downside here. Get going, get planting!


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Guest Post: Garden Fairies Discuss "Lightly Tended"

Garden fairies here.

We are garden fairies and we would like to comment on what Carol calls "garden lightly tended".  Truly, we are garden fairies and we thought it was a lovely post but we would like to add a correction or two.

First, what Carol calls "lightly tended" is actually almost completely neglected.  That is what we call it when Carol does not come out into the garden and pull weeds when they are little. She just walks right by them.

Does she want the weeds to grow big so she feels like she has really accomplished something by pulling out a great big weed?  We are garden fairies but that doesn't mean we have any idea about what Carol is thinking, nor do we have control over her.

We can only say that there is a big difference between "lightly tended", which includes some weeding and "completely neglected" which involves doing nothing until the garden is almost lost to the weeds.

However, Carol made amends these past few days by coming out to the garden, finally, and weeding. And weeding. And weeding. And weeding.

The gardens look a lot better now.  We are grateful.  We just hope she doesn't tend this garden like that ever again.  We are garden fairies.  We can't abide by such a thing.  We will not allow it.

Oh, and as garden fairies, we are taking complete responsibility for the new growth and new bloom of that bleeding heart pictured above. Isn't it pretty? We are so very proud of it. We grew that ourselves.  It is near where the redbud tree fell over earlier this summer.  Whew. That was quite a day. Kaboom.  That tree just feel down and Carol wasn't here when it happened.  We would like to repeat, again, that we garden fairies were in no way responsible for that tree falling over.

We garden fairies were pleased though, that even though she was gone, visiting Elizabeth Lawrence's garden without us, harumph, Carol arranged for people to come and take out the fallen tree in a most expeditious manner.

Apparently, whether the garden is "lightly tended" or "completely neglected", Carol is going to make sure that fallen trees are removed quickly. We are garden fairies. We do appreciate this.  Now, we just need her to plant a new tree, or two, where that redbud was.  We think two trees this time.  Maybe three?

We are garden fairies.We need more trees.

Submitted by:
Thorn Goblinfly, Chief Scribe and Keep of the Truth at May Dreams Gardens

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A garden lightly tended

I am reminded that a garden lightly tended will yield some lovely surprises, like this little field of columbine seedlings on the edge of Plopper's Field.

I crawled around and through Plopper's Field late yesterday clearing out thistle and other weeds and cutting back spent blooms and drought-dried stems and leaves.

Overall, I was pleased to see what was left.

It is not as lush and full of bloom as in the spring, but it is not really supposed to be  at the end of the growing season, or after three months of drought.

Many of the plants in Plopper's Field, including clematis, coneflowers, daylilies, daisies, asters, sages, campanulas and penstemons are also perking up, now that we've had rain and cooler temperatures. My part in all of this was to do mostly nothing.  I left the plants alone and pulled the weeds as I could.

These plants remind me that they want to survive and have mechanisms to survive. Those that don't - well, I'm not all that interested in coddling plants. I like a garden lightly tended and prefer those plants that know how to survive in such a space.

Plopper's Field will have one last show for me this fall when the asters bloom. I look forward to the show, which will include not only the blooms but also the pollinators, including bees and butterflies. They like a garden lightly tended, too.

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Silence! Don't disturb the gardener...

Silence.  Do not disturb the gardener.

She's disturbed enough.


She's actually quite happy. The sun is shining, the birds are singing, the dew is heavy and all about the garden flowers are starting to bloom again, now that rain has returned.

Nearly five inches of rain returned Friday night.

Oh, rain. How we missed you. We never knew how much we loved you, needed you, depended on you.  We will never, ever curse you, disparage you, despise you or sigh when you ruin our plans.  We promise.

Look what you have brought with you, now that you are back. Flowers, freshness, frolicking birds, squirrels, and rabbits.

You've brought together unlikely pairings, too.

Like summer blooming coneflowers with clematis, in particular Clematis integrefolia 'Alba' which I feel certain normally blooms in May. 
It's like spring all over again. Sort of. But without tulips and daffodils.

There is a freshness in the air, a green-ness in the lawn, a song in the birds, and a quickened heartbeat in the heart of the gardener, who has returned to the garden with a spring in her step, now that she is no longer weighed down by garden hoses.

She would surely be confused if you just dropped her in the garden today with no calendar. 

Then she would see the asters...
and the tall sedum...
And realize it is a glorious September morning.

(Washed out pictures are sponsored by the brightly shining sun.)

Friday, September 07, 2012

A new member of SGAFO

Boltonia with garden sculpture
Dear Membership Committee of the Society of Gardeners Aged 50 and Over (SGAFO),

As a member in good standing and the president and founder of The Society of Gardeners Aged 50 and Over (SGAFO), I am once again called upon to bring before all esteemed members a petition for the proposed membership of a fellow garden blogger and friend.

I am confidently convinced that she is worthy of membership though I can hardly believe that she has reached this birthday milestone that qualifies her for membership.  I'm sure that she, like all current members in good standing, of which there are many, is equally baffled and excited to be at this point in her life when she is qualified for membership in SGAFO.

As a current member in good standing, I would like to use this opportunity to extend the warmest of birthday greetings to her and offer her some of the Secrets of Gardening for Those Over Fifty.  Knowing these secrets will bring her even more joy and prosperity in her garden than she ever had in previous decades of her life. These secrets will enhance her days of gardening and give her confidence to continue to garden for decades more.

Of course, dear members and prospective members, as the keeper of these secrets, I know that it is important to keep these secrets secret.  Therefore, I will share them with her via email.  I know she will treasure them always as a wonderful birthday present.

All members are hereby asked to signify the acceptance of - oh my, I forgot to mention who has qualified for membership today.  Dear me.  Oh, well, a sign of the times.  Please join me in wishing Dee  the happiest of birthdays with your comment below and a visit to her blog, Red Dirt Ramblings.



Your humble president for life of SGAFO, GBGC, and SPPOTGWLS

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Say Liriope Loudly and Proudly

Liriope muscari 'Variegata'
I was delighted to see that the lilyturf, also known as monkey grass, which is really Liriope muscari 'Variegata',  is blooming now.

This tough as nails plant survived the Drought of '12, partial shade, neglect, squirrels and did I mention virtually no rain for three months?

I was curious about its botanical family, so I looked it up.  I love how I can look this kind of stuff up on the Internet and get up to date information.  If I relied on the plant taxonomy textbook that I used in college back in the previous century, I'd be proclaiming it to be in the...

Well, I don't know what family I'd declare it to be in because I can't find mention of it in that textbook, Vascular Plant Families by James Payne Smith, Jr.  (Mad River Press, 1977).  I would have guessed Liliaceae and hoped for partial credit.

The correct answer for which plant family Liriope is in is Asparagaceae, in particular the subfamily Nolinoideae.  But partial credit could have also been given for the plant family Ruscaceae, which at one time stood on its own before they moved it and several other families into the subfamily Nolinoideae of the family Asparagaceae. It took me awhile to sort that out even after I read it online.  You will not be quizzed, so let's move on.

The primary genus in this subfamily is Nolina.  I've never heard of Nolina, which lead me to look that up, too.  Turns out that most of these plants are tropical which is why I'm not familiar with them. I'm a temperate gardener, and I mean that in both the climatic and personal sense, being a mild person, such as I am.  I am!

I suppose we are just lucky at this point that the plant taxonomists didn't change the genus name, Liriope.  Otherwise, we gardeners wouldn't go around wondering if we were pronouncing it correctly. Li-RYE-o-pee?  Sure, however you say it is fine, just say it really loud and no one will have the nerve to correct you. They'll just assume that if that isn't how they pronounce it, they are wrong because you said it loudly and proudly.

Isn't that how all arguments are won these days?  The louder person wins.  The other, more temperate person gives up and goes back to diving down rabbit holes of botanical plant families, wondering just how long she should keep a plant taxonomy textbook  published in 1977, which isn't correct anymore?

Sunday, September 02, 2012

In this mess...

Raphanus sativus
Did you know that the flowers of Raphanus sativus come in several colors, including in my garden, purple, white, and pink? I did not know that until I went out to the vegetable garden yesterday to pick whatever was ready to pick before the big rains came.

Oh, the big rains? There really hasn't been a big rain so far this weekend. There were a few scattered showers here and there, but they hardly left a drop in the rain gauge and we have so far gotten nowhere near the three, five, or six inches of rain we were supposed to get, depending on which weatherperson you listened to.

I, like a fool, blew the opportunity to work in the garden yesterday because I thought it was going to rain "any second". Never again, I tell myself, once again.

We may still get the rain today or tomorrow, but I won't be fooled twice.  I will go out to the garden even under the threat of rain and garden until it is a full-fledged downpour.  And yes, by garden I mostly mean weed.

The vegetable garden cathedral is in its usual late summer state. There are plants no longer producing that I should pull out and the tomatoes are all flopping over, not yielding too many big tomatoes, but offering me hundreds of small cherry tomatoes.   The weeds are gaining their foothold, or should I say roothold, and maturing to the point that they can cast a thousand seeds about the garden so that I am tormented by them next year, too.

Amidst all of the mess and disarray are Raphanus sativus, radishes, that I never pulled.  When I saw them flowering yesterday, that's when I realized that the flowers can be purple or white or pink.

Raphanus sativus, white flowers

Pardon my manners, as I know it is especially uppity to talk about vegetable plants using botanical names instead of common names. But when talking about flowers, it just makes more sense, at least in the gardening circles in which I rotate, to use botanical names.  It makes them sound more like official flowers rather than plain ol' radishes that I let go and allowed to flower and presumably set seed.

Raphanus sativus, pink flowers
I think the pink ones are my favorite.That little bit of white in the center is a nice touch.