I love this series of “hard truths” of gardening via Sunset Magazine.
“Buying a plant for its flowers is like choosing a wife for her bonnet.”
Untitled photograph by Dorothea Lange
I have a raised bed in the back yard for vegetables. Last year it was mostly lettuces, and this year it’s all tomatoes and corn. While I was gone this summer tons of arugula (the most resilient of lettuces and lettuce-like plants?) sprouted up in the bed amongst the tomatoes and corn. By the time I got home it had already flowered and was on the brink of going to seed. I pulled all the arugula today, cut the leaves for tonight’s salad, and used the flowers to decorate the bedside table.
Everyone’s talking about eggplant these days. It’s eggplant season! Chef Canales has them all over the menu at Oliveto from antipasti to secondi (watch Chef Canales shop the Berkeley Farmers Market for tomatoes and eggplant here). Meanwhile in Pasadena, mother’s eggplant is nearing maturity. Isn’t she a beaut?
I think I’ll just have to make both.
I’ll be running around all day today since I leave for a long trip tomorrow.
The bad news is I may or may not get to go on that trip as planned because rushmypassport.com (recommended by Forbes and CNN) has taken my money and not returned my passport in the time they advertise (I initiated my order on 6/16 making this the 6th business day of processing time for a service called “Priority” that the company’s website states takes 3-4 business days).
The good news is that my tomatoes have already started to bear fruit. I couldn’t believe it. I’ve barely been checking since I didn’t expect them till August. Here’s one of my first (of my six plants I have three or so immature green little tomatoes):
The good and the bad news is that I just might get to sit at home for all of July and watch them grow to maturity.
For some reason I have never been a huge azalea fan, but the azaleas around Rockridge this year changed my mind. I just kept walking and driving by these bushes absolutely bursting with color, and I couldn’t resist any longer. Unfortunately, my (former) distaste meant I waited a little too long to start photographing the blooms, so I missed my change to capture a few of my favorites (there is an amazing orange-pink one a few doors down from me that has since lost its blooms). I did manage to catch a few though. The orange and white at the bottom are some of my favorites.
I learned more about azaleas (such as the fact that all azaleas are rhododendrons but not all rhododendrons are azaleas, similar to the fact that all daffodils are narcissus, but not all narssisus are daffodils) from the Azalea Society of America. They have a great FAQ section. Some azaleas are native to Japan, and azaleas, similar to cherry blossoms, are quite celebrated in Japan. There are some great photographs of an azalea festival in Shiofune-Kannon (Ome, Tokyo) on Yumi’s flicker page.
On a related note, you should definitely look at this slideshow from the NY Times on Philadelphia gardens. Great pictures of alliums, primroses, poppies, peonies, and of course…azaleas!