I came across this rogue cornstalk about a month ago while biking down a Montreal alley. It was growing right in front of the gate, which means no one is coming out alive! Well, at least through this exit anyway.Leave a comment
Botanical art, garden craft, toys, downloads, shop, fun…
I haven’t noticed it to be quite the exaggerated horror film some are saying, but apparently Toronto is in the midst of a yellow jacket population explosion. The increase is thought to be the result of the combination of a cool, wet season, and the recently resolved garbage strike. All-in-all there’s just a lot more bugs in our gardens this summer, period.
Which is why, like Not Far From the Tree, I would also urge home owners to reconsider calling in an exterminator to destroy nests. Wasps may be a nuisance around the backyard barbecue, but they are also predatory insects that help to reduce the increased population in pesky plant eaters like aphids. Check out this fantastic series from Chair BriÃƒÂ¨re of a yellow jacket eating a cabbage worm.
Yesterday afternoon I happened upon this scene on the sidewalk. I’m not sure if the yellow jackets are doing us any favors by decreasing the cicada population (I love cicadas) but unfortunately like spiders, they aren’t very discriminating. Still, it was fascinating to watch them in action, if not a little bit gruesome.Leave a comment
Sunsugars are a farmers’ market staple, which is just one reason why I do not grow them. By policy and public decree. Never shall a ‘Sunsugar’ tomato germinate in my soil!
Don’t get me wrong. The variety is absolutely delicious. They are literally like little orange candies. But why bother growing the varieties you can get all over town when you could grow something surprising?
But this year is different. I have seen sunsugars at some markets, but only some, and on rare occasions.
“This is a very bad year for tomatoes.” How many times have I heard that phrase over the last month? Tens of times? One hundred?
And so it happens that I inadvertently grew ‘Sunsugar’ this year, by chance. I won’t go into the story, but there it was, a ‘Sunsugar’ in my soil (Why does that sound like a euphemism?). It was the first plant to produce a ripe fruit (BEFORE July 1!) and it is still kicking. Which is more than I can say for some of my plants.
Sunsugar, I will never speak ill of ye again.Leave a comment
It has come to my attention that I do this every year: fish around in the soil for potatoes before they are due. As I said last year, it’s the anticipation of not knowing what is going on underneath the soil. This aspect of my personality comes as no surprise. I’m the kind of person who skips to the end of a mystery novel. I try not to do it, but nearly always do.
I think I’m going to wait just a wee bit longer. The plants are still in the process of dying back and we could have had a slightly bigger harvest last year if I had just waited before digging it all up.
Minutes after taking this photo, I brought them inside, popped them whole into a pot of boiling water, and served them hot with a pat of butter and a sprinkling of salt. These are the best potatoes we will have all year.
In case you’re wondering: the purple is ‘Purple Peruvian’. I’m not sure about the reddish pink variety since they were given to me at a transplant trade back in the spring. To be honest, I can’t be 100% bout the ‘Purple Peruvian’ since they were originally purchased at an organic supermarket, but I’ve grown them 2 years in a row and am pretty certain based on the potatoes and the colour of the flowers (purple!).Leave a comment