My leeks have been in flower for quite awhile now, with their beautiful purple and white bulbous heads. I'm thinking of planting them in the front garden as ornamentals next year, along with some artichokes.
I also had a good hack away at my purple artichoke thinking that it'd stopped producing for the season. The green artichoke had just started so I'd moved on. Apparently the purple artichoke loved the hacking back to the stem (it had grown to about 2m cubed) and immediately started producing buds again. So there's a tip! To be honest, artichokes are a real treat, but I'm pretty sick of them now. I'm letting both the purple and green artichokes go to flower now for the season, just to see their big thisley flowers and compare the different varieties.
|A large purple bud opening up|
|You wouldn't have thought I hacked this plant back a month ago. The artichoke's revenge|
|My green artichoke buds opening up|
I've also let one of my green cabbages (actually one of my only cabbages that survived the great snail plague of 2010) go to seed. It went from being a smooth round surface one day to having these curly flowering stalks exploding out the middle the next. I was thrilled!
|the flowering cabbage with some broccoli seeds hanging overhead|
My first tomatoes are starting to blush. I loathe buying tomatoes at the shops when I have so many plants in the backyard, and so I've been hovering over these plants constantly, waiting for the first tomatoes to ripen.
|one of the spiky things growing on the eggplant. I'm assuming it's the fruit.|
|more spiky things with some arty-looking water drops|
|one of my great successes last year were my lebanese cucumber plants, so I thought I'd relive the dream|
When I think of gardening and the senses, sight, touch, smell, and less so, taste, are all obviously engaged. However, I think the sounds of the garden can get discounted. Obviously birds have a significant place in the sound landscape, but the sounds of plants are usually only activated when wind is involved. Even with only a small breeze, corn makes an amazing sound. It's more than rustling. I only really noticed it today for the first time (I've not been gardening much lately due to work commitments), and at first I couldn't work out where it was coming from. I wasn't consciously searching for the sound, it was just something that was mulling around in my head. It pleased me that such a distinctive but soothing sound was produced by my largely ignored corn stalks.
I wrote recently about planting all these watermelon seeds. I transferred the happy-looking seedlings to the garden once they got to about 4 cm in height. From I think a total of 20 seedlings, this little one below is the only one left. Snails. Again.
A happier story involves my pumpkins that are keeping my apricot tree company:
|to the left of the tree are the turkish pumpkins, to the right, butternut. In the foreground, asparagus.|
|a butternut pumpkin mid-growth (when are they ready to eat?!)|
|I can't remember the full name of this pumpkin, but it has the word Turkish in the name.|