Green tomatoes

Summer's end


Summer is winding down and I don't want it to be over, I'm almost annoyed by the bloom of plumbago, goldenrod and stonecrops, as if it's their fault that August is almost over.



These are descendants of brown tomatoes I got from the grocery store a couple of years back. If you have heirloom tomatoes whose seed you'd like to save, here's how.

School started, the fruits and vegetables are getting ready for harvest, there will be pumpkins soon. I wish I could push it all back and make it spring again. Of course my enthusiasm over the joys of summer is rooted in the fact that we had unusually pleasant weather conditions this season and not the scorched earth extremes of last year.

What's good for the gardener is not necessarily good for the vegetable patch. Although timely and adequate precipitation stimulated the development of the mother plants, the cooler temperatures slowed down their fruitfulness a little bit. Unlike people, vegetables really like temperatures in the nineties, especially hot climate natives like eggplants and peppers.

What's not ideal for the vegetable garden is not bad for landscaping in general, the grass is green and lush, an unusual sight for the month of August, and the late bloomers, especially the shade lovers which tend to get scorched by the end summer draughts, are looking fabulous and are beside themselves with bloom. It is a really great year for hostas, for instance.

What's great for the established perennials is even better for the new plantings; without the stress of adjusting to a new location during hot dry spells they're almost guaranteed to thrive.

Back to the vegetables, after waiting and waiting for the summer days to turn into the usual steamy oven we all know and love, the tomatoes reluctantly started turning, it's almost September after all.


Tomato patch

Saint John's Wort

I don't even know how this picture happened, there is so much sunshine in the vegetable garden that getting such a dramatic shadow effect seems almost impossible. Sometimes the camera adds its own magic.

As always, the tomato plants grew out of control, right on schedule, like they do every August, they are so predictable! I thought the cages would keep them tidy and contained this year, but no such luck, they engulfed their supports, bent them to their will and are now on their way to swallowing up the rest of the universe.

In the garden there is nothing more relentless than a tomato plant; it will grow where you don't want it, it will grow three times larger than expected where you do, and then evolve into a mind boggling leaf maze.

The description on the indeterminate tomato seed packets says their chords can get up to twenty feet long, and I think they said that so that the worry prone gardeners would not be unsettled by their gargantuan expansion. Sometimes I think the only reason Jack clambered a beanstalk is because he couldn't find the tomato patch.

I just plucked a tomato plant from the petunia border, again. Everything seems to end up in the petunia border sooner or later, I just wonder how the tomato made it there, past a fence, two house corners and thick shrub growth.

Anyway, this year they put out spectacular foliage whose size and opulence is reminiscent of tropical plants, and some fruit, most of which is still green.

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