Sunday, June 20, 2010

Advance of the Green Dragons

Oh how the duties of watering and weeding wring the water from your brow and the will from your back! Between keeping my garden alive, preparing for my art show, and other projects I have neglected my blogs. Other updates to come in the future are my endeavours at making black berry wine, toad corralling, and bread making as well as my new found love for shopping at the farmer's market in Charlottesville.

My Amish Paste Tomatoes are laden with fruit. The Mortgage Lifters are trying to keep up. The Buhl Corn is growing, Super Shepherd and Jalapeno Peppers starting to fruit, and Golden Potatoes flowering. The real super star in the garden for the moment however is are the Galeux D'Eysines pumpkins. I planted 5 vines in total and they are the first to flower and are winding their way through my garden like great green pythons. The above photo makes it appear like a sleeping green dragon as it wraps its tail around and down the hill. I swear they grow a foot a day and I have to herd them about and pluck their grabby curling tendrils from an unwanted place before their fat little white roots anchor them down.

It was one of these trio featured above who first burst into flower. My husband and I were making our way down the garden path and I was in a particularly crummy mood due to the usual combo of not enough time for things that need to be done and too much time spent on things I'd rather not be doing. I think everybody is laden down with this deal these days. As I moped down the path I looked up and the moment my eyes hit that familiar happy yellow all crappy thoughts were instantly erased. It's hard to describe wether or not this is a gardener's reaction or an instinct left over from childhood (I'm guessing the later). Just the sight of those first flowers from my pumpkin smiling up at me instantly threw me back to walking in the garden with my father how obsessed over his crook neck squash. I remember those squash blossoms in great detail. Seeing my pumpkin blossoms was an instant transport back to childhood and that moment...I needed that.

It did make me laugh out loud and I think my husband thinks I'm nuts. These two blossoms side by side peeped out from the huge leaves like little eyes. As a few days followed more blossoms burst out and the bees and beetles positively fought over the blossoms, getting well coated in thick heavy pollen in the process. I don't have to worry about cross pollination as the Rouge D'Vif and Tan Cheese Pumpkins have yet to bloom. The top ones are close to the cucumber trellis though and I'm kind of wondering about that.

I think an image similar to this of the trumpeting blossoms with their delicate fluting amongst the mammoth leaves would make a nice woodblock print...

A major difference between the squash blossoms of my childhood and the blossoms of my Galeux D'Eysines is hair. Yes, this close up shows that my french pumpkin has hairy blossoms. I'm curious to know if this is a pumpkin thing or just a trait particular to this breed. One thing that endears me to my Tan Cheese Pumpkins are its soft downy leaves. I love to stroke their velvety my husband another reason to have me committed.

Here is a lovely example of my Amish Paste Tomatoes fleshing out on their lovely and convenient stalks and meanwhile below is a photo of my Mortgage Lifter Tomatoes trying to catch up. I'm hoping that extra support of baling twine will help. Everyone knows you can fix anything with baling twine....

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