Friday, September 21, 2007

Busting out all over

There is a warm day in September when a Sydney gardener will realise, almost intuitively, that it's time to plant tomato and other summer vegetable seeds. For me, it was last Wednesday. I am sure it was something to do with the scent of flowers in the air, a mild form of the Darkovan Ghost Wind. Jasmine at work again, or perhaps my Painted Lady sweet peas, which have self-sown in the vegie patch a second year running.

I buy most of my seeds from The Diggers Club. They omit the apostrophe. I know where it ought to be!

The tomato seeds are a mixture: Brown Berry, Wapsipinicon Peach, Brandywine Pink, Jaune Flammee, and Purple Russian. They are in my mini-greenhouse, as our nights are still a bit chilly (10 C) for germination.

In addition, there are some mini cabbages, capsicums, rainbow chard, bok choy and lettuce, and some Bull's Blood beetroot, which is grown for its attractive salad leaves. I even strewed some dill and chervil seed under my quince tree. Chervil is lovely -- a pretty little plant with a flavour of mild anise, though that description fails to do it justice. Lovely on scrambled egg!

There is also always a warm day in August when a Sydney gardener will optimistically plant summer vegetable seeds in hope of an early crop. I planted capsicums, chillies, purple perilla, and two types of cherry tomato: Broad Ripple Yellow Currant, which has grown well here before, and Tommy Toe.

Lastly, I am experimenting. I've never had much luck with climbing beans (apart from snake beans), but decided that our hot humid summers were doing them in. This year, I've planted them early -- Painted Lady perennial beans (same name as the sweet peas, but scarlet-and-white flowers), and Rattlesnake, which are annual. Next summer. I'll try a late February sowing. If nothing works, I'll stick to bush beans therafter.

The jasmine sprig is sharing a bowl with some Painted Ladies whose scent has faded; just as well, as the fragrances might clash. The colours, however, are beautiful together: the hint of pink on the jasmine is only a shade lighter than the pink of the sweet peas. There is a sprig of blue Kangaroo Grass in the vase too, a greyed blue-green.

The Geek is suggesting that I accept a digital camera for Christmas. I wouldn't say no, but am a bit hesitant to inflict my poor photography skills on the world. I tend to be a verbal rather than visual thinker, and it shows. The Geek, on the other hand, is an excellent photographer.

1 comment:

teachingmum1970 said...

Go the digital camera Chookie! They are very easy to use and now that I've read your wonderful descriptions I'd really really like to see the real thing and seeing as how I'm too far away for a quick drive to your place...