30 June 2015

Tomato Tuesday 2015/8

Starting off with a random rose this week: this is Flower Girl, which produces billows of these classically simple flowers, massed together like pink clouds, nodding with the passing breezes. That plant has done quite well; sometimes you just stick a plant in a fortunate spot and it thrives. You also need a healthy plant to start with, of course.

I was taking pictures of the lavender in front of Flower Girl when a white butterfly fluttered through. I managed to get it in one of the photographs before it flew off. The lavender is planted by the side of the house, which gets a lot of afternoon sun at this time of year. That's why the flowers are all bending forward – that's where the sun is. I've also noticed that one of the trees on the front lawn gets its leaves earliest and loses them last on the side that faces that afternoon sun, leaving it with a lopsided look in spring and autumn.

We've had some hot days, of the sort in which my only consolation is to think, Well, it's good for the tomatoes, and also some overcast days, but those have been muggy rather than cool. The tomatoes are doing quite well so far with the reduced watering schedule (roughly two days a week). Once again, in the photo below Michael Pollan is on the left and Cherokee Purple on the right. You can see that they're both looking quite healthy, and Michael Pollan (34 inches this week, up from 30 last week) seems catching up in bushiness with Cherokee Purple (roughly the same height this week as last, 31 inches).

I'm in the middle of an extremely busy stretch of days and that was one reason I decided not to count blossoms this week. The other, more compelling reason is that while new buds are appearing on both plants the older flowers are starting to drop off and form fruit. I probably should have counted anyway, and now I'm thinking it's going to bother me that I didn't, but as I said: extremely busy stretch of days.

Here are some flowers on Michael Pollan:

And here are some on Cherokee Purple:

And look what happened to Cherokee Purple while I was off being extremely busy!

To give you a sense of scale, the larger tomato is 2 1/2 inches wide. You can see the interesting pleated shape that is one of the reasons heirloom tomatoes were abandoned by large growers (they're harder to ship and their fruit is not "picture perfect" unless you have a taste for grotesquerie and baroque pearls). I also noticed a little green oval fruit forming on Michael Pollan, so it's keeping up with Cherokee Purple on that front as well.


Unknown said...

My Flower Girl seemed completely drought-oblivious until I realized that it borders the nice green lawn of my drought-oblivious neighbors, and has probably been stealing from them.

Patrick J. Vaz said...

I was going to say that it's good something positive has come from having those skanks next door, but then I realized that my Flower Girl, which is not receiving any such water benefits, is still doing spectacularly well. So I guess Flower Girl is an excellent rose for a drought and your neighbors are still useless.