Wednesday, July 22, 2009

First Tomato of the Season

Last week brought our first ripe tomato in the garden. I am so behind on this blog, it is already old news, since I have picked several more since then!

The first ripe tomato this year was the heirloom Nyagous. It is in the 'Black' tomato category, as you can see by the darker shoulders, which have a greenish tint to them. It really is a beautiful tomato, hails from Russia, and the taste is wonderful! It must be picked while the shoulders are still green for proper firmness.

Here it is on a salad plate. You can better see the richness of the colors in this photo. It is a perfect salad size tomato and grows in clusters on the plant. Since picking this, I have also picked several full sized ripe Goliaths.


In an earlier post entitled Tomato Trials I stated that I was sticking with the 'tried and true' this year. Well, that was my true intention....until I checked out a book from my local library called The Heirloom Tomato by Amy Goldman. If you haven't seen this book, it is a great read! Even if you only gaze at the beautiful photos of all sorts of heirloom tomatoes, it is well worth your time. After reading Amy's description of each tomato included in the book, I ended up adding several new heirloom varieties to my tomato line up again this year. Hey, a girl can change her mind... right? :-)

Currently growing in my garden are: Paul Robison, Juane Flamme, Green Zebra, Aunt Ruby's German Green, Purple Russian, Speckled Roman and Black Brandywine. (I only chose ones rated as having excellent flavor). I'm also trying a few heirloom cherry tomatoes......Black Cherry, Aunt Ruby's German Green Cherry, and Matt's Wild Cherry. So, stay tuned for a report later on in the year!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Poppy - 'Falling in Love'

The last 2 years I have been trialing a new Poppy (Papaver rhoeas) from seed called Falling in Love from Park Seed Co. The description is as follows.... "a bright large-flowered mixture of semi- and fully doubles in shades of red, carmine, crimson, scarlet, and coral, pink, and white in solid and bi-colored forms. This Dutch introduction offers rich, watercolor shades hard to find elsewhere in the garden. Cupped and rounded, the 3 inch blooms look like silk, and arise very heavily on plants 9 to 18 inches tall and 12 inches wide."

Here is a nice group of fully double coral colored ones.

This bicolor pink semi-double is pretty and refreshing.

A close up of a rose colored double form.

A single stem of a red and white bicolor, blooming amidst the other flowers.

Same flower as above, photographed from below with the summer sky as a backdrop.
(This is my Red, White and Blue photo for this year. Happy Fourth of July to everyone!)


My conclusion about Falling in Love poppies? For me, they didn't really live up to their lofty description. Although I find them pretty, I prefer the old fashioned single Shirley Poppies I have grown for many years, for several reasons. They are taller, bear more and larger blooms, which hold on the plant longer and bloom over a longer period. I love their translucent , delicate, papery petals that just have more of a cottage look to me.... and, as whole, make a greater impact in the flower garden. And the best thing about Shirley poppies? They self sow so freely, a trait that I am fond of... which these didn't seem to do.

Sounds like I will need to do a post dedicated to the Shirley Poppy someday. :-)