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The Green Routine

I seem to have fallen into a pattern here… A post about flowers! A post about vegetables! Macro shots! Wide angle shots! Oh well, this is just as much for me as for you, my five loyal readers, so get used to it!

The Gioia della Mensa tomato plant hopes we like tomatoes…because it plans on ripening about a dozen all at once.

“Gioia della Mensa” means “Jewel of the Table” in Italian and it is indeed one of the tastiest fresh tomatoes I have ever had. Growitalian.com usually has the seeds, I see they’re out of stock already. Looks like I need to be keeping seeds then, eh? If anyone wants some, give me a shout.

Dreaming of Dirt posted about growing herbs the other day, to which I commented:

The secret to herb growing… Plant them and stand back very quickly. And don’t have anything you want to see on a regular basis planted or standing nearby…statuary, other plants, dogs, kids, etc.

Cos it’s true. Herbs are just weeds with benefits, and since I live in one of the most fertile places in the world, I grow all our herbs in pots.

That’s right, my pretties, no dirt-growing for you. Time to harvest the oregano and rosemary I see.

And the sage and basil:

And the thyme:

The dwarf fig tree looks happy, doesn’t it?

If I were less in love with the birdhouse gourd, I would totally not let it climb my pool enclosure.

But I am, and so it does.

Here is the answer to the round cage or triangle-shaped cage debate:

This is a pair of lemon cuke plants trying to climb my house. And they’re apparently taking the triangle-shaped cage with them. So, round for things that need actual support, triangle for things like tomatoes, that just need gentle guidance.

Have a look at this:

Know what that is? Yep, it’s about fourteen square feet of watermelon vines. Watermelon vines that were supposed to get all of 3 1/2 feet long. Told you we live in Fertile Valley.

Watermelony goodness up close:

That one is about the size of a largish coconut.

Of all the new plantings we’ve done, this one is my favorite (so far):

It’s the symmetry, of course. I am a graphic artist to the bone, and will always respond to formal layouts. That’s two birds of paradise, one spider iris (won’t even sprout until fall), and three Queen Sophia marigolds.

Here’s the very first draft of the new side bed:

The “border” is purely temporary, just to delineate planting spaces. It will be set up to match the front bed (tall vertical stones) in the Big Push after we return from vacation. All the dark spots are where the cannas were planted yesterday. And the buggers are already sending up shoots:

The cannas join the hibiscus and shell ginger (Alpinia zerumbet):

The Snow-on-the-Mountain (Breynia disticha):

And the Hawaiian Tis (Cordyline fruticosa)…which I forgot to take a picture of, naturally.

And I have a plethora of flower seeds started to fill in the spaces in front of all this:

Poppies of several varieties, Golden Gate marigolds, Coreopsis, Columbine, Texas Bluebonnets, Honeywort, Foxglove, Zebrina Hollyhocks, Maltese Cross, Love-in-a-Mist, China Asters, Nicandra…

My ambition is zero grass to mow, can you tell?

Finally, here’s your (with apologies to the original) Daily Oliver:

By the way, the O-boy is not named for that statuesque Weimaraner, but rather for Richard Hammond’s 1963 Opal Kadett, the car he drove (and apparently fell in love with hard enough to ship it home to Britain) in Top Gear‘s African Adventure episode. In a pivotal (ha!) scene, Hammond attempts to drive the Opal across a seemingly shallow stream, only to find it not so shallow. His heartrending cry of “Olivahhhhh!!” as the Opal’s nose sank beneath the murk apparently resonated with the Boychild as that was the first thing out of his mouth when he saw the bebe kitty’s picture. So, Oliver it is, partly because telling that story is SO much fun.

Now you know, and knowing is half the battle. Er, go Joe!