Friday PhotoEssay

It is fun watching a lot of the flowers and other plants recover and look great now that the worst of the heat is gone. The fall plantings are also growing by leaps and bounds!

This ‘Hawaiian Blue Eyes’ Evolvulus is not a flower that I was familiar with, but it has generally looked good all summer. It is really looking spectacular right now. It is also a very pure blue color, which isn’t always that easy to find in the flower world.

I don’t know if it is the residual herbicide effects, the heat, spider mites, or a combination of all of the above, but the few tomatoes we are starting to get off our plants are pretty much the UGLIEST tomatoes I’ve ever seen. They don’t even look appetizing.

The swallowtail caterpillars are kind of experiencing feast-or-famine in the garden this year. For the past 2-3 years, we’ve had a huge clump of fennel in the herb area of the garden that has partially re-grown from the roots every year and partially reseeded. With the renovation, that is completely gone, so the few caterpillars I’ve seen have been taking turns on the little fennel and dill plants and the parsley plants. There just isn’t very much for them to eat this year in our garden!

We did harvest a whole bunch of the flower stalks from the Red Aztec Spinach. It is kind of funny how your perspective makes a difference. I have been thinking about it as primarily a vegetable and anxiously waiting for it to reach the right stage to harvest. At the same time, my coworkers and some of the Master Gardeners still associate it as a weed, since it looks a lot like Lambsquarter. They were getting really anxious that it was getting close to flowering and going to seed, resulting in tons of seedlings next year in this area. (Which is probably going to happen anyway.) I’m sure that in its native situation in Mexico, that reseeding habit is considered a great value for the plant and those growing it. It is just interesting how your perspective changes the way you deal with a plant!

The Thunbergia (Black-eyed Susan vine) has finally started blooming. Last time we planted it, it also waited until late summer/early fall to start blooming. Yet, I’ve seen it blooming earlier in other places. I wonder if it has some sensitivity to day length to initiate blooming? If so, can it be treated in a greenhouse so that it will bloom all summer?

We successfully babied the lettuce transplants through the initial transplanting and then the heat over the weekend! Almost all of them are looking great now, and have at least doubled in size, if not more. This is the ‘Panisse’ green oakleaf lettuce.

Have a great weekend!

About Rebecca

I'm a Horticulture Educator with Sedgwick County Extension, a branch of K-State Research and Extension, located in Wichita, KS. I teach about fruits, vegetables, and herbs.

Posted on September 7, 2012, in PhotoEssays and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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