Thursday, August 09, 2007

Garden notes

The zinnias growing along the Village Green's fence are glorious to behold. I think I've finally got a handle on growing great zinnias. The trick is to get them in the ground as soon as you buy them. Leave them for a day or so and they will start to wilt and never live up to expectations.

We've gone from drought to intense tropical storms and sweltering heat, with humidity, so thick you can almost swim through it.

So I didn't make it up to the Yell at Voinovich and Bush 41 Fund Raiser yesterday. The weather was extreme enough that I didn't want to get into a gas-burning vehicle and drive to the swank party to join in the fun. I hope a bunch of people showed up -- I was with you in spirit!

There's been no quality gardening time due to the turbulent weather. I've got green and yellow beans in abundance, peppers and eggplants growing rapidly and a few more squash. I've harvested exactly three tomatoes. There are multitudes of green ones everywhere, but none are turning color yet. Drat!

I have seen two grasshoppers in my yard. I have never seen them in my yard before. How very odd. Some friends are having Japanese beetle invasions, but by some oddity of nature there are none feasting on Dolly's pink rose bush. Dolly was the woman who owned and lived in my house from the early 50s until the 90s when she retired to Florida. She left me some very special garden delights, including the strawberries, the pink tea rose, and a fig tree! The latter is more like a bush and the figs never ripen all the way, but it is very pretty and it survives the winter without my doing a thing to help it through,

Today I wrestled and tamed a 9 ton pile of limestone and transformed my old rutted driveway into a charming gravel drive. Two neighbor kids helped me out and we were drenching wet in mere minutes from the heat and the intermittent storms. The wind kicked it up at one point later, after we'd finished the drive. Some major storm damage south of here. Nothing damaged here, thank dog! All gravel remained where it was placed.


microdot said...

I enjoyed your garden story. I am intrigued about your fig tree and the never ripening figs.
What kind of figs are they?
I have two huge fig tree and they are ominously full of ripening figs. I live on fig confiture in my yoghurt all year round.
Figs enjoy a micro climate and be made to ripen if provided with a wall or something that retains heat once the season starts to cool. When I lived in New York City, I saw a fig tree in an abandoned field in Brooklyn that had been there for many years and had a micro climate because of the reflective heat from the buildings around it. There were also fig trees in gets quite cold in New York and I don't think that the legnth of the season is your problem.
My theory is the pollenization of the figs.
You have never seen a fig flower.
Because the fig itself is the flower, the inside of the fig contains thousands of tiny flowers, never seen that are pollenated by a specific tiny wasp.
The wasps are so tiny that you would never normally notice them unless you knew when to look in the spring. My theory is that there are no wasps of this variety in Ohio and so there is no pollenization of the figs and they remain forever "fossil" figs.
Amazing, no?
If perchance, the wasps find your fig and you have some,I have some pretty spectacular things you can do with them. A fig chocolate cream tart? figs split in a star shape with a bit of goat cheese under the broiler and then popped on a salsd?

Village Green said...

Wow -- thanks for the incredible fig information! However, I can tell you that there must be some of the wasps in north Akron, because I know a family who had a fig tree that produced year after year. They dug it up and turned it sideways every autumn, covering it up with mulch, roots and trunk, to keep it safe during the winter.

My fig doesn't grow like a tree. It looks like a shrub and the stem or trunk grows along the ground with branches that grow upwards. I will take some photos and do a blog entry on it tomorrow. There are baby figs on it now.

By the way, I bought some Royal Fig jam, made in France -- no cane sugar, sweetened with grape juice, St Dalfour brand. Very tasty!

terra said...

Zinnias are one of the flowers that is supposed to repel Japanese Beetles. I will definitely be planting some zinnias next year.

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