08 July 2007

Flowers and Vegetablers, Botanical dot com, Bird Bath Style

GARDEN ART

The cat-climbing birdbath is in the garden at LaPorte Avenue Nursery in Ft. Collins Colorado. Amusing and functional garden art.



BLOOMING Zinnias are about to take center stage now that the day lilies have had their day. Is it too late to start more seeds of zinnias and cosmos? I'll try it and let you know.




VEGETABLE GARDEN

Weeding and picking are the primary chores now. We started half a dozen kinds of cucumbers from seed and harvest 20 or so good size ones every day. The white one on the top of the pile is an Armenian cucumber - no peeling. All the others are "burpless" types from different seed companies. They vary in size but the flavor and lack of bitterness is wonderful with the abundance of rain and good soil temperatures prevailing.

Another new addition to this year's garden is a 2007 introduction from Johnny's Selected Seeds. They sent out mini-packs of seeds to garden writers so I thought what the heck. Tomatoberry is a heart-shaped or strawberry shaped one-inch by one-inch tomato. The walls are firmer than most other cherry tomatoes we have grown. They hold together for slicing into little discs and the flavor is terrific. At the bottom there is a tiny point - cute.
If you have room to try something new next year, this one has been a good selection in our garden. It's an indeterminate variety so it will keep producing as long as it's healthy and the temperature stays under 100-degrees. When we get several of those hot days in a row, I've had good luck cutting back the indeterminate tomatoes and keeping them watered until cooler nights come back. Growing and production usually resumes.

Botanical dot com posted an early 1900 book on herbs, "A Modern Herbal" by Mrs. M. Grieve. It is considered one of the backbones of herbal healing literature. A click on the index of plants gives the reader interesting tidbits. For example on the page about Apricots, "Medicinal Action and Uses---Apricot oil is used as a substitute for Oil of Almonds, which it very closely resembles. It is far less expensive and finds considerable employment in cosmetics, for its softening action on the skin. It is often fraudulently added to genuine Almond oil and used in the manufacture of soaps, cold creams and other preparations of the perfumery trade."
Check out the herbs you use or take as medicinals.

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