Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Recession Radishes

...and Other Seasonal Things

The Recession Radishes ('D'Avignon') have sprouted, as has one variety of lettuce ('Lolla Rossa'). I feel more solvent just looking at them. Still no action from the poppies, larkspur, peppers, lemon grass, artichokes, or basil.

All in good time.

Also, my final batch of seeds came in, so I'll be starting another variety of lettuce soon. The radishes have been so obliging that I'm thinking of looking for another variety, called 'Watermelon' (right) to add to the garden. Isn't it funky and interesting?

Meanwhile, I find myself wondering, why does everything bad happen in central Texas? Once again, we’ve got a map of the US in which the country’s glowing core of misery emanates directly from the hill country. This time it’s not drought, but cedar (juniper) pollen. What’s next, a plague of locusts? Raining blood? (which, come to think of it, would break the drought. Maybe not such a bad thing…)

There's Austin. Number 3 on the list of today's most pollen-infested cities.

The happy news is that my system hasn't completely made up its mind to embrace cedar allergies. I'm a little stuffy, but nothing to write home about. I suppose my body's storing up its mucous for oak season in April.

The other happy news is that we were able to have a quick grill out this evening. It's supposed to drop down to the twenties tonight, but presently it's a balmy 42, and as there is no wind to speak of (maximum gust in the past hour: 0.0 mph--thank you Oregon Scientific!), I was able to stay pretty comfortable huddled by the grill. Grilled food on a cold, clear night--one of the most satisfying things in the world.

Flower Update

Despite repeated freezes, some of our plants are blooming with grim determination. Take, for example, 'Ducher.' It's covered in buds, nevermind that those buds are covered in pink frost-damage lesions.

Frost-damaged 'Ducher' buds

Burgundy Iceberg, after a long lull this summer, has decided to repeat--in the middle of January. While most roses develop more dark pink pigmentation in the cold, the normally dark pinky-purple BI gets less color. The purple fades and the flowers turn a lighter, mottled pinky-lilac.

'Burgundy Iceberg's lighter, pinker January flowers

I'm also rather proud of one of our Lacey oaks, which, in its first full year in the ground has put on a modest flush of tiny, nearly unphotographable acorns.

Quercus laceyi, with tiny acorns

But the best blooming news is our variegated Meyer lemon, which is filling the greenhouse with the sweet fragrance from its blossoms. As you can see, it's already got some minute little lemons forming.

Meyer lemon flower and baby fruit

And look at all those buds! I'm hoping for a bumper crop. I've been doing a little informal pollination with my index finger every time I'm in the greenhouse. I'm afraid that there otherwise won't be enough insects to get the job done.

Meyer lemon tree


Katie said...

So, you can just stick your finger in the flower to pollinate? I had no idea it was that easy... I guess I thought that it would have too much of our smell on there, and the plant would reject it... or something.

It's Just Me said...

Enjoy the environment you are in! Last time I looked it was -25 here! Nothing green except the pine trees which look black when it is that cold!

Elgin_house said...

Hey Kate--

Well, I'm doing it, and there's a lemon... It may be a bit optimistic to assume there was any causal effect there :-) . Ideally, you're supposed to use a camel-hair brush. Kid you not. But I don't think the falangeal approach can hurt, so many as well try it.

Hi Jules. It's a battle to keep the old house from seeping heat even in our mild climate. I can't imagine what we'd do in -25F. Start burning furniture, I think. You Minnesotans must have a whole battery of skills we Elginites know not of.

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