I wanted you to see what my Gladiolas looked like after Hubs and I dug them up.
I ended up with 35 new corms and a whole lot of little "seeds". Apparently the "seeds" can be planted but they will need two summers of just growth and then they will bloom in the third year.
Some of the plants made one new corm. Some made two new corms. This one made three.
If you look closely, you can see the original corm that was planted in the spring. It's that dark, flattish, reddish thing just above my thumb, all dried out. You break that part off and throw it away.
Gladiolas always remind me of Hazel Reed and Dorothy Perkins and the First Methodist Church in Copan, OK. Hazel and Dorothy were sisters that lived together, west of town. They moved there as children with their parents from somewhere in Missouri, I think, cared for both their parents till they died, and stayed on together in the house. Their father was a wonderful gardener and he grew vegetables that he sold to the locals. He also had a great field of Glads. For many years during my teen years, Hazel and Dorothy would bring a big spray of the flowers to decorate the church altar each Sunday while they were blooming at their best. There were lots of different colors, and oh, they were just beautiful.
Normally I don't like to mess with things that have to be dug up out of the ground every fall, it's a bit of a pain, but I bought 12 red and 12 pink corms and put them in the ground last spring so I sealed my fate. I also grew some Dahlias from seed this year and the year before. I didn't have very good luck in getting them started and keeping them alive while they were seedlings, but the first year, some short yellow ones survived.
They were dug in the fall and replanted in the spring and they bloomed well during the summer. Of the seeds I started last spring, only one seedling survived, and I mistook it for a vegetable plant at transplant time, so it has grown and bloomed happily in the garden for the whole summer. These seeds were supposed to produce "dinner-plate sized" flowers and they fell somewhat short of that mark, but this one survivor does have a pretty flower even though it is small.
There was a Cockscomb that grew out there too, and I have NO idea how that came to be, as I didn't plant seed for it. Must've been a gift from the birds, is all I can think. It'll probably make seed that I can gather.
Oh, and here's something you might enjoy seeing. This is Malabar Spinach.
Some of that in there is white Hyacinth bean, that came from Paula several years ago. It came up volunteer. I had them, and the purple Hyacinth bean, and Scarlet Runner bean planted at this trellis last year. I can see how Malabar Spinach might become invasive, but if you have something you want to cover, like a cellar, this is the one for you. It's a perennial.
The leaves and berries are edible, though I haven't brought any leaves inside to cook yet. I've eaten a leaf raw and my opinion is just "meh". I ate a berry when I took this picture and it's got less taste than a mulberry, and has a big seed in it. Which is probably how it's going to share itself with all my neighbors, because the birds love the berries, as well. (Evil Heh.) Anyone who has known me for very long knows how much I like things that serve more than one purpose, and I will, sometimes, grow invasive stuff because of that. It also has to have a certain amount of "will to live" in order to grow out here.
I've ordered a few seed from Park Seed. They are offering free shipping right now but I don't know how long that's going to last. I ordered some Candy onion seed, since I'm getting better at starting onions from seed. There's a price break if you order three packages of seed, so I ordered three of the onions, figuring I'd just store the two extra packets in the freezer for another year. Price per package of 200 seeds this way: $2.20. I wasn't very pleased with the keeping qualities of the onions I grew this summer. Already I've found several that have rotted and yesterday I donned my hardware-store clear protective goggles and sat on the patio, chopping onions. I have two gallons of chopped onions in the freezer now and a few onions left over that I put in the crisper of the refrigerator for use in the next few weeks. Had I done this sooner, I'd probably have an extra gallon of frozen chopped onions but oh, well. I have not grown any onion that performed better than Candy does, as far as size and flavor is concerned. But of course it doesn't keep well either so it must be chopped and frozen (or dehydrated), as well.
While I was browsing I found THIS Cocozelle, and ordered some of it. I hope it is the same thing as is shown HERE, because if it is, it is a plant for which I've been searching, for a long time. When I was a teenager, somebody gave my mother seed for a little squash that looked like this. Mom never knew exactly what it was, except it was from the squash / zucchini family, but she grew it every year and she would pick it young. It was very ribbed, so that when it was sliced, the slices looked like they had scalloped edges. She used it often in stir-fry in summer and then she froze some for addition to soups during the winter.
These pictures were taken during this morning's walk in the garden.
The cucuzzi vines have just about wound down. I've had a lot of fun with this one, it was my first year to grow it and I have to say it's produced even after the squash bugs killed everything off. Just the other day I offered some to our new neighbor, Bob, the one that went to 7th grade with me, 'way back in the day, and he just lit up. "My Grandma used to grow these!", he said. Then he added that they had had seed for awhile and planted them for several years until one year they failed to get seed and Grandma had died so they knew of no source to get more. I promised him some seed if I can get a mature fruit from the vine. I had one I was leaving for seed and I told Hubs to leave it alone, but this morning I found it with its vine severed. *Sigh*. It's right where Hubs weedwacked but I won't go into it any further because he told me yesterday he was being careful around it. I see now half the vine is dead and there are cucumber beetles. It was coolish this morning and they were kind of lethargic so I smashed the ones I saw. I guess I'll break my "no pesticides rule" and go out and sprinkle the ground where these grow with some Sevin powder. I do not want these little crapolas wintering over.
Mother Nature never fails to delight me with her beauty.
Normally I don't care much for cherry tomatoes, but I've gotta say, these little Brown Berry cherries are pretty tasty. Now that the heat of summer has lessened, they've gone into a second harvest when a lot of the other varieties have died. I'll be growing them again next year.
This is something new we're trying with our fruit trees. These big rocks cover the soil around the tree and the rain that falls on them will run off onto the ground around them. Between rains, they'll help hold in some of the moisture, while shading out the grass and weeds. They give me someplace to stand while I'm picking the fruit. Small plants can be nestled between the rock so as to create what the Permaculture people call a "guild". This particular tree has Achillea and red clover. I have Black and Blue Salvia at another tree, and Comfrey at some of the others. I tried Nasturtium but they all died before they got to any size. But then, I'm Nasturtium challenged, it seems. Eventually there'll be about three big rocks positioned around each tree. Hopefully it'll also be helpful in protecting the tree and it's companion plants from Mr. WeedWacker. I found THIS blogpost about tree guilds, lots of good information here.
And this is something that I thought worked really well this summer. These bushy things are Mrs. Burns' Lemon Basil. Oh, the smell! Be careful around it though, because it really draws the honeybees. I think next year I'll plant them at the edge of the canna bed, along the front driveway and see how they do. These are now going to seed, but they are very attractive when in full bloom. The flowers are white. I have some Lime Basil along one of the beds in the garden. It blooms purple.
My garden brings me such joy. Plants that I get from friends make me think of them, even though I may not hear from them for long periods of time. Plants that remind me of my childhood or members of my family during good times brings me comfort. And being able to pass that on to other people, as in the situation with our neighbor, Bob, and remembrance of his grandmother, brings me delight.
Well, this is about all I have today. Rocking on, here. Hope y'all are doing well. Hugs xoxoxo