Swelling Watermelon and Laddered Panty Hose

July 9, 2010

Old panty  hose come in handy in the garden in so many ways. Many use them as plant tape to tie up peonies, to attach spindly stems to supports and to just keep things neat and tidy.

I am fishing a laddered pair out of the garbage to tie up my watermelon. It is the size of a softball now, and seems to be growing before my very eyes. I am thinking that the weight as it grows will be too much for the vine and it will snap off before it is really ripe. Tomorrow, I will make a nylon cradle that I’ll tie to the chicken wire in the hope of staving that off as long as possible. There is another one about the same size nestled below the leaves and sitting on the ground, many about the size of robin eggs and covered in hair and still more dozens of yellow blooms. I’m wondering how many will turn into fruit.

The purple runner beans are an interesting phenomenon. Fuschia blooms, then green “Barbie” beans and then suddenly all purple, with a green inside. I should have enough for a meal by Monday. Today, we were able to get another meal of the regular green beans. They are picked, in the pot and on the table within 15-20 minutes and that is the very definition of fresh, don’t you think?

The zucchini is scary. They are like the loaves and fishes – they never seem to stop. The leaves are enormous, like something out of the jungle. They are covering up the tomato plant and the beans on that side of the garden, so today I clipped back about five of the stems and leaves to give the other plants more sun. Because those stems are hollow, when I cut them it sounded like a champagne cork popping. What fun! And for even more fun, I put those leaves onto the fence supports, like a tube over a pipe. The Damn Rabbits are probably wondering what that is all about.

The green peppers are swelling and we should have some ready to make summer salad on Monday. That’s my great grandmother Streit’s recipe. Very simple and very delicious – and perfectly named.

Summer Salad: Cut up tomatoes in chunks, green pepper in chunks and onions (my mom chunks, I have a tendency to dice). Put them all together in a bowl, sprinkle with a pinch of sugar, about 1/4 teaspoon, and set it aside for about an hour or so. Then refrigerate just until cold. Sooo good with hamburgers, steaks, ribs, you name it. The perfect summer salad. Get it?

The brussel sprouts get taller and taller with those tiny sprouts all along the stem. I am having such fun watching them.

The butterfly garden is recovering from the deadheading and the milkweed just keeps on blooming. I don’t think I like the cinnamon fern after all – it’s just a big huge brown thing at this point, so I may pull that out this weekend. The balloon flower is just covered in blooms, soft and pink, starry and delicate. It needs to be deadheaded nearly every day, as those blooms are short-lived. They burst into beauty and then are gone.

The grasses are blooming and the turkey foot is just splendid, with tiny red and gold seed pods like stars twinkling in the sunlight. Experimented with the Eupatorium, big brother of the Joe Pye Weed. It’s recommended to cut them down halfway before they bud out to get more flowers. Well, I cut down about half the stems and left the others to just grow. The stems I cut branched out to four or five stems and each stems has buds. But they are smaller than the buds on the stems I let grow. Should I have cut them back earlier? Or it that how it works?

The hibiscus are budding, the old phlox are budding and the new phlox, monardia and ligularia need watering. The pond plants are growing, the cypress tree edging over my neighbor’s fence. When I bought it about six years ago, it was about 10 inches tall. Now it is about 6 feet tall. That’s pretty rapid growth for a tree. The sedum is setting buds, like green snowflakes covering the flower beds.

I wanted to name Eliza Francesca after Grandma Streit (she was Frances) but that got voted down. Soundly. Now I think that worked out for the best. A Francesca needs to have very long mahogany hair and sultry chocolate eyes (Dominic, if he were a girl, would have made a good Francesca). Eliza has a blonde bob and snappy green eyes. Eliza is happy about it too, really enjoying her name. Except for that year in preschool when she told everyone she met that her name was Cinderella. A lot of uncomfortable smiles and frozen faces until they saw me silently shaking my head behind her. While it was such fun to enjoy her imagination, it was also very awkward and I didn’t know whether to be disappointed or relieved when that particular phase was past.

I decided on relieved.


One Response to “Swelling Watermelon and Laddered Panty Hose”

  1. Mom said

    In reference to the summer salad, not a pinch of sugar, a good 1/4 cup for a med. size bowl. We had it at Aunt Marges’last night and I knew something was not right, MARIE!!!!!!!!!!!!

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