Friday, September 5, 2008

Gardening at night

Bad news on the garden front: I came home this evening to find that several of the stems of my tomato plants had flopped to the ground. I don't know whether to blame the wind, which is picking up (what's left of Hurricane Hanna is heading our way), or the small hands of a neighborhood child or two; given that I had carefully trained the stems to grow around the stakes, I suspect the latter. At any rate, I had to pick several tomatoes early and have likely lost a significant number of tomatoes-to-be. At any rate, the stems are now tied to the stakes like slaves in an eco-friendly S&M dungeon.

Moreover, my dahlias, which hadn't been looking too good before I left, died while I was in San Francisco. Given that they were at the very center of my flowerbed, this was a real problem: my neatly planted yellow cockscombs, which are doing quite well, were nicely framing lots of dead brown stuff.

So . . . I bought a black pearl pepper plant at the farmer's market on Wednesday. I didn't have any more organic garden soil, so I ran out to the garden supply shop last night and picked up some soil and some lavender and purple chrysanthemums to help fill in the holes left by my departed dahlias.

By the time I got home last night, it was much too dark to plant the mums or place the pepper plant in a pot. I got a bit of a late start this evening as well, but I didn't want to wait until tomorrow; Hanna's leftovers should be here by morning. I tried to make the most of the vanishing light, but by the time I finished the sky was a deep blue and the mosquitoes were out in force.

The pepper plant really is lovely. Unfortunately, this harsh flash photo doesn't do it justice. FYI, this plant is chiefly used as an ornamental. However, the seller at the flea market assured me and a Web search confirmed that the peppers are edible--but very hot.

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