April 18th: marigold polka dots

IMG_8172Been a quiet week at work, as cold as it is. I took a little stroll around the greenhouse before I left to see how things were going and found this little flat. You hate to see the marigolds come down with marigold pox. But seriously, I have no idea what’s up with them. My Essential Plant Pathology textbook is glaring at me from across the room, by the way.

January 31st – Chinese New Year

Went out of town this weekend to celebrate the Chinese New Year because you can’t have enough reasons to eat Chinese food. On Friday night, I was too busy chopping vegetables and drinking vodka to take too many pictures. (That was the actual new year, I think, but it was our prep night for the festivities the next day.)

I did get up close and personal with some of these tulips that my friend had bought, though. Here’s a detail of some pollen grains spilled across the petals of one flower.

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Schizanthus

I bought some Schizanthus or butterfly flower the other day. Same family as tomatoes and company: Solanaceae or DEADLY NIGHTSHADE. I wouldn’t have guessed that connection straight off, but the leaves do bear a resemblance to dainty little tomato leaves. Especially if those tomato leaves spent the night with some kind of fern. The things I think about!

Deadly nightshade might be the theme of these pictures. They’re at night, number one. And number two, they’re as deadly as delicate foliage, fake lace, and old, plain wallpaper in the glow of Christmas lights can suggest. That is pretty deadly.

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As I type this, my cat is licking my sweater, for some reason.

Meet some MVPs from my balcony container garden

My rickety balcony just got a little more rickety with the arrival of some new plants from the garden center and the farm. Getting it all tweaked now, and will post pictures of the shambling mess at some point, but for now, here are some of my favorites. Or…you know…the stuff that’s actually blooming right now.

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Pansy in a Minnesota mug my mom gave me.

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Dahlberg daisy.

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Osteospermum ‘Margarita White Spoon.’ Can’t wait til this one starts to open more.

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Fivespot. SO. FUN.

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Strawflower

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Dianthus

January 28th

Well, it’s some exciting weather out there today in Minnesota land. In fact, it’s been hairy for a few days, not that I’d know firsthand as I have holed myself up in my apartment because it’s dangerous out there. There was a thick fog this morning that they said would probably cease to be an issue by noon, but when I headed home it was still lingering and so was the thin sheen of ice coating everything.

The first four pictures are of the seedpods of velvetleaf, a very common weed alongside roads and farm fields. I took some pictures of them last year (they can be found here at the end of the entry). The weather was similar then, although the plants had iced over a little more spectacularly.

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BEHOLD THE PICTURE O’ THE DAY

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Morning glories

It took some time, but the morning glories are now blooming. I think I prefer the look of the flower unopened to opened. That’s because the former, in its fully furled-up stage, looks like a magical unicorn horn made out of candy and rainbows. And it still looks quite nice and delicate as it’s beginning to open.

It rained earlier today, so that was novel.

In other growing things news, here is some salsa I made with a variety of grape and cherry tomatoes from the farm.

And here is the first pumpkin from one of my vines. A stiff wind could knock it over, but I love it anyway.

Minnesota State Fair: parts 2 and 3

I made it to the State Fair three times this year, which is not excessive at all. The set of pictures from my first, briefest trip isĀ here.

The Sky Ride

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August 28th

The last few days have been brassica-centric (Brassicaceae being the family of that most redolent group of vegetables, cabbage, kale, broccoli, cauliflower, and many others). I’ve been admiring the kale and the purple cabbage out in the field in particular — the kale because the plants, having been periodically harvested, now look like funny little crinkly palm trees, and the cabbage because look at it, it’s pretty.

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August 20th

This Saturday, I went to the local farmers market and, inspired by the flower-growing vendors, had a sudden insatiable urge to arrange some flowers. I’m definitely a flower person. Not so much a flower arranging person. So I just threw some things together and somewhere, florists wept. I particularly liked my goldenrod/Chinese lantern bouquet.

But wait. What is that young upstart bouquet in the background?

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