Posts Tagged ‘gardening’
The hibiscus, a tropic plant, grows well in southern California. I like the way the bold hues energize the garden.
The hibiscus is the national flower of Malaysia.
The summer harvest this year had a little twist.
There were the yearly reliable staples like the peppers. But this time, I had a wonderful tropical surprise.
It actually started off as a casual experiment. After eating a papaya, I felt like putting a few seeds in the ground and see if any would grow. As the months went by, a plant took hold and grew bigger. Then there were cream-colored flowers, and then, an exciting sight, a bunch of papaya fruits.
When the fruits ripened, I plucked and cut them, and was surprised to find that they were seedless! Initially,I was a little apprehensive about this. But from information from the Master Gardeners of Orange County and from the Internet, I found out that there could be different reasons for the seedlessness, and that the seedless papaya is not such an unusual occurrence for papaya trees grown in the United States.
There could be several reasons why the fruit is seedless. One is that many fruit trees produce seedless fruit for dozens of years. However, once they mature, they start to produce seeded fruit.
Another is that the seedless fruit is the result of parthenocarpy, which is defined as the development of fruit without fertilization.
Suffice to say that the fruits are safe to eat. I enjoyed the creamy, sweet taste of the papayas throughout the summer, and there were more than enough to share with my neighbor. It looks like this year, my backyard garden gave me a bit of an adventure.
It’s been a good harvest: from my two orange trees. The California Navel orange and the Valencia orange trees yielded enough fruits to share with friends and family.
The general consensus from those who sampled them is that the oranges have a right blend of sweet and sour notes. It is indeed a good feeling to nurture something from the earth.
I must confess that I did not know about this plant until spring this year when I first saw the flowers at a nursery. Their lively colors drew me each time I saw them, till I decided to get two plants for my garden.
The blanket flower, also known by its scientific name Gaillardia, is native to North America. It is said that the plant got its common name because some of the people who first encountered the flowers thought that the colors were similar to that of Native American blankets.
Somehow when I think about the blanket flower’s staying power, my thoughts also land on Facebook. On Facebook, where individuals can become friends instantly, I have also heard of stories where people you’ve met in real life can “unfriend” you or remove you as a friend, just like that, without giving any explanation. Hmm….that seems rather cold.
In contrast, given some sun and some water, the blanket flower doesn’t let up and continues to bloom, surprising and delighting the gardener. Now, that’s what I call a star performer.