Spot of Gardening

Gardening in South Louisiana

Into the Cosmos

Cosmos, Mezcla de Luces Brilliantes, (Bright Lights Mix) is a flower that I have tried growing from seed this year.  Like sunflowers, this is definitely an easy to grow plant for beginners.  The seedlings will sprout and grow within a week and be transplantable within 2-3 weeks.  Then, it’s just water and watch it grow and flower.  The feathery leaves and the airy flowers are so pleasing to the eyes.   These are supposed to grow up to 3 ft but some are still growing at 4 ft for me.   It’s a strange mix in that the plants look slightly different from each other.  Some started blooming last month at 2 1/2 ft and continue to provide beautiful yellow and orange blooms.   There are also a few that look much larger with bigger leaves with no flowers as of yet.  It’s a mystery but these are very healthy looking plants so I’ll just continue to observe.  The bonus factor is their resilience to the heat and humidity of the deep south.

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August 8, 2009 Posted by | Flowers | 2 Comments

Melons, Melons

With all the space underneath the dragon fruit orchard, I decided to grow melons, specifically Honda melons.  Honda melons are a hybrid melon from Japan.  It looks similar to a honeydew but tastes like a cantalope.  I planted the seedlings in the garden plot next to the dragonfruit orchard and let the melon plants crawl over into the ground underneath the dragonfruit orchard.  The melon plants’ leaves keep the dragonfruit roots, which are shallow, cool in the summer heat and the melon plants have plenty to space to sprawl over the ground without overwhelming other garden crops.   This has been a win-win situation for both fruit crops.  I was able to harvest a few melons and they are delicious.   It is best to let the melons continue to ripen in your kitchen a few more days after harvesting.   When the nice aroma of melon can be smelled from the outside skin, it is ready to eat.  It has a nice crispness in texture with the the mild sweetness of cantalopes.   The melons are a good size, about 10- 12  inches in diameter.  Yummy.

August 7, 2009 Posted by | Fruits and Vegetables | Leave a comment

Lazy Dog Days of Summer

With this sultry humid heat that we have been experiencing,  gardening outside has become quite unbearable for the human gardeners.  To get any bit of gardening done (mainly pulling weeds and watering),  early mornings is the only time to really get out there.   Otherwise, the humidity and the heat will definitely knock you out.  Late evenings would be okay if you don’t mind being eaten alive.   “OFF” doesn’t actually work very well for me.  The mosquitoes around my area seem immune to it or they are very aggressive suckers.   I always end up with at least ten very itching bites each time I venture out to the garden in the evenings.   On the other hand, my “doggy” gardening partner, Lucky,  is enjoying the hot summer days.  Taking a “que”  from him, I have decided to enjoy my garden from a distance, like from my covered patio and sipping a nice and cool iced tea.  LOL.

August 2, 2009 Posted by | Animals & Pets | 4 Comments

Flowers of the Night

Since I mentioned the night blooming cereus in my last post, I thought I should post some photos of the flowers, which just bloomed last night.  There was an abundance of the flowers blooming last night (10 beautiful flowers!).  Since these flowers only last one night, it is very exciting when they start to bloom.  In chinese culture, the night blooming cereus is used to reference a one night affair ( a beautiful and fleeting romance).   I can understand why since the flowers are so beautiful and the fragrance can be very overwhelming and heady if you have a few of them blooming at once.   The plant itself is not too pretty with flat succulant type leaves that tend to fall messily over but the flowers make it worthwhile as a keeper plant.   I grow them on the patio in pots so they can be covered or brought indoors in case of frost.  When the flowers start to bloom, you can actually see the flowers opening throughout the night.  It is quite a show.  Last year, I brought one into the restaurant where I was working and everyone enjoyed the flowers blooming together.

August 1, 2009 Posted by | Flowers | 8 Comments