Monday, August 24, 2009

Worth the Wait

It took more than a whole month longer than last year but the tomatoes are finally here. And don't they look just gorgeous? Last season my best one-day harvest was 21 Petitbec tomatoes. So far this year I'm up to a total of four tomatoes. I guess that makes them all the more precious. The colour and flavour are outstanding and lucky for me there are plenty more on the vine.

I have to thank Connie at Notes from A Cottage Garden for introducing me to the flavour sensation of Brandywine Tomatoes. Connie, you were absolutely right! Brandywines taste great!!! Make that: Brandywines taste GREAT!!! I started this Brandywine Red by the kitchen door in February. I plucked it from the vine late yesterday afternoon. My expectations were high and this tomato did not disappoint. It makes store-bought tomatoes taste bland, bland, bland. This tomato is truly like tasting a bit of sunshine. There are least another four Brandywine Reds on the vine right now. All of them are an infuriating green. With fall fast approaching I'm hoping for an intense burst of heat to help them ripen. Otherwise I'll be paying a visit to The Nutty Gnome to ask for the secrets to an awesome Green Tomato Chutney.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Green Tomatoes

This is the only tomato in the garden that's looking exactly as it should: green. It's a green zebra. It's not quite ripe but at least it seems to be on track to make an appearance on a salad plate really soon.

The Petitbec tomatoes are way, way, way behind. I plucked last year's first Petitbec on July 18th. It is now August 10th. August 10th! There's not even a hint of a blush on these little guys.

After an extremely slow start the Brandywine Reds have taken off. The vines and fruit are large and vigorous. But yet again I have not seen anything to suggest the tomatoes will be turning red anytime soon. I'm beginning to wonder if I'll be able to harvest anything before September.

To make matters more frustrating, just look at all this basil. I planted it to enjoy with my not-yet-ripe-and-maybe-never-ripe tomatoes. What a waiting game! I should really just make pesto sauce!

As for those green tomatoes, I'm sure they will come along...eventually. I am planning for a glut of green tomatoes this fall though. I have made pickled green tomatoes in the past. To my surprise they were quite delicious. Are your tomatoes late? What do you do with your green tomatoes?

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Clematis Niobe

I am always planting stuff with the expectation that I won't see blooms until the following season. So when I planted a Clematis "Niobe" late last month I never expected to see this.

A beautiful bloom...

...unfurling on its trellis. There are least another four buds ready to open.

The camera makes "Niobe" look much more purple than it is. In reality, it is more of a rich red. The colour is a welcome addition to my mostly purple garden palette but not too much of a departure from my traditional favourites. Niobe joins another clematis, "Ernest Markham," in the yard. In a few seasons, I'm hoping both will become the thick, lush, floriferous vines I've been dreaming about for years.