Worms and Flowers

Passion Flower of the Christ?

Posted in Passiflora by Lzyjo on June 30, 2009

The name Passion Flower does not come from aphrodisiac, passion-inflaming effects, but rather from a religious symbolism to the Passion of the Christ.

Conquistadors and Missionaries immediately noted a symbolism of the Crucifixion in the Passion flowers. To the missionaries the three stigmas represented nails used to crucify Jesus. The five anthers represented five wounds. The filaments of the flower symbolized the crown of thorns. The vine’s tendrils were interpreted as whips used by his tormentors. The leaves are interpreted in two ways, as the spear stabbed into his side, or the three lobes are interpreted as the Holy Trinity.Photobucket

I  have been trying to grow Passiflora Edulis from seed for over a year, a total disappointment so far. I couldn’t have been happier to see a sprawling mass of Maypops on one of the vacant parcels for sale in the development across the street where we walk the dog.

This Southeastern native Passiflora Incarnata, also called Purple Passionflower, it is the hardiest species in the genus, surviving as far north as Pennsylvania and Illinois and as far west as Texas. The name Maypop comes from their unexpected popping out of the ground in May after dieing back in the winter. The Passiflora genus is the Tennessee State Wildflower. Cherokee Indians living in Tennessee called the fruit Ocoee, leading to the designation of the Ocoee River Valley.

The quality of the fruit, also called a Maypop, or wild apricot, can be variable. Although there are some reports it is tasty. The flowers are not only magnificent, but they are sweetly fragrant and a favorite flower of the Zebra Longwing. I thought I saw a zebra swallowtail also, but I may have been mistaken. I’m trying to root a cutting because it seems like my P. edulis will never flower!

Printable Seed Envelope

Posted in Printable Seed Packet by Lzyjo on June 29, 2009

Now is prime seed saving time. Peas, lettuce and other cool season crops are are maturing and their seeds are almost ready to harvest. One of the most important things, besides basic seed saving information, is having packets and a place to store the precious seeds for next year’s garden.
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I got the instructions for this paper seed envelope pattern in a public domain book about children’s gardening on Project Gutenberg, which I haven’t been able to find since. I drafted the pattern and have been using it for quite a while now.

I made a traceable template out of lightweight cardboard box.  Any cereal, cheez-it, or snack food box will work. The pattern can also be printed on regular or reused paper.

Materials: Scissors, glue stick, paper

Instructions: Pre fold tabs A-C on dotted lines. Fold and glue in alphabetical order. Fold tab A. Apply glue to the outside vertical edge of tab B. Glue tab B to back of tab A. Fold tab C over edge AB and glue. Write the harvest date and contents. The envelope is ready to be filled. I usually wait until sealing before folding tab D.

Click on the link Printable Seed Packet and Adobe Reader will open a PDF that you can print and save.

FGU #5

Posted in Friday Garden Update by Lzyjo on June 26, 2009

It’s been two weeks since the last Friday Garden Update and a lot has changed. I’ll start with the good news. The sunflowers are at least eight feet tall. I keep meaning to bring the tape measure along, but always forget when it’s time. The total harvest stands at 45.36. Half of that, 21.98, is from zucchini, which still costs the out of season price of 1.49 a pound, making all of the zucchinis so far worth 50% more than the later in-season ones. We are still a little more than $36 in the red.

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These are Mammoth sunflowers bred for their large edible seeds.

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I love driving around and looking at all the large country gardens scattered along the roadside, there are some gorgeous ones, lush squash bushes, tasseling corn, but even DH commented that no one has sunflowers as big as mine.

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The lemon queen sunflowers for the Great Sunflower Project have a ton of buds, but no flowers yet.

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Golden Bantam Improved is tasseling and forming lots of ears, even the suckers, or whatever you want to call them, have ears. Instead of the typical one or two ears per stalk, these have three or four ears, only time will tell if they will fully develop. The few remaining Stowell’s Evergeen are tasseling and the the Silver Queens are on the way.

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The silks are turning brown I have a feeling we’ll be eating corn in a week or two!!!

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We are just about overwhelmed with zucchini. There is leftover zucchini casserole in the fridge and nine more zucchinis sitting on top of the fridge waiting to be used. Oy!

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The butternuts are slowly loosing their greenish stripes becoming more white. Eventually their signature creamy tan color will emerge.

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One of my favorites the delicious acorn squash is doing very well, just beginning to ripen.

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We already harvested the first two cucumbers and there are more on the way. Right in step with the Obamas who are probably in the same zone we are.

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There are a lot of green tomatoes, but no red ones….yet.

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Sugarbaby watermelon getting bigger everyday.

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The first Charentais melon, which DH already informed me he won’t be eating.

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The sweet peas are hanging in there with the constantly dry 95 degrees days. It is becoming more and more apparent that these are not Cupani’s. The flowers tauted as extremely fragrant are far from it. Even a bouquet in a small room gives no scent. The sweet peas fragrance is only there if you stick your nose directly up to the flower. Not what I imaged from the description.

The bad news comes mainly from the potatoes, which are mostly out of the ground. Total Dissopointment pretty much sums it up. Due to the severe and repeated flooding in April, most of the potatoes never got a foothold. Only seven plants of 5 lbs of seed potatoes reached full size. Instead of exponential returns, I barely surpased the total amout of seed potatoes planted. The flooding was bad enough, but then the dense water rententive clay dried, forming, literally, six inch thick clay bricks on the surface, that when smashed on to the ground didn’t even break, believe me it was a lot of work trying to bust those clods up!

The good news about the potatoes being gone is there is a new patch of space available, after weeding of course, but I can plant whatever I want. Not sure if it’s going to be more corn, zucchinis, tomatoes, or all three!

Happy Weekend Gardening Everyone!

Hey, Hey, Henry Horton

Posted in Sightseeing by Lzyjo on June 25, 2009

One of our favorite new places to visit is the Henry Horton State Park, it’s only  a 20 minutes drive, although it is two counties away.

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This resort park, including golf course, cabins, campgrounds, and restaurant was founded on the estate of Henry Horton, the 36th Governor of Tennessee from 1927 to 1933, not to be confused with Tim Horton, Canadian hockey player and founder of the Tim Horton’s coffee and doughnut chains. The family of Horton’s wife operated a dam and water-powered mill along the Duck River for 100 years, which now has its own trail.

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The most impressive thing about the park is its rock features.

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I’m not sure what the geological term is, but there are a lot of these type of crevices in the park. The one above, has very prominent clues that water once carved this space out. There were college students collecting data in one of them.

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The rocks themselves are beautiful, making me wonder how they got to look the way they do, but best of all is the beautiful moss in the moist forest.

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This is where I make my quilts.

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Before the renovation, of course!

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Weirdo alien fungus.

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This pretty flower was along part of the trail. I would be delighted if anyone could tell me what it is.

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This particular trail so goes through one of Tennessee’s unique Cedar Glades. Literature from the state park describes the glades as natural rock gardens. Amazing!

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There is a total paradox to seeing a strong weathered tree seemingly growing out of the rock.

Henry Horton is a nice place to visit and a lot less crowded than parks closer to Nashville The Warner Parks and Radnor Lake.