Friday, July 9, 2010

July Surprises

This week has brought me two sets of flowers I have never seen, from my hen and chick plant and from my spider plant. The hen and chick flower stalk is a little jarring -- making for an oddly asymmetric and top-heavy container. The mother hen plant will die after flowering, but fortunately there are plenty of chicks to take over. Some folks cut the stalks off, but I will keep it for now-- I want to try my hand at collecting and germinating the seeds.

Last fall, my son rooted a spider plant baby in a little dish of dirt at the Garfield Park Conservatory. He has long since moved on to more delicious plant projects (strawberries, blueberries), but I tended this little pot all winter. Now it has started to seriously flower. There are spider plants all over my office but I can't remember ever seeing a stalk with oodles of white flowers on it --there must have been at least twenty in the first flush and you can see in the picture that more buds are forming. I put the plant on my porch for the summer, so perhaps that is why it suddenly became so enthusiastic?

The other July surprise is my sudden change in horticultural fortune. A few weeks ago, I posted grumpily about the poor performers of my summer garden. Well, those plants must have been shamed by their cyber-scolding because they suddenly are showing signs of vigor and health. Above is my newly leafing Issai kiwi vine. Here is my once-bedraggled passion fruit vine:

Even my toothache plant has started to flower abundantly with these weird, wacky globes. No wonder this is also called an eyeball plant!

Lest you think my gardening luck has completely turned around, check out my fingerling potato leaves:

Now is this blight? This humid weather is a dream for fungal infections. As I have never grown potatoes before, I also wonder if it might just mean the plant is reaching the end of its life -- it flowered abundantly about 3 weeks ago. I may turn out one container just to see. Stay tuned....

1 comment:

  1. My tomato plants have some leaves like this from the moisture and humidity and heat. I usually just cut them off. Last year, I had whole plants that looked brown and curly but the tomatoes were fine.