Pied Beauty

Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889)

Glory be to God for dappled things—
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches' wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough;
And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim.

All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:

Praise him.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Greetings From The Tomato Forest

It wasn't supposed to be a tomato forest.  I had such high hopes: this time, I'll really stay on top of the pruning.  I need to take lessons from my friend Peg T., who's a ruthless pruner.  Her tomatoes, therefore, suffer less from disease and sunlight is able to reach all the leaves.   My tomatoes are aiming for the roof.  There are only four plants here, in a 5 foot by 5 foot space. 

See my optimistic little walkway? 
You know how it is.  At planting time, the tiny transplants look so adrift in the huge area allotted to them.  Each little plant sulked during the heat of August, under its tiny tomato cabana.  And now, they are reaching their green arms over the fence, wrestling with each other and with the fig ivy, breaking under the weight of their own leaves.

Sunchaser -- coming right along!
But so far, they look reasonably healthy.  The hardest thing about the fall garden is the fact that all the insect pests are awake, alive and well.  Sometimes we can get a head start on them in the spring, but not the fall.  And this August was much hotter than I expected (like this October!).  My plants have responded with lots of green growth, but not too much fruit set.  Actually, I'm surprised any set at all, considering how warm late October has been.  Yesterday and the day before both set records for heat: 90 and 91 degrees, respectively.

Sweet Million.  Too hot to set fruit.
The first one to set fruit was Sun Chaser, a disease-resistant hybrid that supposed to perform well in hot weather.  It has several good-sized green tomatoes on it now.  Carmello and Champion both have teeny, tiny tomatoes.  And little Sweet Million has lots of flowers, but so far, no fruit. 

Here's hoping for a cool front!

1 comment:

  1. These look good!! I'm looking forward to a tomato forest too and hopefully I'll have one in two months or so:)I usually plant around this time of the year and till early May we have homegrown tomatoes. Your plants/blooms look very promising. Enjoy!!