If you have struggled to grow tomatoes successfully, maybe it's time to give cucumbers a try.
They are much easier to grow than tomatoes. Just add some organic matter to the soil and mulch around the base of the plant. Cucumbers benefit from support, so install a trellis for the vines to climb. That's it.
The saying, "cool as a cucumber" refers to the fact that it's about 20 degrees cooler on the inside of a cucumber. And, cucumbers contain loads of nutrients like magnesium, vitamin C, and potassium.
Here's a few fun facts about cucumbers:
Cucumbers are 96 percent cool water.
"What wondrous life is this I lead!
Ripe apples drop about my head;
The luscious clusters of the vine
Upon my mouth do crush their wine;
The nectarine and curious peach
Into my hands themselves do reach;
Stumbling on melons, as I pass,
Ensnared with flowers, I fall on grass."
- Andrew Marvell, Thoughts in a Garden
This book on Tussie-Mussies is subtitled The Victorian Art of Expressing Yourself in the Language of Flowers and it came out in 1993. Laufer's book does a wonderful job of explaining the art of sending floral messages. Tussie-Mussies were originally called "talking bouquets" or "word posies." She describes how to make them (it's simpler than you might think). She also shares how the meanings of herbs and flowers have changed over time.
Laufer has been called a Floral Poet - and she give step-by-step instructions for how to make 60 different bouquets or tussie-mussies to express love, wish someone a Happy Birthday or Congratulations, express Sympathy, and commemorate celebrations like the birth of a baby, a wedding anniversary or a family gathering.
Today's Garden Chore
Reconsider adding coleus to your garden.
Coleus went through a resurgence a decade or so ago. For many gardeners it is a yearly addition to the garden. If you have a shady garden, coleus can add tremendous color to the garden. Nowadays, there are sun coleus that can handle sunny gardens as well. The Brazilian garden designer, Roberto Burle Marx, considered coleus a favorite. Over the years, your attraction to coleus may subside. But as with any old favorite, they can find their way back into your heart. Visit one garden with a beautiful planting of coleus, complementing the perfect perennials, and you'll be looking to add coleus back into your garden.
And here's a little tip about coleus; coleus has a natural rooting hormone, so use coleus water as you would willow water or plant coleus next to other plants to help them get established.
Reviving the little botanic spark in your heart
"In [a] secluded, unpretending graveyard, the [is an] epitaph to " Edward Ward, aged 92, who died in 1804," who, it appears, was gardener at Troston Hall for upwards of seventy years :Thus, thy long Round of Years and Toils fullfill'dRest, Good Old Man : no more to fear or hopeFrom the returning Seasons & their change,Till the Great Spring arrive ; & call the forthTo Bloom, we trust, &; Fruits, on earth unknown.The above forcibly illustrates the long servitude prevailing in Suffolk above a century ago, for it was reckoned that the family of Wards had been employed by the same family for 200 years."
"For a happy, healthy life, garden every day."
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