When I have nothing else to think about I ponder the inner life of plants.  Back in August I wrote about my petunias and promised an update.  They finally petered out in mid-September and, to celebrate the autumnal equinox, I uprooted them but left them lying there, hoping the dropped seeds would result in  many baby petunias in the spring.  The petunias next door were also finished but I’ve been wondering  why the petunias a few blocks away at my church are still in full bloom.  Were they started later?   Are they a different, late-blooming petunia?

Now, I know there are some tulips that are early blooming and others are later-in-the-spring blooming.  I know that the flowers on the hostas in my yard are already bedraggled when the hostas right next door are in their prime.  This happens every year.  And it’s not just a difference of a few days; it must be about a month.  They obviously have a different inner time clock.  They are still blooming as I write this.   Mine bloom first.  Louis’ bloom later.  That’s just the way it is.

As I also mentioned in August I planted some petunia seeds at the very end of July and I am pleased to report that now, almost two months later, I have fine healthy petunia plants, about six inches tall, that might possibly be thinking about  budding.  What is the problem?  If it were spring they would have budded at a much smaller size.  Do they know that frost (coming soon) is not good for petunia flowers?

Just to experiment on petunias as an indoor house plant I potted some and put them on a window sill.  Will they oblige and bloom in winter or are they going to say, “Silly woman.  Just who do you think you are to try to re-arrange our inner workings?”  Even with plants we have that old nature vs. nurture dilemma.  Just how much can you override their DNA programming?

While I’m talking about plants, there are still some green tomatoes in the garden but they are just about done.  I’ve never had such a bountiful tomato harvest in my life!  The freezer is full and I’ve given many away.    For those who are interested, I just throw them into a freezer bag and pop them into the freezer whole.  When I want to use them I put the frozen tomatoes under the warm water faucet and slip their skins off, then do with them what I will.  I tell myself tomato seeds are probably full of nutrients.  I will not buy a tomato all winter, and probably not until I grow my own next year.

The potatoes are not yet ready to be harvested.  The flat leaf parsley will be happy until December.  That will be the end of my garden for 2008.  Already I look forward to spring!


For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven,
A time to be born and a time to die,
A time to plant and a time to pluck up what is planted… Ecclesiastes 3:1-2