Today I am showing off the new camera and the indoor Botanic Gardens started by Heather. We've a growbag with tomatoes and sweet peas on Nini's windowsill (illustrated, and black-lined tank of potatoes in the sitting-room (not illustrated). While R. and Heather started their toms at the same time, ours have made the best start with healthy, dense growth and even a few flowers already. Heather's been showing us how to nip the side branches, and recommends we use a paint brush to preferentially pollinate flowers. Since I have two varieties, if I want them to fruit true I suppose I'll need to use reproductive technology. It's artificial insemination, but for plants we like to call it managed pollination.
More pics of the spring bloom Heather brought into the house this week in cuttings from the abandoned millhouse's garden, in the fields over the road. We received fragrant lilac twigs she cut, with three shades of floral spikes, and another overflowing vase of our favourites, deep-pink rhododendrons.
Another rhodie from last weekend in full glory. And look- there's a juvenile monkey hiding in its branches.
Her Catness has been taking an unhealthy interest in the sweetpeas, which are consequently somewhat stunted, but she leaves the solanaceous tomato and potato shoots well alone. Does her feline gustatory system allow her to detect the alkaloids in these, or does she reject some unpleasant flavour she perceives? Would that flavour be the same as what I perceive as bitter, or different? I can understand her going for pea shoots since these are mild and sweet in flavour, but seem to remember reading once that cats have no perception of the taste of sweet. I wouldn't pick her as much of an experimental subject anyway, since she eats only one brand of crunchies (By Appointment to Her Catness) and had the temerity to reject a juicy fresh prawn earlier today.