Now that the night bloomer (Epiphyllum oxypetalum) has bloomed, it’s time to get back to normal and resume mid-summer gardening activities. As noted, the flower lasts just one night, and by the next day it’s closed and wilting.
One of the commenters on the bloom post yesterday, Robin(Bumblebee), asked why a bloom like that would only last a single night. I don’t know, but if someone does know, please comment with the answer, as it is a good question.
I’m just happy to have one bloom for one night, but where these are grown outside year around, they can have dozens of blooms at the same time, which would be quite a sight.
Last night while this was blooming I didn’t do much else in the garden, other than the necessary watering of container plantings, as I didn’t want to get caught up in something, lose track of time, and miss the event. I suffer a bit from Garden Attention Distraction Syndrome, GADS, so I have to be careful when total focus is called for.
I didn’t even go out to the vegetable garden to check for more produce. I violated my rule about checking the zucchini squash EVERY DAY.
Guess what I found this evening in the vegetable garden?
Zucchini, more zucchini. ‘Ambassador’, ‘Gold Rush’, ‘Gold Bar’ and ‘Cue Ball’, all there. All big. Most of these are going straight to work tomorrow and all my co-workers who say “if you ever have any extra zucchini…” will be taking these off my hands. I might just get to work earlier than normal and leave these on their desks and act all innocent if they ask me if I know where they came from.
There was another surprise out in the garden this evening.
The first tomato that is not a cherry tomato. I’ve greatly enlarged it here as it is a bit underwhelming in size, being about the size of a ping pong ball. This is not the kind of first tomato for which one invokes a ritual or plans a Festival of the First Tomato around. It’s an early variety called ‘Oregon Spring’. It feels almost ‘not right’ to count this as my first tomato of 2007. If I do count it, it will be a tie with my first tomato from last year, also picked on July 19th. But that was a nice big Brandywine.
I am glad, in a way, that I didn’t go out to the vegetable garden yesterday evening because if I had found this first tomato on the same day the night bloomer was blooming, it would have been too much gardening excitement for one day. I would have really been torn on what to focus on. Each event happens just once a year and deserves total focus.
For the record, I have picked a couple of cherry tomatoes every day since about last Friday, so if I count this little tomato-ette as the first tomato, maybe I should lower all my standards and count those cherry tomatoes instead. That would make July 13th the date of my first tomato for this year.
What would you do?
While you think about it, I’m going to go ahead and eat my ‘Oregon Spring’ tomato.
Update: The ‘Oregon Spring’ tomato was actually pretty good. It had a nice tomato-y taste for an early variety. That makes me lean toward counting it as the first tomato, though I didn’t go through any elaborate rituals or ceremonies when I ate it. I’ll have to do that later for the first ‘big’ tomato.