Growing vegetables, playing vegetables, having fun

Today afternoon I’ve been gardening with my friends again. Remember how excited we were this spring? I am happy to announce, things are under control even in the middle of the gardening season. The recipe? I think it is in the fact, that we do not take it too seriously, I mean, we all like to come to our garden, we like to work there much better as going to fitness class, we like learning new skills and green theory, but great part of our gardening is also having a coffee together, talking new sorts to plant and good recipes to try with our harvest. Then we do battle weeds, too, but again, not too seriously, and it turns out to be a good idea-our beds are green (there are some weeds around) despite hot days, a reasonable amount of  weeds gives some shade and protection to young plants, I guess. We did some mistakes, too, but that’s learning by doing (mistakes). The biggest was we planted different sorts of zucchini and pumpkins all the place around. We simply were not able to resist to that many sorts and we were even less able to decide which would be the best. The consequence of this liberal attitude is now clear to each one passing our garden, vines of different pumpkins, growing here and there without a logical pattern seem as an alien  invasion. By now the broccoli and red beets have already lost their territories, yellow pumpkin flowers shine from all angles of our amateur gardening experiment. But then we planted many flowers, too, and when the sun shines bright  all the garden looks as a big bouquet! I wanted to make some pictures today, but it started to rain . By the next time when I make some pics to post, have,please, a look on how versatile homegrown vegetables are ! 

Lemons and art

When I remember Capri I remember lemon trees. Blue blue sky, azure sea and yellow, yellow lemons on the trees. I brought some lemons home from Capri. As they were gone I felt so sad not having any good photos of Capri lemon trees. I had  photos of Capri lemons, even of ceramic ones, but of no lemon trees.  Searching net for nice pictures of lemon trees I’ve found a picture as bright as those lemons from Capri. And I’ve discovered a great American artist,Charles Demuth. His art makes me happy, as those lemon trees from Capri did.





Zinnias and a Blue Dish with Lemons - Charles Demuth

“Zinnias and a Blue Dish with Lemons” oil on Canvas. Charles Demuth, 1924, from:

File:Demuth Charles The Boat Ride from Sorrento.jpg

The boat ride from Sorrento, Charles Demuth, from:



Masquerade and Plants




There were many beautiful illustrations in the old zoological textbook I wrote about in my last post. Today I’ve picked some illustrious examples of what is known as masquerade or mimesis. Basically, prey animals during evolution developed mechanisms, to camouflage and have higher surveillance rates. Mimetic animals look like something else, not interesting to the predator, like bark, twig, leaf or even lichen. You have the examples on the pictures above, they are actuary  full of  mother nature’s wit. But could it be presumed, that mimesis is a form of  aggressive influential behaviour? Meaning ,that flora in general, is in a way pushing other species to try to survive by being more flora like. Which in turn ends in better surveillance rates of real flora, as the, so to say, fake mimetic subjects de facto are ”incompetent plants”? Would like to hear your opinion about this science-fiction idea!

Zinnia-mal de ojos and human eye


Fall colours bring the last sun before winter.But before forests turn their foliage to yellowish part of the spectre the last summer flowers pretend this summer will never end.Zinnias make even this little garden an oasis of summer,delivering a piece of colour memoirs to those passing by. I’ve remembered little zinnia bouquets from the food market that we loved so much, that we kept buying them until we believed they are nothing special and traded them for some fancy flowers in trend.What a pity a human eye recognizes colours  but the meanings remain unseen just too often……

Johann Gottfried Zinn was born in Schwabach. Considering his short life span, Zinn made a great contribution to the study of anatomy. In his book Descriptio anatomica oculi humani,       he provided the first detailed and comprehensive anatomy of the human eye.

In addition to his medical career, Zinn was also an ardent botanist. In 1750, the German Ambassador to Mexico sent Zinn some seeds of mal de ojos,  which was considered a weed in Mexico, but the plant briefly aroused interest in Germany. [1]

Botanist Carolus Linnaeus designated a genus of flowers in the family Asteraceaenative from Mexico as Zinnia  in his honour. Zinnia was introduced to Europe in 1613.  from  :

Self Portrait Dedicated To Dr Eloesser 1940 - Frida Kahlo


Woman With A Red Zinnia - Mary Cassatt


Zinnia × hybrida flower and foliage
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Subfamily: Asteroideae
Tribe: Heliantheae[1]
Genus: Zinnia
Type species
Zinnia peruviana (L.) L.
Crassina Scepin
Diplothrix DC.
Mendezia DC.
Tragoceros Kunth[2]from:

Cichorium intybus blue flowers and Horace diet



Chicory is quiet an unnoticeable plant ,surviving where streets end, sometimes even trying to invade side walks, growing in the corners of kindergarten playgrounds and behind shopping moles where city lawns meet native plants.But when it starts to flower , then it is seen  afar. Sky-blue flowers look as small oceans of blue colour , transforming weed-like into sky-like. Once far ago I wanted to have this beauty with me, at home, so I picked a big bouquet and put it in a vase . How disappointed was I ,recognizing chicory is no cut-flower plant, nice blue petals shrank and my bouquet was a sad one. Since then I admire chicory there, where I find it! 

The chicory plant is one of the earliest cited in recorded literature. Horace mentions it in reference to his own diet, which he describes as very simple: “Me pascunt olivae, me cichorea, me malvae” (“As for me, olives, endives, and mallows provide sustenance”) from:

File:Fedor Bronnikov 014.jpg

Horatius reads before Maecenas, Fyodor Andreyevich Bronnikov (1827–1902), from:

Sambucus nigra and an old watchmaker





A big, old elder  grows  in the corner of our garden. No none knows, who has planted it. No one even notices it, growing there. Yet each year, in early summer, elder steps out from his corner, its milliard of tiny yellowish white flower stars bring fresh smell telling summer is here to everyone entering the garden. What is the flavour of this smell like? It is a glass of sweet elder syrup on ice with a slice of a lemon sipped in dark shade reading a good book and enjoying hot summer days.  Year after year, summer after summer ,it is the same smell pretending to be the sweetest elder syrup we sip late into winter to remember great days of last summer. When little white stars fade away one always knows, next year the elder will flower again, as an old clock, telling the summer is here …

The pith of elder has been used by watchmakers for cleaning tools before intricate work. from:

The watchmaker - Charles Spencelayh

“The watchmaker” oil on Canvas. Charles Spencelayh from:

Hyacinth and rebirth of spring

In Greek mythology Hyacinth was a divine hero.His cult dates from the Mycenaean era .When Hyacinth was killed by Zephyrus, Olymp made flower from the spilled blood of Hyacinth.As this myth talks about death and rebirth of nature hyacinth flower is the one deserving this name indeed.Each year, after winter ,the bulb produces one of the first spring flowers,in wonderful colours  smelling as coming from eternity,giving us hope that after cold winter spring is bringing new chance to everyone………Mozart at only eleven years,  in 1767, wrote opera based on Hyacinth story-Apollo and Hyacinthus. From the same time originates also book about rare flowers with botanical illustration of Hyacinth (see link below)…….after 255 springs Mozart music still brings spring, as does hyacinth flower-but I wonder how is with rebirth of Hyacinthus viridis from mentioned botanical illustration , is it extinct yet or hopefully not?











hyacinth-old botanical illustration

Hyacinthus orientalis
Scientific classificatione
Kingdom: Plantae
clade: Angiosperms
clade: Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Asparagaceae
Subfamily: Scilloideae
Genus: Hyacinthus
Hyacinthus litwinowii
Hyacinthus orientalis
Hyacinthus transcaspicusfrom:

Syringa vulgaris or smell of spring




When May comes after a long winter, it looks like green hues are painting the landscape all over the place.Since always you remember the spring smell of new leaves opening all over the forests, gardens, parks.And, indeed, when then first fresh green tiny leaves are unpacked from buds ,it again feels in  spring of this year everything could be possible, even the almost forgotten smell of lilacs seems to become more as mere memory quite soon.And when  then comes the first tiny spring rain,washing down leafy smell from the air,you feel spring is already evidently here ,but then you open the window and sweet smell of lilacs embraces you.There it is, lilacs in fool bloom , and now you know for sure, this spring is real…… 

Open Window Lilacs Study 1886 - Valentin Aleksandrovich Serov

“Open Window Lilacs Study 1886″ oil on Canvas,Valentin Aleksandrovich Serov, from:

The Lilac Bouquet - Serkis Diranian

“The Lilac Bouquet” oil on Canvas, location: Private collection.Serkis Diranian, from:

The Bunch of Lilacs - James Jacques Joseph Tissot

“The Bunch of Lilacs” oil on Canvas.James Jacques Joseph Tissot from:

Gathering Lilacs - Daniel Ridgway Knight

“Gathering Lilacs” oil on Canvas Daniel Ridgway Knight, from:

Lilacs - Boris Kustodiev

“Lilacs” oil on Canvas Boris Kustodiev, from:

Prunus serrulata and Cherry blossom Viewing

Cherry Blossom at Asakura - Utagawa or Ando Hiroshige

Utagawa or Ando Hiroshige:”Cherry Blossom at Asakura” oil on Canvas.from:

Cherry Blossoms at Asakayama near Edo - Torii Kiyonaga

Torii Kiyonaga: “Cherry Blossoms at Asakayama near Edo” oil on Canvas.from:

Cherry Blossom - Pierre Amede Marcel-Beronneau

Pierre Amede Marcel-Beronneau:”Cherry Blossom” oil on Canvas.from:

Cherry blossom Viewing at Kiyomizu Hall in Ueno - Ogata Gekko

Ogata Gekko:”Cherry blossom Viewing at Kiyomizu Hall in Ueno” oil on Canvas.from:

Spring makes me happy each year .This year the winter was cold and so long we almost forgot the colours of a spring sunny day. Yet it is now here, opening our hopes towards the future, making us believe sun will shine forever and all these vivid colours of spring flowers in breeze will carry us into some new days. Unexpectedly,this Japanese cherry in full bloom embraced me not only with the smell of new day to come, but with sweet memories of past days at the same time.Admiring pink cherry buds opened in early day I remembered how many years ago my son couldn’t wait cherry blossoms to fall down to make us a pink carpet on the pavement on our way to kinder-garden.And as these thoughts under cherry tree have carried me back into memories I’ve searched across some old art works with cherry trees catching my memories-to be transposed in future of the spring day again, staying fascinated with the impression of old and new times catching each other under a cherry tree!

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