Citrullus lanatus var. lanatus


A perfect fruit for a hot summer day is green outside, red inside, with black seeds, best served cold.For botanists pepo, for others just watermelon.  Watermelon is my summer favourite, but looks like I am not alone at these fields. Watermelon seeds found in the thomb of Pharaoh Tutankhamun could have looked just the same as my watermelon served today. The serving tray might have been slightly different at that times, perhaps something like bamboo tray ornated with golden lilies and turquise lotuses, considering they didn’t invent supermarkets and plastic yet, but the fruit itself was sweet and tasty as it is today, I bet. And it had some seeds, as it has today, for sure. At least it is what archeology teaches us. I only wonder whether those Pharaoh watermelon  seeds are on display somewhere ( be careful what you do with your watermelon seeds as they might be unburried once ! ) , or did someone try to grow them again? I would welcome any information about that, till then I will enjoy in sweet watermellons and, please, try to do the same!

Morning coffee landscape




My morning coffee is the time to think about the day to come , about plans and new ideas, about things I just have to do and about the pleasant moments I wish to make today, about the sorrows and joy to come. It is the time of a day I need to be completly alone, slowly sipping my coffee to leave the dreams of the night and to enter the new day . This morning my coffee itself was like a dream,  painted landscape from the small cup embraced me suddenly,  I stepped into a tiny porcelain village, staring at the blue porcelain sea under blue porcelain sky, black dots, porcelain birds flew from somewhere. Then a breeze came, bringing fresh smell from the mountains, smell of the trees, flowers, forest. Staring to the painted landscape on my cup I noticed some trees, bushes, a garden perhaps. It felt like walking in a fairy, and I was wandering what the sorrows of the porcelain people in the morning would be. Tomorrow morning, when I come back to the porcelain land they might tell me……

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 ! 

Buddleia and botanical correspondence anno 1702





Buddleja or Buddleia , the butterflyy bush, was named by Linneaus in honour of botanist Adam Buddle . Buddle (1662-1715) died before the bush was named after him, but reading some old letters of him we can assume he, as a profound botany lover altrough a wery humble and modest one, would appreciate this gesture…

You were pleased to say you would send me some seeds and roots of your northern plants : they would be extreamly wellcome to me and to Chelsea Garden, which is now putting into very good order ; and the first place we design ( for I call myself of the number ) to cultivate all the rare English plants we can get to grow there ; and I hope you will answer our longing expectation of some from you, in answer to which I promise you the seeds and roots of any plants growing in the garden, which I assure you is very much improving.
I have no more to say now; but beg specimens, or your remarks on the following catalogue.
I am, Sir,
Your humble servant,
Excerpt from the letter from Mr. Buddle to Dr. Richardson, Gray’s Inn, May 28th, 1709
From: Extracts from the Literary and Scientific Correspondence of……Richard Richardson, Dawson Turner, Charles Sloman, Thordarson Collection, Harvard University,

Verbascum thapsus, Theophrastus and Historia plantarum




This summer a big mullein has appeared in our garden , I don’t know where has it come from, nor where would it go to next year, but I am grateful for its beauty bringing joy in our days. Apparently it has been a big traveler for a long time, meeting Carolus Linnaeaus to get its name in 1753. Thapsus part of its name was introduced even before, by Theophrastus. Each time we admire yellow mullein flowers we should praise Theophrastus, head of Peripatetic school for almost forty years that  wrote Historia plantarum- Enquiry into Plants to influence renaissance science profoundly. There he introduced classification of plants based on their reproduction ( anno 350 BC !! ) and was since then considered father of the botany. And as mullein has many flowers, so Theophrastus had many talents and interests. Regarding happiness I feel admiring my visiting mullein shall I cite:

In ethics, he regarded happiness as depending on external influences as well as on virtue and famously said that “life is ruled by fortune, not wisdom.” from:

Anything else to say as: enjoy the summer beauty of mullein as long it lasts !

Theophrastus, depicted as a medieval scholar in theNuremberg Chronicle 

Frontispiece to the illustrated 1644 edition of theEnquiry into Plants (Historia Plantarum) both pictures from:

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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: