Hello fellow readers,
I recently returned from a respite in Virginia Beach. What a treat to enjoy summer weather and sunshine especially given our summer of wetness. In the fridge was a half a watermelon in plastic wrap which I didn’t think would still be viable. But it was. When I purchased it from our local farm stand, it didn’t occur to me to ask if it was seedless because most commercially sold watermelons are these days. We spoke last June about the Oxymoron of Watermelon and learned seedless watermelons aren’t truly seedless. Those little white thingies among the watery pink fruit are infertile seeds made by hybridizing two varieties of plants. True, they’re digestible, but so are traditional black seeds if you’re so inclined. However, our leftover watermelon was loaded with seeds which would make the eating experience overly gritty. It took over a half hour to deseed the half a mini-melon. Likely because I was still in vacation-head, I found the process therapeutic. I marveled at the magic of the watermelons strategy to reproduce. Like many fruits, the abundance of seeds inside the fleshy yield are eaten by critters and then make their way out the other end still viable to sprout. Haven’t we all tossed a pumpkin after it served as a decoration in our homes then find a volunteer pumpkin plant the following year? It seems magical to me. A miracle really. Like the Virginia Beach sunrises of pink and orange skies over the rippled glass of the ocean with puffs of lacey tides. A glorious routine part of the day overlooked and perhaps taken for granted by the folks that live there.
Speaking of seeds, Joan of East Stroudsburg PA was intrigued by last week’s column on using leaf mold as mulch and my intention of mulching this fall after the perennials are dormant. She asked what about the dried seed heads knowing I’m a fan of keeping them standing. I’ll harvest the dried seed heads and place them in areas where I’d like to encourage volunteer new plants, inviting animals and birds to have their share too.
Upon our return from vacation, I’ll admit I was saddened to see the brown fallen leaves instead of colorful ones clinging to trees, though a drab fall is predicted due to the excess rains as we talked about a few weeks back. But it too is part of the miracle of nature. The leaves will decompose and provide nourishment to the soil, to fertilize next year’s bounty, to provide food, and to make more seeds. The cycle of life. Truly a miracle. Not to be taken for granted.
Garden Dilemmas? AskMaryStone@gmail.com