Saturday, December 6, 2008

Feeling seedy

I'm heading out this morning for a spot of enjoyable garden mayhem – pulling out all the zucchini plants and harvesting most of the spuds. But, as ever, I can't help but take a diversion down an interesting little alley way before I get stuck into all that fun. One of my curly parsley plants is feeling and looking wonderfully seedy, so I thought I'd do it the honour of devoting a few minutes just to this single, handsome little plant.

This almost belongs in an astronomy magazine as the 'Parsley Cluster' in a distant galaxy. But no, it's just a little parsley seed head looking pretty. This particular parsley plant began life as a seed sown about 3 metres away in October last year. It was meant to be part of a curly parsley border which did come up in its intended spot and looked great for many months, before it made way for the potato patch. But this parsley seed must have been washed downstream in a downpour, and it sprouted and grew near one of the posts for my espaliered Tahiti lime tree. And now, the old pioneer is setting seed.

The architecture of the parsley seed head is an impressive thing. Here it is viewed from above...

And here it is viewed side-on. I keep on thinking of space-travel analogies when I look at parsley seed heads. These look like so many launching pads for space pods poking up in some futuristic city, and I guess that's what they are. Launching pads to disperse seed as far and wide as wind and circumstances can toss them.

I think I've blogged before about how much I like curly parsley. It certainly does make the prettier border of the two varieties.

The flat-leaf Italian or Continental parsley is a superbly versatile herb and I'd never be without it. I do find it's more finicky to grow than the curly leaf stuff, and in particular it hates being transplanted as a seedling. It needs a lot of tender loving care to settle in, unlike many other herbs, which are virtually weeds in their growth habits. So I just grow this parsley from seed, sown where it is to grow. It grows much more robustly from seed, and ends up being just another relatively easy-care herb.

While I've blogged on about the loveliness of parsley my camera's battery charger has done its job and refuelled it ready for documenting the potato and zucchini day of reckoning.

And having visited the skin cancer clinic two days ago and experienced the sharp sting of having eight sun-spots ('pre-cancerous lesions' is the term for them, I think) burnt off, and now looking like a bubonic plague victim with eight unsightly blisters slowly healing on my forehead and face, I am slathering on the sunscreen like I'm icing a cake. And I'm wearing the broadest-rimmed sombrero I can find, heading out into the deadly Aussie sunshine for a spot of good old gardening mayhem.

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