Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Summer Flowers and Mold / Yaz Çiçekleri ve Küf

The main reason I haven't written much about flowers lately, besides my being a squash-obsessed lunatic, is because with all the rain, followed by the sudden heat and humidity, lots of things just didn't do very well. We went through a wave of heat and humidity here that nobody can remember the likes of. Clothes mildewing in closets, carpets molding on the floors, cocoa molding inside its packet. It's been unreal!

İstanbul'lulara, bu yaz yaşadığımız sıcaklık ve nemi anlatmaya hiç gerek yok. Dolaplarında küflenen elbiseler, yerlerde küflenen kilimler... Hepimize geçmiş olsun! Bahçeyi de etkiledi, bu kadar sıcaklığa dayanamayan bitkiler yok oldu. Fakat en endişelendiğim Pacifik Hibrid İrisleri turp gibi!

I lost two of my Geraniums in the upper garden, which are usually tough as nails and which I've been growing for years. Who knows, maybe they'll come back in the spring.

And it's still too early for chrysanthemums, but I have several new ones from seed that should bloom this year. Patience.

Ironically, the plants I was most concerned about - the Pacific Hybrid Iris - have done famously; they've grown and spread beautifully!

One other plant that did do well in the heat was the Rudbeckia (Black-Eyed Susan) above, that I'd completely forgotten about! I'd planted the seeds last year, they came up, grew a bit, and I never got around to planting them. This spring there was one left, and for some reason I'd gotten it into my head that it was a Gaillardia. It was stunted from its stint in the skimpy amount of poor soil left in the pot, but it rallied! I suppose it's a "common-as-dirt" sort of plant but if you grow up in the Midwestern US, these are such a major part of late summer that you almost can't not have them.

Çok başarılı bir bitki, tamamen unuttuğum bir Rudbeckia oldu. Bunlar büyüdüğim ABD "Orta Batı" bölgesinde yazın sonunda açan vazgeçilmez bir çiçek. Yerel adı, "Karagözlü Suzan"dır.

In keeping with the color scheme, the Coreopsis tinctoria is doing a good job of seeding itself around the garden. I love plants like this; they just find themselves a comfortable niche. Still, I grab the seeds and scatter them in other places to see if they'll like it there as well. The original seeds were a gift from my friend Rabia in New Mexico, and they're everywhere now!

New Mexico eyaletinde arkadaşım Rabia'nın verdiği Corepsis da sıcak, nemli havada çok mutlu. Bu tek yıllık bitki en rahat olduğu yerleri bulup kendiliğinde çıkıyor artık, yine de tohumlarını yeni yerlere de serpiyorum.

In other non-squash areas, the old pomegranate at the end of the upper garden has set fruit for the first time since I arrived here two and a half years ago. I hear tell that its fruits are not all that good, but it's still nice to see them.

Şimdiye kadar meyvesini hiç gördüğüm nar ağacı bu yıl ilk defa meyve veriyor. Duyduğum kadarıyla çok lezzetli bir nar olmamasına rağmen varoluşuna sevindim.

Of course there have been squash happenings as well. The Seminoles started setting fruit late, but there are now at least 13 on the vines, which have nearly reached the upper street level; enough to attract the curiosity of passersby. Some of whom have come down and asked about them, and assume they're just some sort of ornamental gourd. But I've promised seed to a couple of people, so Turkey's cucurbit repertoire may soon be expanding. Here's a rather bad picture of Seminoles climbing the dead apricot tree. The fogginess isn't just because of the backlighting; it was because of the humidity; the temperature differential was enough to cause my lens to fog up in the wet-blanket humidity.

Kabaklar gelişmeye devam ediyor tabii. Seminole kabakları, meyveleri nispetten geç oluşturmaya başladı fakat şimdi en azından 13 tane oldu. Bitkiler hemen hemen sokak seviyesine ulaşıp, geçenlerin dikkatine çekmeye başladı. Birkaç kişi, hiç görmediği bir süs kabağı sanarak inip sordular. Şimdiye kadar en az iki kişiye tohum vermeye söz verdim. Türkiye'nin kabak repertuvarı genişleyecek demek ki!

The acorn squash have already started to mature; I so identify them with autumn that it feels a bit strange to be eating them in the heat of August! The heat wave has passed and though we've had no rain, the water that I give them does stay around longer. Now the acorns have begun to set fruit again, so I suppose we will have some for fall/winter as well! One of them has also thrown a very strange looking cristate stem, which opens an entire bouquet of flowers every morning. So far they all seem to be male. I decided to take the picture in the evening so the flowers wouldn't obscure the flattened stem.

Palamut kabakları şimdiden olmaya başladı. Bu kabağın tadını öylesine sonbahar ve kış aylarıyla özdeşleşmişim ki, Ağustos'un sıcaklarında onları yemek biraz tuhaf geldi. Sıcaklık geçmişken, yine meyve oluşturmaya başladılar. Bitkilerden bir tanesi botanikte "ibikli" olarak tanımlanan bir gövde yaptı, her sabah bir demet açıyor, ne yazık ki hepsi erkek. Gövdenin tuhaf şekli görünsün diye akşamda çektim fotoğrafı.

Aw, who am I kidding? I'm just too lazy to get myself down to the garden early enough in the morning. Besides, despite my earlier concerns over male flowers with skimpy pollen, the bees do seem to be doing the job, as witnessed by the trio of acorns here.

Akşamda çekmemin aslıl sebebi, sabah saatlerinde kalkıp inmek için fazla tembel olduğumdur. Ayrıca az polenli erkek çiçekleri kaygılarım bir yana, her halde bu mevsimde çok çiçek bulamayan arılar çok iyi yapıyorlar işini!

But aside from the Seminoles (which I haven't actually tried yet), the star of the show this year has been the Bungkan squash. Not only is it prolific - setting more fruit again - but it's beautiful, like a gray raku flying saucer with a stem nearly ten inches long, and so far is one of the most delicious squash I've had. The fruits weigh about four or five pounds each; the flesh is firm, deep yellow and rich in flavor. I've sauteed it with onion, sage leaves and olive oil, and used thin slices of it in a Thai red curry. I also want to try it in the yogurt soup called borani in the Hatay area as soon as I can get the recipe from my Hatay friend who left us to get married in Denmark!

Daha tatma fırsatım olmadığı Seminole'ler bir yana, bu yılın yıldızı, Bungkan kabağıdır. Sadece verimli değil (o da yine meyve oluşturmaya başladı), meyveleri çok da güzeldir, raku adlı Japon seramiğinden yapılan uzay gemilerine benzetiyorum. Koçanı da upuzun, yaklaşık 25 cm, her kabak aşağı yukarı iki - iki buçuk kilo oluyor. Hem de yediğim en lezzetli kabaklardan. Eti sert, koyu sarı renkli, yoğun lezzetli. Soğan, adaçayı yaparağı ile zeytinyağıyla kızarttım, hem de bir Tayland körisine ince dilimlerini attım. Hatay'da yapılan bir tuzlu yoğurt çorbası olan boranide de denemek istiyorum. Danımarkalıyla evlenip kaçan Hataylı arkadaşımla konuşur konuşmaz tarifini alırım!


College Gardener said...

The weather appears to be going crazy all over the place this summer. Here in southeastern Michigan we have not had any proper rain in about a month or so and even with constant irrigation gardens are just withering away, not to mention the actual disasters occuring in other places like Pakistan. On a much happier note, the squashes look impressive and the pomegranates look nice as well. I absolutely love pomegranates - both the plant and the fruit - so I hope that your tree will do better than the neighbors seem to expect of it.

Sazji said...

Thanks for the comment! Our weather has been weird and sometimes unpleasant but thankfully, not disastrous overall. The pomegranate tree has done very well, it just hasn't produced for several years. We'll see! Pomegranates are cheap here, when in season they're no more than apples or oranges. :)

KGG said...

hello sazji, i wrote to you quite a while back about my garden challenges. i'm still learning - right now i'm focusing on building the soil with some legume/grain covers, and i've just planted raised beds with fall brassicas (seed). re: kuf -- i've been spraying 1 part low fat milk, nine parts water on the powdery mildew on my yellow crookneck and it seems to be doing pretty well now that the hamam weather has passed.
is "rabia from new mexico" of rabia and benjamin? if so, she's a great friend of mine as well!
would be grateful to correspond on garden-related (and possibly also music?) matters privately if you would like - i also raided bakers creek's seed bank in petaluma on a spring trip so have quite a lot to share if you are interested.

Anonymous said...

It is my earnest suggestion that vegetation that grows is both dramatic and attractive; growing vegetation is also dramatic and a verb, of course, wot? In actuality, I personally witnessed some things growing today and I was thinking, "Clayton, old chap, one must get on the bended knee either this day or that and plant the seed in the fertile, if you understand the implication." Well, I did understand said implication, and I set about in the contemplation of planting something forthwith.

Sazji said...

Green is good, man. Unless it's your skin. Then it's not so good, because it means either you're molding (which wouldn't have surprised me at all given the humidity), or the gold ring you spent too much money on is actually brass. Either way, a bummer. But probably more of a bummer to be molding. Best stick to green in gardens and pots. Unless it's mold, that is. Grow that on old bread. Or cheese, if you're up for more adventure.

By the way I'm in Thessaloniki right now, translating for the music people. 2 days left!

Sezin said...


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DeanRIowa said...

What is the maturity days for the Seminole Pumpkins? I wondered if they would grow in an Iowa summer?


Sazji said...

Hey Dean,

I planted mine in mid-May, and the first ones really started turning gold-ripe on the vines around 3 weeks or a month ago. Most are streaky gold now (gold with a big of green left), and one is still green. But I've heard that ones picked green will eventually ripen after being picked. So I imagine an Iowa summer would be enough to ripen them. I did try one the other day; it was quite moist and really flavorful; I think they'll be better after they've sat for a month or two. And I have so many acorns to eat (or give away) anyway; they don't keep all that long!