Garden: Getting to Done

IMG_0219dandelion480Due to circumstances beyond our control, our garden-building this year is going to be a garden blitzkrieg. We have a short span of time to get the sets and seeds in the ground.

That smear of effort, usually over days and weeks, will be near impossible in hours, but there ya go.  And I will be minding the joints so that upcoming events are not orthopedically compromised.

I’m inside now, obviously, cooling down from hauling tomato cages and clawing up weeds in advance of putting tomato and pepper sets in the ground later today–if the sky clouds over as promised before thunderstorms.

So this dandelion really has nothing to do with any of that but just happens to be what I was doodling with before I remembered how uncool it gets after 9 in the morning this time of year.

I’d love for you to see the larger image since the interest for this all-too-common plant is in the details, but Flickr’s recent “update” has created no small discontent with users like me, since we are not able to share links to our images.

And Yahoo takes a giant step backwards.

For those who might care to know or remember a botanical fact, this mature dandelion flower is actually an inflorescence, and not a single flower.

Each of the little parachutes (seed below with pappus bristles for a sail) is the product of a single flower. Many flowers are embedded in the white fleshy “recepticle” that remains after you blow away the children to find their fortunes in the world of good soil and bad.



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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. Your botanist friend here is curious: what part of the flower remains after the seeds have flown? I have never examined closely the “white, fleshy recepticle.” Is it like a seed pod, empty of seeds?