Maybe it’s the hot weather, but I’ve noticed a lot of naked ladies—everywhere.
I saw naked ladies in front of my neighbor’s house yesterday.
I saw naked ladies on the hike I took with my dog this morning, and this afternoon I saw a huge crowd of naked ladies on my way to Santa Cruz.
August is when I usually see naked ladies. They’re so tall and slender and pink.
And they smell so good. I never smell that good when I’ve been in the garden for a long time.
Naked Ladies, Amaryllis Belladonna, are native to South Africa. They are graceful pink tubular flowers that appear at the end of 24 to 30 inch stems in late summer. They grow from huge bulbs and are called naked ladies because of the plant’s habit of blooming after the foliage has died back, leaving a thick upright stem with a cluster of gorgeous, fragrant, light-pink flowers on top.
After the flower dies in the late summer or early fall, several long green strap-like leaves spout and grow to about 30 inches long and 1-2 inches wide.
The plant without the flowers is not very attractive. But the flower is spectacular. They do well in zone 9 and are very drought tolerant.
Even though you can grow Amaryllis Belladonna from seed, it’s best to grow them from bulbs because I’m told that it can take up to nine years for them to flower from seed.
So plant these giant bulbs in spring, so you have lots of naked ladies running around your garden this summer.
I’m pretty sure that the name Crocosimia Lucifer refers to the vibrant red/orange color of the flowers.
But sometimes I think that perhaps it’s because besides these Santa Barbara daisies (that I have to strip daily from my garden) have become extremely invasive.
Crocosimia Lucifer is also known as The Falling Stars.
The flowers, which look like small gladiolas, bloom on 18 to 24 inch stems in mid-summer. Everything that I have read about crocosimia says that they require a lot of sun. Well, guess what? They thrive in my yard everywhere, in sun, in partial shade, and in full shade. They are also somewhat drought tolerant.
I noticed them a few years ago when there were only a few. I thought they were pretty.
Some vegetables can be trusted and some can’t, but squash are the worst—especially zucchini.
Oh yeah, you can’t turn your back on zucchini for a moment, because if you do, they multiply.
They’re like Tribbles.
It is that time of the year when desperate neighbors knock on your door with their arms full of the long dark green fruit, (yes, it is technically a fruit.).
Frantically, they ask if you want some zucchini. “No” you say because your zucchini plant, Big Bertha, has about a hundred zucchini on it. The zucchini hide under their ample broad leaves and secretly grow really big so just when you think you have harvested all your zucchinis, you move one of the generous leaves, and there it is—another colossal green bludgeon.
What do you do with that thing?
Visions of riding down a country road hanging out of the passenger side of a ’76 Ford F-250 pickup, swinging the gargantuan squash at farmhouse mailboxes and knocking them off their wooden posts come to mind.
But instead, you pick it.
Or should I say you cut away at the gigantic shaft that it uses to attach itself to Bertha. First you try to pawn it off on a neighbor, but they already have a lifetime supply, so you dutifully try to cook it, scraping out the middle and making a stuffed zucchini with it. Your kids protest, so you eat the lions share, showing them that, damn it, it’s good and healthy and, and we grew it and we’re going to eat it.
Here are some suggestions for getting rid of your zucchini
1. Have a zucchini party where you only eat dishes with zucchini.
2. Have a zucchini raffle where you sell tickets for a dollar apiece and the winner gets to have all your extra zucchini.
3. Play doorbell ditch with all your neighbors where you ring their doorbell and you leave your extra zucchini in a basket on their porch.
4. Scoop out your zucchini and make boats from them and race them, giving the winner all the zucchinis that are left.
5. Set up a table in front of Safeway and have your kids sell all your zucchini cheaper than Safeway.
6. Have a zucchini dress up party, where all your friends get together, drink heavily and dress up your excess zucchini, giving the person with the best-dressed zucchini all the rest of the zucchini.
7. Make zucchini-o-lanterns where you scoop out the insides of your zucchinis and carve faces in them and then place little votive candles on the inside of the zucchini-o-lanterns, lighting them from the inside—at which point you place them on your front porch.