Sometimes gardens produce surprises – especially when you haven’t looked closely at the little plastic tag stuck in the soil when you buy the small plant! In spring planting season, my brother-in-law thought he was planting cucumbers. Well, he was – sort of! He didn’t look at the little tag that he’d already stuck in the ground next to the plant until he saw the most unusual cucumbers – if that is what they really were!
In fact, these very long, fat “fruits” are called “Armenian yard-longs.” Yard-long is descriptive, because that is about how long each one of these cucumbers are. The photo here is one of the last ones, and not nearly the biggest! (My foot is in the photo for scale – I wear a size 8 shoe.)
When my brother-in-law pulled out the little tag to find out what kind of cucumber these were, he had to look up “Armenian yard-longs” on the internet. Wikipedia has this description: The Armenian cucumber,Cucumis melo var. flexuosus, is a type of long, slender fruit which tastes like a cucumber and looks somewhat like a cucumber inside. It is actually a variety of muskmelon (C. melo), a species closely related to the cucumber (C. sativus). It is also known as the yard-long cucumber, snake cucumber, snake melon. It should not be confused with the snake gourds (Trichosanthes spp.).
The information my brother-in-law found said that the yard-long is a hybrid between a cucumber and a muskmelon. It really does taste like a cucumber and inside looks like a cucumber – and nothing like a melon!!
Last year I planted strawberries (transplanted from my former garden) in back of our new house. This year, the plants have spread and are blooming! Whether or not we’ll get strawberries remains to be seen, but meanwhile, these pretty little white flowers hold the promise of delicious fruit!
Marilyn Armstrong of Serendipity Seeking Intelligent Life on Earth has taken over a monthly challenge called The Changing Seasons.
The Changing Seasons is a monthly challenge where bloggers around the world share what’s been happening in their month. To join in, you can either: 1. post 5-20 photos in a gallery that you feel represent your month. Don’t use photos from your archive. Only new shots. or 2. post a photo, recipe, painting, drawing, video, whatever that you feel says something about your month. Don’t use archive stuff. Only new material!
In either case, tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons so others can find them. One thing that won’t change though. Include a ping-back to Marilyn’s post, and she will update it with links to everyone else’s.
Marilyn says, “For those of us who have participating in this challenge for years … since the first years when Baron Guzman ran the challenge, I think we have our own style on how to make this work. I could never use a single picture. I’m too indecisive. Especially given the rapidly changing climate we are experiencing, I think this is an important challenge.” Ditto for me about indecisiveness! So here’s my September photo gallery: Visits to kitschy or pretty places in our area (because we can’t travel), flowers, and season changes were the things that characterized September 2020.
Recycling styrofoam at Dart Co. in Aurora; sculpture called “Solitude”; Mr. Eggwards (Humpty Dumpty doppelganger); sunflowers at Cantigny estate in Wheaton; Tribune magnate McCormick’s house at Cantigny; outdoor BBQ stove at my niece’s house in Evanston; 4 silos surrounding Inverness Town Hall; Black Lives Matter billboard (a little bit of sanity in an area full of Trump signs on lawns); all that’s left of a factory in Grayslake, now in the middle of a park; kitschy Egyptian copies of statues & pyramid in Wadsworth, officially known as “Gold Pyramid House” (the pyramid isn’t gold right now because they had a fire); hibiscus flower after rain; rare red flower called “cardinal flower” (it disappeared within a day or two); zinnias in my garden; mini petunias in my garden; tree branches on the campus of our community; katydid (I feel an affinity – we share a name!); sunset in a nearby suburb; another sunset in a nearby suburb; West Lake (pond on the campus here) with its many ducks – most of them young adults (a few months ago most of them were ducklings).