Tuesday, July 30, 2013

"Of Gardens"

God Almighty first planted a garden. And, indeed, it is the purest of human pleasures; it is the greatest refreshment to the spirits of man, without which buildings and palaces are but gross handiworks. And man shall ever see that when ages grow to civility and elegancy, men come to build stately, sooner than to garden finely, as if gardening were the greater perfection.

Francis Bacon

The essays or Counsels, civil and moral of Francis Bacon [first published in 1597, and as he left them newly written and published in 1625] including also his Apophthegms, Elegant sentences and Wisdom of the ancients. Introduction by Henry Morley. Donohue, Henneberry & Co., Chicago. 1883.

That's some title, isn't it? I think it might be the longest in my little library. Those seemingly random capitalizations are Mr. Morley's, by the way.

My garden could use some perfecting.
These are two Old Time Tennessee muskmelons which volunteered in the new asparagus patch. 
A very old variety. It has been dropped from commercial catalogs, is rare and seems to be near extinction. The fruits weigh an average of 12 pounds, are 12 to 16 inches in length, and are elliptical or football-shaped. Our family has grown this melon for well over 50 years. This is my personal favorite muskmelon. They must be picked at the peak of ripeness, when the fruit has turned a golden-yellow and they easily slip from vine. They should be dead ripe for the best taste. They do not keep very long. Sweet aroma that will carry over a long distance. Definitely not a shipping melon." This is a garden-to-table melon.
I didn't have the heart to rip them out and I'm glad I didn't. I have six, all more than 12" long. It is our personal favorite, too.

I haven't posted many photos of the garden because it's a mess. The pests haven't been too bad this year but the weeds are out of control.

I wish God Almighty would see fit to deliver to me a farmhand or two.

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