Tuesday Treats

Our last Tuesday Treats has now been edited to show the identities of the plants on the Nature Table.  It’s here:

https://thepleasuregardener.blog/2020/08/04/tuesday-treats-18/

I thought we might change things around just a little bit for Tuesday Treats.  Still the Nature Table, of course, but it’s a different sort of Nature Table.  We’ve had a couple of weeks of tricky ones.  This one should be easier.  It’s from the allotment, so expect to see veggies!  This change, to easier challenges, won’t always last, but this week I have my Annual Review as a tutor, so I need you to show progress in your recognition skills!  :~))

The second little variation is…  If you look at the header for the blog, it says:

If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need. – Marcus Tullius Cicero

We haven’t really touched on the library part, so I thought I might share with you what I’m reading, and you might sometimes share what you’re reading.  What do you think?

I’m reading ‘The End of Everything  (Astrophysically Speaking)’.  It’s by cosmologist Katie Mack, and it’s meant for public consumption.  It explores how the Universe got started, and the different ways in which it might come to an end.  It’s very interesting.  Did you know this – we speak of the observable Universe, i.e. the bit we can see with our range of telescopes and such.  We can’t see further, not because our kit is lacking, but because the observable Universe is bounded everywhere by a wall of flame, a nuclear inferno, space on fire from the Big Bang 13.8 billion years ago.  The light from that inferno and from that long ago time is just reaching us now.  And, you can’t see through fire.  We will never see what is on the other side of that wall of flame.  How about that?

If you like a bit of science, this book is recommended.  (People who know me will know that no money was received for that recommendation.  In fact, I paid money to be able to read the book!)

Right, the Nature Table.

1  What’s in the trug?

Edited to add:  Sweet peas – lovely!  I’ve got no information on the veg varieties except, if I remember right, the tomatoes are Sweet Million.  Then there are potatoes, looking very tasty, radish – might be French Breakfast, with its white-tipped longer root – and beetroot.

Across the Atlantic, I think that beetroots are called beets, whereas here, the word ‘beets’ is more for sugar beet, grown as cattle fodder or, more importantly, for sugar.  Did you know that, in the UK, there are two primary suppliers of sugar, Tate and Lyle, and British Sugar.  Tate and Lyle get their sugar from sugar cane, while British Sugar (packaged as Silver Spoon) get theirs from sugar beet.  British Sugar is the only company in the world manufacturing sugar from sugar beet.

 

Nat's 1 A

 

2  What have we got here?

Edited to add:  Yes, sweet corn!  Never grown in rows, because it’s pollinated by the wind.

 

Nat's 2 A

 

3  The veg and the flowers, please.  And why are they together?

Edited to add:  Peas, which have come back from the dead.  They were eaten off by rabbits, but look at them now!

The flowers are Tagetes, or Tagetes tenuifolia, those smaller relatives of French and African marigolds.  These look like Starfire Mixed, the commonly available strain.  They’re commonly used for companion planting, especially with tomatoes, to keep pests such as whitefly away.

Nat's 3 A

 

4  The flowers, please, both lots.

Edited to add:  Dahlias and nasturtiums.

I know the dahlias came in a bag labelled ‘Mixed’, so great value there, but we can’t recover the names.

Dahlias are classified into 14 different groups, depending on flower form.  This pretty red and white one looks like a decorative dahlia, or possibly a waterlily.

Nat's 4 A

 

5  The flowers in this image, and in the last, are classified into 12 different groups.  Decide which groups are represented in these two images.

Edited to add:  Sorry, it really is 14 – I think.  Sources seem to differ.  Dahlias again, from that same mixed bag.  The purple and white ones (might be a variety called Checkers) look like decorative dahlias.  The red ones behind might be cactus (very narrow petals) or semi-cactus (not quite so narrow petals).

Nat's 5 A

 

And that’s it!  Easy peasy.  Probably.

Good luck.

Edited to add:  So, how did you get on?  Virtual hot chocolate all round?  Well done!