This is where we have germination and sprouting of the seed. The plant grows to become a seedling. Figure 1 shows a sprouting potato plant. The Gardener will be thinking of oven-baked chips, lightly sprayed with olive oil and seasoned with a dash of paprika and sea salt.
Figure 1 - Nicola variety potato
In this phase the plant is growing from seedling to mature plant. In Figure 2 we see a lettuce seedling. The Gardener will be admiring the beautiful green leaves thinking how nice they would be with a balsamic dressing.
Figure 2 - lettuce seedling
During this phase of growth the plant reaches maturity and flowers. The flower comprises petals, sepals, stamen and pistil. There may be a great many flowers on the plant. Figure 3 shows detail of a tomato plant in flower. The Gardener will be imagining home-bottled tomato sauce and giving tomatoes away as gifts.
Figure 3 - Grande Lisse variety tomato
In this phase pollination and fruit-set occurs. Petals fall away and small fruit appears at the flower termination (see Figure 4). The Gardener will notice that only a small number of the the original flowers have fruited, then think back to similar scenes in seasons past. At least there are some nice truss tomatoes at the greengrocers in December.
Figure 4 - from a bumper crop of 2
See Figure 5. The Gardener will be looking the other way and whistling. Let's hope the tomatoes, lettuces, strawberries and potatoes fare better than this year's plum crop.
Figure 5 - you know its a bad year when you have a tree of prunes