Hoppo Bumpo (n): A children's game. Played by folding one's arms and hopping on one leg. Aim is to bump opponents, so that they lose their balance. Last person standing wins.

December 02, 2008

Plant lifecycle 101

Listen up class; pay attention. Today, as part of Veg About, we are looking at the lifecycle of the flowering plant. There are five important stages in the cycle.

[I] Anticipation

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

[II] Confidence

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

[III] Delusion

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

[IV] Apprehension

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

[IV] Resignation

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


  1. ah yes. I can relate to this post!

    I am checking my tomatoes all the time, and new flowers too. I hope this year is better than last year.

    Rain. We need rain. *sigh*

  2. Hey - prunes are underrated. I can appreciate a good prune or two (hey I find it hard to stop there, I have to hide them).

    May your garden bloom with goodies.

  3. (sound of cheerful whistling)

    Who, me?

  4. Oh dear!

    Let's hope your cute little tomatoes fare better!

    In reply to your orgran flour question- yup that's what I used and you really can't taste it - I suspect only using half a cup of it helps!
    There's a place in Croydon called 'The Full Pantry' where you can buy GF flours loose and make your own mix (along with normal flours, cereals, nuts, chocolate) I haven't tried their GF flours yet, but they're probably worth a look. There's something nice about purchasing flour in a brown paper bag that you've scooped yourself too!

  5. Hey your garden looks great, I envy anyone with a green thumb.
    Hope you don't mind but i'd like to tag you for 6 Random Things. If you don't get time that's fine keep on gardening :-)

  6. Ahahahaha! It's so true!! Why did they never teach me this - how it REALLY - is in biology?!

  7. Too funny as per always. At least all your ones are on the tree as soon as anything grows here it must be plucked, poked and squeezed.

  8. ahha!
    This post just made me think of the Young Ones "we sow the seed, nature grows the seed, we eat the seed, we sow the seed..."

  9. Sad about the prunes- it's so dry this year. But the potato's looking promising! ;)

    Keep up the good work!

  10. Ah, yes. What a lovely description of my garden.


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