Another Trouble Afoot – Leaf Curl/Roll

We have been having huge shifts in temperature lately. From 80’s to the 50’s and lots and lots of rain. Our tomatoes are reacting to these changes on an individual basis. some of my varieties, actually most of them, are doing well. A couple have leaf spots (I’ll do a separate post of that at a later date), my “Cougar Red” has some curled, rolled leaves (other than that it is healthy). I have done some research on the latter and this is what I’ve found:

“Leaf Roll:

During very wet seasons, tomato plants frequently show an upward rolling of the leaflets of the older leaves. At first this rolling gives the leaflet a cupped appearance. Later, the margins of the leaflets touch or overlap. The rolled leaves are firm and leathery to the touch. One half to three-fourths of the foliage may be affected. Plant growth is not noticeably checked, and a normal crop of fruit is produced. Frequently leaf roll occurs when tomato plants are pruned severely, and it is very common when unusually heavy rains cause the soil to remain moist for long periods of time.

To prevent leaf roll, keep tomato plants on well-drained, well-aerated soil, and protect them from prolonged periods of heavy rainfall if you can.”

Also this: (Univ. of Colo.)

“Leaf roll, or leaf curl, is a physiologic distortion that may develop with periods of cool, rainy weather. It cause the lower leaves to roll upward and become thick and leathery. Leaf roll does not affect plant growth or fruit production and requires no treatment.

Leaf Roll

Herbicides can distort the foliage and fruit of tomatoes. They are especially sensitive to 2,4-D. Damage can bend the leaves down, causing cupping and thickening. New leaves are narrow and twisted and do not fully expand. Fruit may be catfaced and fail to ripen. Exposure can occur when herbicides are applied to lawns for weed control and the spray “drifts”. Resultant fumes can also effect the plants for several days after treatment. Clippings from grass that has been sprayed with a herbicide should not be used as mulch in the vegetable garden. If the exposure is minimal, the plant will outgrow the injury. Be sure to water the affected plants thoroughly and often.”

I guess I will have to wait and see how they turn out. In the meantime, the “Cougar Red” is in it’s own pot and segregated to be on the safe side.

Flea Beetles are on the loose in the Inland Northwest

Flea Beetles, A common problem this time of year. It has come to my attention that they are afoot. If your leaves have what looks like little shot holes you might/probably have flea beetles. They seem to attack the lower leaves first. Here is a link ot a site that gives you good information as to what they looks like, how they overwinter and what to do about it.

Imageflea beetle damage


Gracious Living and Other Things


Where did May go? This morning I went out sight seeing while my roommate got ready. I went into historic Beuafort, (there’s always a historic district in each town here) and looked at some of the antebellum homes. They aren’t the Biltmore, (but then nothing is quite like that 55 bedroom castle), but they were every bit as stunning. The symbols of gracious living amongst giant oak trees swathed in spanish moss. Broad verandas, sweeping staircases, windows on every level, probably for the breezes, and usually a gate of some sort around it, wrought iron or stone. Most of them with their backyards overlooking the salt marshes and river. I pictured sweet southern women in crinolines and corsets, drinking mint juleps, the men smoking cigars under giant fans.



Not to be outdone, this house was one I spotted in Georgia

Bits and Pieces

Camo is big here in clothing lines. I actually saw a guy dressed in camo sweat pants and tee shirt. The tee shirt I get, the sweat pants? Complete with elastic at the ankle.

We are still in the Bible belt. Lots of different varieties of Baptists, Methodists, Catholics, and non-denominational churches, probably pentecostal. Little churches tucked away in a glade.

Have I complained about the heat yet? hmmmmm I don’t know how people live here. It’s pretty but I wouldn’t want to  go outside in the summer. And I’m an outdoors kind of girl.

On Marine Graduations and Cemeteries

We went to the graduation of a few good men (the Marines) at Parris Island in south Carolina, this morning. When I stepped out of the hotel at 7:30 it was like walking into a wall of water. And they it isn’t that bad yet. I wouldn’t want to be there when it is, that’s for sure. To my Washingtonian (state not D.C.) sensibilities it is dang hot. At the graduation It was like having a hot flash the entire time. I can’t remember ever being so hot for so long. I felt for the guys standing at attention on the hot pavement in their long pants and shirts and hats. The little guide book they give you about the marines at Parris Island, it talks about being forged in a furnace etc. and I thought that term was accurate. It’s wonder they don’t have all heatstroke! Yes, it was hot but I was very proud to be an American, watching those young men, knowing how hard basic  training was, all for the job of protecting our nation. I was also very glad for all the support and love that the crowd gave them.



I have never seen so many cemeteries in my life. It seems like every town has at least 4-5 and possibly more than that in the backyards. some are very old, you can’t read many of the headstones, others are grand, like the Beaufort National Cemetery.  It is the only National cemetery in the country that has confederate soldiers buried in it. I saw a lot of headstones for men who died in just about every war, including WWl, WWll, Korean, and Vietnam. There were alot of older headstones that jus thad names or their name and usa or me. Not sure what that means but I’m assuming they are for the older wars. Possibly the Civil War. One of the cemeteries that I stopped at was called the Citizen’s Cemetery. Some of the names on the graves made me think that possibly these were for the slaves.


From the Citizen’s CemeteryImage

National CemeteryImage

At the National Cemetery, not sure which war this represented.ImageThe National Cemetery

The Biltmore in Asheville, North Carolina

This was an all day event for us. After entering the gate, you follow a lush, green winding road through the forest. I tried to imagine how it must have felt dressed in my finery, sitting in a horse drawn carriage, no, riding side saddle on a fine Tennessee Walker, trotting through the glade. It must have been such an honor to receive an invitation to stay with the Vanderbilts at their new country house. I’m sure it was the talk of the town.


The Vanderbilt’s money came from steam ships among other things. They were one of the, if not the richest, families in the country. When the “house” first came into view, I was stunned with it’s majesty. It seemed so grand. I was unable to imagine that this was a home at one time. Where children grew up and played in the yard. And yet, having been into genteel society, they probably never ever considered that they were living in the lap of luxury. Such things just came naturally. The servants, the ponies, the fishing pond, the reflecting pools. Not a life I can conceive of ever living.

 This house is so large that I could imagine my seeing my husband in the drawing room and greeting him, welcoming him back from his trip only to find out that he’d been home for three weeks already! It is that big. I can’t imagine cleaning the bathrooms.


If you go, wear good walking shoes. The inside tour takes several hours and I highly recommend taking advantage of the audio tour. You will get a lot more out of it than just walking around. The narration is well done. I especially loved the  winter garden, an inside courtyard filled with plants. High ceilings don’t even begin to convey how large the first hall is. It soars above your head. The grand staircase is off to the left and it is lined with windows and narrow doors that let the servants step out to clean them. 


A lot of the walls were papered with velvets, fabrics, linens, tapestries and hand tooled leather. We got to tour the upstairs bedrooms and the guest’s living room, the billiard room, dining room (three fireplaces), the kitchen (there was a rotisserie kitchen, a pastry kitchen and the main kitchen.) There was an incredible indoor swimming pool, (you gotta see that one)and a bowling alley. The amenities they had in those days were astonishing.

The bad thing was that you weren’t allowed to take pictures inside the house. I think they want you to buy the postcards or the books. 

 Next on our list to do was the gardens. It is a walled garden filled with perennial and annual beds and rose gardens of which I took many pictures. The scents were incredible, the colors were vibrant. I can’t imagine how many people it takes to keep those gardens tidy. 


Annual gardens just starting to fill in for summer.


One of my faves, these look like Globemaster alliums with orange poppies.Image

Into the walled garden.Image

Pink roses with a center spot. None of the roses had names on the tags, just numbers. Maybe they are test roses or there is a brochure with the name sot match the numbers. Anybody know?


Burgundy and chartreuse coleus in the pattern of diamonds. I was surprised to see them in the full sun.


Red single roses with a yellow center. Very striking.


A shot of the walled garden from another angle.


The rose garden.


This looks to be a coleus trained as a standard which I have never seen.Image

This is an attractive use of swiss chard in an ornamental basket with flowers.Image

A view of roses through a lattice keyhole.


A wisteria covered walkway. Nice and cool on that hot day.Image


these are some kind of succulent hung in an old frame on the wall. Love it!

Just when we thought we were done (our feet were killing us and my knee was giving me considerable grief, all those stairs inside and out) we looked down onto a building filled with exotic tropicals and orchids. I picked up some design ideas and interesting color combinations.


The conservatory



Orchids and other tropicals.

Finally, our legs could do no more and we walked back up to the top to wait for the shuttle. I would have loved to have had a shuttle from the bottom of the gardens! 

 I would suggest that you take two days for the grounds and inside tour. As it were, we missed the azalea gardens, the italian garden, the reflecting pools, and the bass pond. There is only so much that a body could do.