Tomatillo Sunset

by Daisy on 09/09/2013

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We live in a region of the country with no grand vistas; mountain ranges or ocean views.

It is flat-ish, with a few softly rolling hills and many trees which obscure any sort of long-distance sightlines.

I’ve visited mountains and oceans and they are exhilarating. There’s little to compare with the excitement of watching a storm roll in from the sea or basking in the beauty of a sunrise spreading into a mountain valley.

Where I live there isn’t much of that macro magnificence.

So I try to look for what we do have, and it’s usually small things.

The other day as the sun was setting, its final tawny rays lit up the garden and set something aglow which was caught in a frond of achillea foliage.  I picked it up, the skeletonized husk of a tomatillo.  It looked golden in the sunlight. I set it down and went inside for the camera.


I tried to grow tomatillos once before. I only planted one, and that was my big mistake then, because they need two to bear fruit. This year I planted four and waited for the deluge of husked tomato-ey fruit. I did have tomatillos, but they were few in number and small. The foliage got powdery mildew and many of the fruits softened and rotted before they ripened.

Still trying to figure out where I went wrong this year; but the husks! Featherweight and intricate like the finest lace and when the sun hits them just right, iridescent.

And closer in, amazing:IMG_1306_2

Fairies take note: these would make perfect garden lanterns.


{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Lisa Barton-Collins September 9, 2013 at 9:47 pm

These look beautiful! Very similar to gooseberries.

Debbi September 9, 2013 at 10:09 pm

I grow tomatoes every year. They must be watered daily, and will need manure or something like miracle grow. As the tomatoes get the size you want, crack off that little part of the bush. Let it stay connected…but mostly separated. This for E’s the tomato to ripen.

They need to be stressed to ripen. And picking them allows the plant to use its energy to create more.

I hope this helps.

Debbi September 9, 2013 at 10:15 pm

That should say allows for the plant to use its energy for growing another. If you keep a compost bin, you can use the “juice” from it to pour on the tomatoes. It’s hard in the sandy area. Here I use soil and the upside down hanging grow baskets. One died because hubby had surgery and I forgot to water them. The other made it and is cranking out tomatoes.

cindy September 10, 2013 at 7:14 am

I grew tomatillas one year, my kids discovered that they liked them raw right off the vines, so we didn’t get many into the kitchen for use in cooking…LOL

Kay September 10, 2013 at 7:29 am

Lovely post—thank you. It’s a nice reminder to stop and really look for those little treasures nature sets right before us, if we will only look.


Amy September 10, 2013 at 8:27 am

This brought tears to my eyes as it reminded me of times spent outdoors with my dad who could always find the wonder and beauty in all of God’s magnificent creation.
Thanks for your observation and reminder to be thankful for the little things.

Cinnamon Vogue September 10, 2013 at 10:17 am

Daisy the best thing for powdery mildew is to spray it with Ceylon Cinnamon Leaf Oil. Just mix 1% Ceylon Cinnamon Leaf Oil with 99% water in one of those garden pump sprays with a long nozzle (available at Home Depot for $9.99) and spray.

The powdery mildew I believe is caused by Aphids. So wash as much of the plant as possible with your garden house set on firm pressure to remove much of the Aphids and wash off the mildew. Then a nice even coat of the cinnamon oil will kill off the rest of the aphids and prevent more from coming. Add a little bit extra Cinnamon Oil at the base of the plant, which will prevent the ants which support the aphids from climbing the tree.

Daisy September 10, 2013 at 3:19 pm

CV–Beginning to think you like cinnamon leaf oil 😉 .
I should have addressed the mildew at the first sign of it but I let it get ahead of me. That’s the trouble with me, well, one of many. I do know ants purely detest cinnamon and put a little of the oil in my countertop vinegar/water spray. Smells pretty nice, too.

Daisy September 10, 2013 at 3:20 pm

Thank you 🙂

Daisy September 10, 2013 at 3:22 pm

Kay–It’s hard to do. I think it comes with age . . .

Daisy September 10, 2013 at 3:22 pm

cindy–I wish that was the reason I didn’t have many!

Daisy September 10, 2013 at 3:23 pm

Debbi–I’ve never tried the breaking the limbs thing. Interesting.

Kirsten Mcculloch September 10, 2013 at 11:58 pm

Wow, gorgeous – if not precisely what you were hoping for!

Debbie September 11, 2013 at 9:07 am

Also, milk that has seen better days makes a great antifungal agent in the garden. It’s great on powdery mildew, although I have to say that I’m definitely going to try the cinnamon oil. I’ve been told it’s a great deterrent of cats in the garden. I did try cinnamon powder and it seemed to work until it wore off. Unfortunately, my yard has become the place for the neighborhood cats to “go” if you know what I mean.


Linda September 11, 2013 at 10:12 am

I am constantly amazed at God’s incredible imagination and the beauty He built into large (sea, sky, mountains, etc.) and small, as your tomatillo demonstrates. Amy, thank you for acknowledging Him for His magnificent creation!

Cinnamon Vogue September 11, 2013 at 11:45 am

Debbie if you try Cinnamon Oil try ours. And get 10% off when you enter ” LITTLEHOUSE ” at checkout. If you are not buying ours (:-) , make sure it is real Ceylon Cinnamon Leaf Oil and not some blended stuff.

Real Cinnamon Oil is very powerful and has the high Eugenol content (at least 75%) which is the magic ingredient that makes it effective against mold, mildew and insects.

By the way you must dilute Cinnamon Oil to no more than 1%. We burnt quite a few plants with our experiments. 🙂 Anything more and it will burn the plant. It’s that strong so all you need is very little.

Anne Widmann September 13, 2013 at 6:01 am

Um, here in Wisconsin those lacy looking things are called a wild cucumber (I think, have only lived here 7 years, but those things grow all over), will take over very rapidly, though quite pretty when those husks roll all around in the wind. The tomatillos I planted this year are finally ripening & have the “solid” paper husk with the fruit inside. The wild cucumber only has seeds inside that get dispersed as it blows around the yard. Perhaps a can of gold spray paint will make some interesting Christmas decorations?

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