My home kitchen garden is livelier this year than in any other November. That’s because I set up hoop tunnels over my lettuce and pak choi, and my salad patch is growing strong. All the other annual food plants are down for the count.
Still, wanting to participate in Garden Bloggers Bloom Day (read about Bloom Day at May Dreams Gardens), I searched every corner of my yard for what’s still in bloom. There’s not much. The photos tell the story.
It’s mid-April, and I’ve planted nothing in my home kitchen garden! I’ve many seedlings literally dying to get out off their planters, but it has been cold and rainy, and working in the garden means wading in mud.
That said, today is Garden Bloggers Bloom Day. Carol, over at May Dreams Gardens, came up with this idea that one day each month garden bloggers would showcase their flowers. I try to post photos of whatever food plants are in bloom in my garden, but today there are none. So… I stepped over the garden fence and shot photos where the ornamental plants grow. I hope you enjoy the results… and jump over to Carol’s blog to find other garden bloggers. You’ll find all kinds of blogs that post awesome flower photos on Bloom Day!
My seed-starting shelf is ready for me to start planting my home kitchen garden. I’ve cleared off the canned goods and hung the lights. In the meantime, we’ve had some late winter snow, so I feel very lucky that I’ve been able to attend this year’s Philadelphia International Flower Show.
The show is an indoor oasis in winter. If features many exhibits of all types of plants that experts have tricked into maturing out-of-season. Not surprisingly, there are many, many flowers. Happily, there are also exhibits of vegetable plants. I spent some time at the show on Tuesday and plan to return on Friday.
I live about 2 and a half hours from Philadelphia. As I drove 50 miles south, I saw that lawns were sprouting green and it made me a little sad since my town is under about eight inches of snow. The show floor was crowded, so it was pointless to have a destination in mind; deciding to move with the crowd helped keep my stress level low.
With all the flowers and other plantings, my favorite ornamentals were succulents and cacti; there were some gorgeous specimens.
The show’s theme this year is Springtime in Paris, and one vendor showing succulents had a sign that read something like, We thought they meant Paris, Texas. That amused me.
If your home kitchen garden is still under snow, please have a look around the Philly Flower Show. I’ve posted a few photos to give you a short respite from the cold.
It’s Garden Bloggers Bloom Day (read about it on Carol’s blog over at May Dreams Gardens), and my Home Kitchen Garden is under snow. When I limit my definition of “garden” to that plot of land where I plant stuff in the spring, I have nothing to share on this winter Bloom Day. However, I’ve always defined my garden as the entire collection of plants that I tend—wherever they may be.
So, this bloom day, as did Carol on her blog, I present my Christmas Cactus. This plant started as a cutting from my daughter’s cactus back in summer of 2008. So far, the only care it has received is watering. Oh, and I turn the pot from time-to-time. It’s kind of a practical joke. I imagine the plant when sunlight comes through the window the next day: “Hey! I thought I had my leafy stemmy things all pointing in the right direction, and now this?”
I love that you can see the anti-rodent fence that surrounds my vegetable bed in the background of the photo… and snow on the ground in front of it. The snow provides insulation for a thick layer of autumn leaves my kids raked onto the soil. The leaves will break down a little quicker now that there’s snow on them.
While there are no other flower blossoms in my home kitchen garden in January, I snuck in two other photos that were begging for attention. I hope you enjoy them.
Yikes! Summer blew through my home kitchen garden while I was writing a book about preserving produce. The book is on its way to the printer, and I’m still getting a grip on the blogging I failed to do.
Here it is Garden Bloggers Bloom Day in October, and I’ve been preparing blog posts about what went on in April and May. Despite the book-writing distraction, I did plant a kitchen garden—in fact, I expanded my garden this year. And, while we had our first frost two nights ago, even the basil survived in relatively decent shape; much still grows out there, and there are flowers… though my photos for this bloom day show little different from the past two Bloom Days.
It doesn’t matter! There are flowers in my home kitchen garden, they’re beautiful, and I shot them. Please enjoy.
If you’ve read my blog this season, you may be shaking your head and thinking, “Please, not another tomato flower.” This one is amusing to me because it’s on a tomato plant in my deck-rail basil planter. I filled the planter this summer with a mixture of compost and soil from the garden bed. Somewhere in the mix, there was a tomato seed left over from last season, and it decided to sprout. It put out its first flowers in time for September’s Bloom Day… far too late to produce meaningful tomatoes.
It seems only a month ago that it was August 15th in my Home Kitchen Garden. That’s significant because the 15th of each month is Garden Bloggers Bloom Day. The tradition, started by Carol at May Dreams Gardens is for garden bloggers everywhere to photograph and write posts about what’s blooming in their own gardens.
I don’t deliberately grow flowers, but they’re a necessary step in the growing of vegetables and fruits. I like the flowers because they represent food I’ll be eating three to six weeks from blossom time… that is, assuming the plants in bloom don’t freeze to death before they produce fruit or vegetables.
Unfortunately, the growing season here is trending toward conclusion. I imagine we’ll see frost before the next Bloom Day so I’m trying to enjoy the flowers for flowers’ sake. But I feel a tad melancholy knowing that most of the flowers in my home kitchen garden have come too late to add to my larder.
Also on my deck, the pepper plants have completed one fruiting cycle and have started a second. The first time around, my pot-bound pepper plants produced plenty of pleasing but piccolo piquant peppers. If peppers from this second round of flowers look good enough, I might move the planters indoors when frost threatens.
Sheltered from prevailing winds by our house, a small rosemary plant has survived two winters. Its delicate purple flowers had lured critters besides me to get close.
I liked the idea of capturing some bean flowers alongside a developing bean… didn’t really like any of the photos, but I still like the idea. The upside is that I discovered the climbing bean plants entwined with the kids’ play set had developed another crop of beans since last I’d looked; we had very fresh green beans with dinner today.
Yes, the oregano is still in bloom; it has been in bloom since mid July, but it looks as though the blossoms are about done. I’m guessing there are a lot of seeds tucked away in the petalled stalks holding the flowers.
A few branches of my winter squash vines have grown through the garden fence and they’re still putting out flowers. I haven’t found female flowers in a few weeks, so I don’t anticipate more squash fruits to develop. However, this male flower is cleverly trying to conceal a ripening squash that has remained safely inside the fence.
The bees were abuzz on the broccoli flowers this morning. No, I don’t grow broccoli flowers… I grow broccoli buds, and we eat them. However, like so many kitchen gardeners, I eventually tire of keeping up with the broccoli. After harvesting the central bud cluster, I revisit the plants for many weeks, cutting off the side shoots and feeding them to my family. At some point, I overlook those side shoots and some of them flower. Then, judging the “ready” clusters from the “too old” clusters becomes a chore rather than a task… and soon I’m growing broccoli flowers.
Many people tidy their home kitchen gardens by pulling plants in which they’ve lost interest. I encourage you not to hurry: you do a great favor to pollinators when you leave plants to flower. At least six large bees, two or three butterflies, and another half dozen insects I couldn’t identify flitted from blossom-to-blossom as I tried to capture an image that screamed “BROCCOLI!”