Sunday, October 20, 2013

Flowers in the veggie patch

I went to the Sandford market today. It was a glorious day, warm but not too hot, and cloudy mostly, you couldn't have asked for a better day.
There were quite a few people there since Sandford was also putting on a community arts and open garden day but most people weren't putting their hands in their pockets. It was a good day out though and I covered my costs.

 This year I am putting in a lot more flowers in my blocks. there are many reasons for this and they don't really include attracting bees as there are many other pollinators around. I am doing it because they look nice and to make my blocks a lot more insect friendly. I might also be able to sell a few bunches of flowers at the markets.

Flowers are underestimated in value in many edible gardens but I have come to understand their worth a lot more in the past couple of years.

This flower is a red pyrethrum. I was given a few seeds some years ago and because I didn't look after them, I ended up with only this single plant. A few months ago I planted it in one of my beds for a bit of colour and I really enjoy walking past it every day.
The spidery looking plant next to it is an American Banana Yucca. I have a few of these but they are not growing very fast so I don't know how long it will take for them to get to fruiting size and age.

One of the flowers I don't want is this onion flower. I don't know why it is but I am just no good at growing onions. I guess that it is because of the wildly fluctuating temperatures we get most of the year. I plant them at the right time for the variety but they still usually flower before producing bulbs. I keep trying and experimenting with different times of the year but the results are always the same.

I only have one bed in at the moment for the house as they are not cost effective to grow for sale and I think I will give up altogether and rely on shallots and perennial leeks instead.

I have just thought as I write this that I might save any that don't bolt and try to breed a landrace onion that is suited to this area. Something to think about anyway.

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