Monday, December 3, 2007

Unexpected beauty - vegetables in bloom

This year I have been letting many of my vegetables go to seed.

This has proven to be an incredible bonus to my vegetable garden, as the flowers have attracted many beneficial predators such as tiny wasps and a range of other insects, including masses of bees, which are, of course, vital for the pollination of vegetables and fruit trees.

But there is another unexpected side effect to letting the garden go a bit wild - some of the plants are incredibly beautiful, and I never knew about it before I let them go about their natural cycle.

This page shows some pictures taken in the garden this morning.

Above on the left is elephant garlic (Allium ameloprasum) which is really a kind of leek rather than a true garlic variety. It produces giant bulbs which are somewhat milder than ordinary garlic.
On the right is a spring onion which has lived in my garden for at least four years now - we just keep picking on the edges and it keeps growing back. Very handy to have as a stand-by when I have run out of onions. There was a bee visiting just when I took my photo this morning - they are very attractive indeed, not only to us humans!

Probably the biggest surprise for me was the green curly endive that I had been growing as a salad green over winter and that came out in lovely blue aster-like flowers, seen here to the left. I guess after realising that endives are in fact members of the Asteraceae family, the shape and colour of the flowers are less of a surprise!

I have also been growing lucerne for mulch but I have not yet had the heart to cut it down, I find the flowers (pictured on the right) rather attractive, and once again, the bees just love them, too!

And even the potato patch is giving me unexpected delight, with delicate purple and yellow flowers above dark green leaves.

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1 comment:

  1. That Elephant Garlic is awesome!

    Personally I really love the flowers of scarlet runner beans and borage... there is definitely a lot to be said for the large yellow blooms of most varieties of squash/zucchini, as well! Can't wait to start my own garden sometime in the near future. Vegetables are on the list!

    I am enjoying your blog and will add you to my bookmarks. How did you find mine?