susansflowers

garden ponderings


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Milkweed & Monarchs

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Last summer, I attended a workshop on attracting Monarch butterflies to your garden.
I purchased these seed packets of Milkweed seeds to plant in the dormant season.

Today, I planted my seeds along fence lines in 3 separate areas.
This is to insure the seeds will come up in at least one bed.

I have since read that Milkweed grows ‘like a weed’ in certain areas.
I truly hope I have not gone over the line,
and introduced any more invasive plants in my locale.


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New Year’s Baby

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Olympia hybrid spinach, planted in July 2015, is starting to flower.  Since they are hybrid plants, I will not try to save any seeds.  This makes me aware to next time look for open pollinated spinach seed.  Maybe the next spinach leaves will taste better than these did 🙂  So much for the first time I have ever been able to sprout spinach seeds in my garden, ha-ha.

At the same time I seeded spinach, I also put in an entire packet of turnip (on the left – they have reddish tops) and rutabaga seeds, each.  I suppose it was because I had the space and wanted to see if anything really would come up.  Of course, when one doesn’t care that much, the emergence rate is incredible.  We have eaten more turnips and rutabagas than ever in our entire life.  I have given them to friends (hey, wouldn’t your sheep like any?), and finally donated bags of vegies to the local Food Bank.  Really do not like to waste anything.  Though, the compost pile puts all excess garden growth to good use!


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African Daisies

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At the end of May, when I had planted most of the vegetables in the garden, there was one bed still open.  A hunt in my collection found flower seeds friends had shared with me from the last few years.
I planted 3 or 4 varieties of flower’s seeds, watered, and waited.  And waited.  The bed was still empty.

Finally, a few plants I could not identify came up.  They didn’t look like anything I’d ever seen before.  They tasted awful, so probably were not obscure salad greens.

It was September before the first orange flower bloomed.  As we approach October, the end of the growing season, a day closer to the first freeze, this plant decides to “strut its stuff”.
For me, I am happy to see these yellow and orange daisies starting life, as the rest of the garden is fading away.  I can only hope there is still time for these flowers to produce seeds for next year.  Another wait and see period.

Cilantro Flowers

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Cilantro Flowers

Cilantro leave are used in Mexican and Asian cooking. When the flowers go to seed, the name changes to Coriander, which is used in various Asian culinary circles as a whole or finely ground seed.

Lately we’ve been using lots of cilantro as a garnish for fish tacos, yum-yum. The plants have been reseeding themselves in an area in the garden for a few years. A very distinct and intriguing aroma is released by merely touching the plants.

At a pot-luck recently, I had a cilantro salad dressing, made with lemon juice and olive oil.  It was so tasty, I keep on making variations that go with all of my salads.

California Poppies

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California Poppies

These flowers are coming up all through my vegetable beds. I figure they are good food for the bees and they make the garden look very colorful. I let the poppies reseed in this area, and have been collecting seeds to reseed other flower beds.

In these beds, plants are watered with drip irrigation. The theory is that only the vegetables I plant get the water, and the drought-resistant poppies can grow and flower in between. In this photo are serrated artichoke leaves between the poppies.

Red Poppies

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Red Poppies

No, these are not potent poppies, but you could use the seeds in baking, as in muffins. I let them reseed themselves freely in a flower bed. Now that they are multiplying beautifully, I can try to harvest the seeds and introduce them to another flower bed. Without any proof, I do believe these are not deer-resistant.

I love the fragile, papery look of the petals on this flower. The way they follow gusts of wind in the air.

Recently, on the morning weather report, where they show photographs sent in by viewers, I saw a picture of a field of red poppies. They were being grown as a commercial seed crop. Just a beautiful sea of red blossoms.