I’ve been really inspired by the Grow Food not Lawns movement. The past few years I’ve been transitioning my massive perennial borders and front flower beds into mixed gardens, integrating my existing plants with vegetables, herbs, flowers and fruit. This combination can be beautiful and practical. Rhubarb, zucchini and most vegetables are so attractive and look great among the flowers and shrubs. Lots of flowers are edible and pretty… Bee balm, calendula, violets, nasturtiums, roses and lavender, to name just a few. Strawberries and creeping thyme are great ground covers and borders. Currant and blueberry bushes are easy to grow, attractive when they come into flower and even prettier when they set berries. Columnar fruit trees are another great option. Cabbage and kale are great fill ins. Lancinato kale has a lot of visual interest but it gets eaten up by little green worms here so I grow the Green Scottish Curled instead. Herbs offer so much in the way of flowers and color..echinacea, catnip, lemon balm, variegated mints, borage..The list goes on and this post is getting long. As the season progresses, all the little plants filling my tables under lights crowding the sunny windowsills will hopefully be big and strong and make their way into the gardens. Ideas are percolating for artful/ edible combinations and integrations. I’m hoping this gardening season is productive and beautiful for all of us!
I may have been a little over enthusiastic in sowing the seeds for my cabbage patch. I have over 60 little plants. Cabbage is great for saurkraut, of course, and if you make your own you can add all sort of good things to it…carrots, kale, onions..even oranges. Delicious! I like to stir fry cabbage in coconut oil. It is sweet, a little crunchy and doesn’t smell like sulfur when cooked this way. Onions, fresh garlic and sea salt taste great with it. Pea pods make a great addition too.
I have a lot of calendula started too. Fresh calendula petals added to stir fries, salads..even fruit salads make things look pretty and add extra nutrition. Dried petals retain their shape and color when added to glycerine soaps, vinegars and oils. In the garden, they are workhorses and make terrific companion plants.
I notice the fruit flies beginning to hover and multiply over my seedlings. A little food grade Diamataceous earth sprinkled on the potting bench will take care of that problem in no time. It’s non toxic and safe for pets. Once it gets wet it is no longer effective. In the past, I’ve had issues with ants and japanese beetles in my old house. Last year I sprinkled Diamataceous earth in all the windowsills, along the perimeters of the cellar and on top of the beams. It really worked .
Speaking of Cabbage Patches and little sprouts…my daughter is having a baby! The first grandchild! I added the last stitch to this happy little quilt last night.