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July 09 Bloom Day in a Small Kitchen Garden

In the category of Flower closest to my kitchen: A bell pepper plant is just starting to set fruit. I have great hopes as there are already dozens of banana peppers and a few jalapeno peppers ripening just a few feet away.

Flowers are not the point of a small kitchen garden. However, without flowers, there are very few food products a kitchen garden can produce. So, though I often joke that I’m too lazy to plant something that I won’t eventually eat, I am very fond of flowers.

I’m also very fond of the on-line gardening community. While many participants in that community discuss their food-growing activities, it seems a majority prefer the time they spend with their flower and ornamental gardens. From the photos on their blogs, I know I’d enjoy spending time in their gardens as well… but I have no flower- or ornamental-garden to offer in kind.

And then there’s Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day started by Carol over at May Dreams Gardens: on the 15th of each month, participating garden bloggers post entries about what’s abloom in their gardens. This month, I’m joining the gang. But my post isn’t about nasturtiums, pansies, cone flowers, daisies, black-eyed susans, and clematis. You won’t find such things in my garden (sure, you’ll find them in my wife’s garden, but she doesn’t blog). Still, my small kitchen garden is blooming its head off, and I’m psyched because nearly every blossom means another goody to eat growing in my yard.

In the category of Tallest herb in my small kitchen garden: Dill weed volunteers grow where seed fell from last year’s plants. This variety of dill grows about five feet tall.


Small Kitchen Garden Cilantro

In the category of Don’t get me started: If I left all the volunteer cilantro plants to grow as they please in my small kitchen garden, I’d never again have to plant the herb. However, the volunteers rarely start where I’d like them to. Shortly after they flower, the plants produce coriander: the round seeds that either plant themselves in the garden or season a variety of Asian and South American foods.


Small Kitchen Garden Cilantro And Lettuce

Yes, more cilantro flowers. I wanted to point out that flowers aren’t the be-all and end-all of pretty in a small kitchen garden. Several varieties of variegated lettuce are still growing where I planted them, and they provide an attractive background for this volunteer coriander factory.


In the category of Invasive, noxious herb: About five years ago, I planted a tiny oregano plant from one of those 1.5-inch-cubed nursery pots. There is now a five-foot diameter circle of densely-packed oregano shoots, and they have just started to flower. No doubt, this fall I’ll be excavating oregano roots to decrease the plant’s footprint by at least half.


Weed in a Small Kitchen Garden

In the category of Winningest weed: It’s tiny. It likes my small kitchen garden planting bed. It’s gorgeous. I had to kneel with one elbow on the ground to get close enough for the photo.


Small Kitchen Garden Climbing Bean

In the category of Most fun for the money: In my first year growing climbing beans, I have become enamored. The flowers look a lot like all other bean flowers I’ve grown. However, I’ve had a lot of fun tying up strings and training the bean vines to use them. The tallest climber is about to pass the end of its string and become entwined with the kids’ play set (my youngest child is 13 years old, and the play set sees play about once a year).


Small Kitchen Garden Tomato Flowers

In the category of Another tomato blossom photo: Yes, I’ve photographed a lot of tomato blossoms over the years. This photo is a little different as it vaguely captures the components of the tomato support system I erected this year in place of tomato stakes.


Small Kitchen Garden Onion Flower

In the category of It’s cool to be different: I love the round cluster of flowers that emerges at the end of a long onion stalk. Ideally, your onions don’t flower; flowering generally results in a smaller onion bulb with a short shelf life. However, crazy weather can cause flowering, and growing onions from sets can also lead to flowers. No matter. My onions are plump and I’ll use them quickly once the stalks flop to the ground. My onion flowers look grand.


Honey Bee on Clover

In the category of: Who’s happy on Garden Blogers’ Bloom Day? And: who doesn’t have clover flowers in their yards and gardens?


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10 Responses to “July 09 Bloom Day in a Small Kitchen Garden”

  • Hi, I like your kitchen garden very much. I know exactly what you mean about cilantro, it is beautiful but boy does it reseed itself. I have it “confined” to a patch and yet I find it in the gravel of the paths, etc.

    Your flowers are beautiful and I am totally with you on the beauty of lettuces. What a happy bee! You are fortunate to have them.

  • Christina Salwitz:

    Very, very good pics! Veggies flowers are not easy targets. You made me want to be not only a better veggie gardener, but better photographer too.

  • I like to think of my veggie garden as being as ornamental as the flowers and herbs, so I love your photos. Self sown dill is a special love of mine; beautiful to look at, smells divine, and tastes good. I hope I can get my Cilantro to start self seeding. My squash, eggplant, and borage flowers are gorgeous.

  • I have been loving y vegetable garden this year and have even been considering reconfiguring it so that there is a sitting area in the middle. Your vegetable garden could rival many ornamental gardens!

  • admin:

    healingmagichands: Thank you for your kind words. It was remarkable to me that a honeybee landed on the clover just as I was stepping into the garden to shoot pics for GBBD.

    Christina: Thank you so much.

    Granny Fran: I sometimes wonder if my kitchen garden is beautiful to me in the same way that an awkward, pimple-faced, pug-nosed, squinky-eyed teenager is to her mom and dad. I think it’s gorgeous – especially as the young seedlings emerge, and later as the plants flower and fruit.

    Sylvana: I would love to have the room and the energy to make my kitchen garden more of a picnic area. It’s so small and tightly-crowded now that I don’t want anyone walking in it; sometimes I accidentally damage plants. Long-term, I plan to replace my lawn mostly with plants that provide food: grapes on trellises, strawberries in raised beds surrounded with benches, fruit trees, blueberry bushes, and raspberry brambles. Some day, my yard will be my kitchen garden, and there will be many inviting places for people to linger (without damaging my plants).

  • The Winningest Weed – I have that one too, and it is so pretty! And I, too, have spend 5 minutes kneeling down to try and get a good macro shot of it. I’d like to trade this stuff in for some crabgrass, please!

  • donna apple:

    oh i would love to be your neighbor, to watch and help out. to see all the food that comes from your pots..and last to have a picnic of all season lovins and share new ideals for the next season.,i’m just getting started in containers.raised beds,pots,buckets,livestock waters. most anything i see.or can get my hands on. please keep posting,i love to read,and learn. and its neat how you are always trying new things.what state are you in? i’m in ohio.

  • edna romero:

    i was looking for a picture of what a dill weed head looks like, i’m pickling cucumbers.

  • Daniel Gasteiger:

    Edna: A dill weed head is the top of a main stem as it is about to flower–you can even use it while it’s flowering. The collection of florets on a stem in the right of this photo is a dill weed head:

    dill weed head on the right

  • edna romero:

    thank you, very helpful. love reading your comments about your garden, makes me giggle.

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