Before I left for the meadow, I photographed zinnias that grow within four feet of my small kitchen garden. Actually, I planted the zinnias (please don’t tell anyone). When I expressed frustration with how moisture was killing bean plants in my vegetable bed, my wife offered up one of the ornamental beds for an auxiliary bean garden. I planted a row of climbing beans in the back of the bed, and several types of annual flowers in front of them. Zinnias took over, but there’s a decent crop of green beans as well.
I wasn’t anywhere near my small kitchen garden for yesterday’s Garden Bloggers Bloom Day, but I tried to post. Unfortunately, I ran out of time and energy before I started writing (I chose and cropped photos before I went to bed).
Not only don’t my photos feature my kitchen garden this month, they only barely feature any garden. Rather, I stepped into the meadow across the street and down the road and captured photos of what’s in bloom because nature wants it to be.
From Meadow to Forest
Few gardens are as sustainable as those that start themselves, and these meadows emerged from abandoned farmland. Left to their own devices, in 70 to 100 years the meadows will be young climax forests of native hardwoods. If you pull up a lawn chair and watch for a few dozen years, you’ll see a diverse assortment of organisms at every stage of the forest’s development.
I tried to capture some of the diversity in my photos. It’s not hard to recognize a theme other than just blooms in my Bloom Day post. A healthy wild meadow teams with insects, arachnids, birds, reptiles, and mammals. On a recent sunny day (or two), I captured photos of dozens of meadow creatures. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.
I don’t know flowers—particularly wild flowers. Perhaps you can tell me what these are. (My guess: Heath Asters.) Wherever I see stands of these happy blossoms, there is a swarm of winged critters flitting among them.
In case the previous photo lacked detail you need to identify the flowers, I include this for another look. What are those plants?
Are these purple flowers wild asters? I love seeing a clump of these in the meadow—particularly mixed in with goldenrod. Nature knows which plants to pair up for brilliant displays.
Speaking of goldenrod, it’s passing its prime, but it has been spectacular this year. I like to make huge bouquets of goldenrod for our dining table, but we’ve been so busy that I haven’t gotten to it. Fortunately, I have found some time to get out in the meadow and enjoy the goldenrod with bunches of other critters who also enjoy it.
Invitation to Post Produce
In a similar vein to Garden Bloggers Bloom Day, I invite the blogging community to join me on the 22nd of each month to Post Produce. On Saturday, October 22, create a blog post that reveals whatever you’re eating from your garden. Then return to Your Small Kitchen Garden and link to your post. There are more details on my Post Produce page. I hope you’ll share your kitchen gardening successes on October 22, and Post Produce.