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Posts Tagged ‘blooms’

Small Kitchen Garden P*rn: Bloom Day, April 2010

The forsythia are in their second week, and will be gone within days. They have been particularly striking this year.

To celebrate my first Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day of 2010, I’ve stepped out of my small kitchen garden. In fact, I’m going to confess something that is completely contrary to my best intentions.

I often express my lack of interest for planting anything that I’m not eventually going to eat. In truth, I’ve planted many ornamentals over the years. My wife has planted far more than many, and our yard is quite loaded with flowers through most of the growing season. Both the landscaping and the maintenance of it are exceptionally reproachable, but the flowers are gorgeous.

The photographer in me has always been a sap for flowers, and our interior décor includes enlargements of many of my flower photos. When I create a Bloom Day post, I usually stick to blossoms of the kitchen garden. Today, however, those blossoms share space with whatever else is busting out in our yard.

I grew a bit self-conscious while taking photos; I realized that I was focusing my camera a lot on what we might refer to as the flowers’ junk. The experience really brought home to me the meaning of the term “garden p*rn,” and I apologize for bringing it up in the first place. My next post will be back on point… I promise.

(Wondering why I’ve spelled “p*rn” with an asterisk instead of an “o?” I didn’t want to give Google the wrong idea.)

My wife has planted many varieties of daffodils, and they are usually the first plants to push leaves out of the thawing soil. They start to blossom as the crocuses wilt. I love the textures on these particularly frilly daffodils.

 

Not your typical all-yellow daffodil, the orange tinge around this daffodil’s junk makes for some lovely contrast. It was when I was photographing the daffodils that I realized the p*rnographic nature of my flower photos: what normal, young-blooded daffodil wouldn’t find this view compelling?

 

Among my favorite of all flowers, forget-me-nots are hearty perennials. They also seem happy to drop seeds that speed the plant’s spread through flower beds and into lawns. I adore these annoying plants… in fact, I planted the first forget-me-nots in our front ornamental bed at least ten years ago. My wife has done battle with them ever since.

 

The tulips start to blossom about when the forget-me-nots do. I’ve shot hundreds of tulip photos dating back to before digital, but these may be the first I’ve ever shown beyond my family photo albums. They look like tulips, yes?

 

Just squeaking in in time for Bloom Day, the lilacs are opening. A freeze about ten days ago left the tiny buds looking ominously dark, so I’m very happy to see these popping next to the stairs down from our back deck.

 

Azalea blossoms this early seem so out of place. The white azaleas have always blossomed ahead of the red ones, and this year is not exception. Only a few buds have opened, but in a matter of days I imagine the whole plant will be covered in white flowers.

 

Clouds against the blue sky, clusters of blossoms portend a decent pear harvest, assuming we’ve already had the final deep freeze of spring. Last year we had frost around May 26. I personally think fruit trees are stupid, given that they break into flower just because we have three weeks of warm weather three weeks earlier than usual.

 

I planted a Bartlett and a Moonglow pear tree side-by-side two autumns ago. They have both produced gorgeous pink blossoms among purple leaves. I won’t let them develop fruit this season, but perhaps next year they’ll be large enough to handle it.

 

If anyone in my yard is trying too hard this year, it’s the peach trees. An awesome display of overachievement. Assuming all the flowers set fruit, I’ll need to remove a lot of them while they’re young if I hope to harvest peaches of any significant size.

 

I love the way a cluster of buds emerges on an apple tree, and the bud in the middle opens… just a bit ahead of the other buds. I hate to see apple blossoms this early, but the bees have been happy. Here’s hoping we get no severe freeze, and the apple harvest is bountiful this coming autumn.

 

Dandelions and violets are among my favorite weed flowers. They are both exotic beauties that dominate my lawn for many weeks before I fire up the ugly lawn mower and behead them. Spring is an awesome time in a small kitchen gardener’s yard!

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October 09 Bloom Day in a Small Kitchen Garden

By the time I discovered a lone squash flower in my small kitchen garden, it was crusted with ice.

I regret to say: my small kitchen garden was not at all in the spirit of Garden Bloggers Bloom Day this month. In fact, this post marks the annual transition from active gardening season to armchair gardening season: Snow fell for much of the day.

Snow, in central Pennsylvania on October 15th. According to the weather service, this is a new record; there has never been “measurable” snow this early in a season.

My Small Kitchen Garden isn’t Done

As final as a snowfall seems, my garden isn’t really finished for the year. I expect to harvest cilantro at least one more time before leaving the plants to fend for themselves. Cilantro is quite hardy, and the clump of plants in my garden is likely to survive the winter and put out new growth as soon as the ground thaws next year.

The weather service has forecast days in the 60s next week, so I’ll be able to pull plant-support stakes and rake leaves onto the planting bed. Also, there are still carrots in the ground, so I’ll dig those after this snow melts.

Were I adding perennials to my garden or yard—fruit trees, for example—I’d still do so in the next month. Planting perennials in autumn has distinct advantages over planting them in spring. I explained my rationale last year in a post titled As Autumn Arrives Plant Fruit Trees.

It’s also not too late to start “burning in” new planting beds. I explained in Your Home Kitchen Garden blog how to start a garden bed in grass without first removing sod. If you start before the soil freezes, a reasonable amount of decomposition should take place over the winter; you may be able to plant in the spring, with an early summer start being nearly certain.

In any case, there were hundreds of blossoms in my small kitchen garden today… but with a wet snow falling, I had little fun trying to capture images of them. I hope November’s Bloom Day is a little less punishing and I hope you all had way more reason than I to enjoy today’s Bloom Day!

Most of the blossoms in my small kitchen garden are on the broccoli plants. There are hundreds of them, and today they were coated with ice.

 

This is no longer a flower, but it looks pretty cool. It’s the spent head of a dill plant. This one head scattered, perhaps, seven billion seeds in my garden (that’s an exaggeration), and now looks like crystal with its coating of frozen sleet.

 

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