Seen at the Festival of the Tree

...if you would be happy all your life, plant a garden ~ Chinese proverb

Thursday, 15 August 2013

GBBD: Mellow Yellow and Crocosmia Glow

This picture was taken on a dull day and the flower is shaded by other vegetation,
thus showing how yellow can light up the planting scene

There is one universal prediction which holds true for gardening - no matter what - every year will be different :)

2013 is proof in action. After the longer, colder winter and spring's delay, who'd have thought July would be so hot and dry? For the first time in years it means my courgettes, squashes and cucumbers are all flowering in profusion up at the allotment.

In fact they're assuming triffid-like tendencies. They've already overrun the oca (see my 2013 plot plan) and are heading off into Compost City and my new raised beds. I've also had to stop them sneaking off into the plots next door, so one of them has decided to climb up the grapevine instead. It's a delight to see them doing what they're meant to do and I'm enjoying their mellow yellow flowers, as are loads of pollen beetles.

My Nepalese allotment neighbour is very excited by my plants and plans to grow the same varieties next year. When I said I was worried they were beginning to overrun their allotted space, she got even more excited and told me the shoots are edible. Apparently I just need to peel them and then they can be used in stir-fries. What a marvellous discovery and a great way to keep them in check.

At last there's some late summer fire at VP Gardens, which is
making me think my large terrace bed should be more hot, hot, hot!

Another prediction which holds true - for my garden at least - is as soon as I mentally decide to get rid of something, it'll slyly decide to over perform and bowl me over. This year it's the Crocosmia 'Emberglow' in my large terrace bed. Until now their best part's been during early growth, when their fresh, sword-like leaves are back-lit perfectly when I look over from the patio.

At flowering time, they've tended to topple over and swamp whatever's planted in front of them. Most disappointing. This year, the seed heads of my 'river' of Allium christophii have formed the perfect natural staking for them to punch through and lean over more conversationally, so at last I'm enjoying the flowers. The only thing that's missing now are the humming birds, like the ones I saw feeding on Crocosmia at the Seattle Fling. That was my first natural, magical sighting of them sipping the flowers - thanks to Mr McGregor's Daughter excitedly waving me over so I saw them - and one that's sorely missed here at VP Gardens.

What's magical in your garden this month?

Garden Bloggers' Blooms Day is hosted by Carol at May Dreams Gardens.

18 comments:

  1. The most magical things for me this month have been the unexpected ones popping up from the houses previous owner (we've been here about a year now). We've had a very pretty pink flower we're still to identify come up, and when weeding the salad bed the other day I pulled up a small carrot which certainly wasn't planted this year!

    the-urban-cottage.blogspot.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ooh, I love surprises! The same thing's happening with my friend Judith who moved to a cottage last year with a previously well loved garden :)

      Delete
  2. Pretty veg bloom and flower bloom, too!
    Happy Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day!
    Lea
    Lea's menagerie

    ReplyDelete
  3. Have you tried eating the shoots yet? What do you think - the top four inches or so? Courgettes have certainly taken off with this weather - look away and they're almost marrows!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not yet Helen - I need to ask how much can be used.

      Delete
  4. It's a shame that cucurbit flowers are usually hidden under the leaves. My crocosmia is orangey red and a bit more subdued than yours.
    I've had a lemon yellow sunflower appear this week which is a first on the plot. Flighty xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There's one variety which is defiantly poking its flowers through the vegetation. The pollen beetles are going for those a lot more than the ones in the shade.

      Delete
  5. It's my first year of allotmenting, so I wasn't sure what to expect, but like you my cucumbers, squashes and courgettes have gone mad. French beans, cosmos and tomatoes are also looking really good. And I had more gooseberries and blackcurrants than I could shake a stick at, for no effort to boot. One slight peeve though, none of my raspberries were any good - at home (where they were watered) or at the allotment (where they weren't). I'm not sure if they need ripping out and replacing or if it's just a blip.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My raspberries aren't doing too well either CJ. I think the dry spell was to blame. However, if you're growing a autumn variety, there's plenty of time for them to do their thing yet!

      Delete
  6. A friend from Zimbabwe mentioned edible courgette shoots to me a couple of years back. It's the young, new shoots you eat and the young leaves are also edible (steamed or stir fried with tomatoes and onions). The older shoots are tough and hollow so need to be peeled. Having said all that, I confess that I haven't tried it myself!! Would make an interesting meal if you used bits from the whole plant wouldn't it? Fried courgette flowers, stems, leaves and courgette fruits - yum!
    Love the tip about using alliums to stake crocosmia - my mum's are a) spreading like mad and b) flopping. It's a flower I love so I'm going to dig some out to plant in the gardens here and will take your advice on the alliums! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What fab information in response to mine and Helen's conversation, thank you :)

      I was thinking the peeling would be needed because the stems get quite hairy don't they? I do like the idea of constructing an entire meal using all parts of the plant. I've also learnt this week that you can eat tomato leaves. I must remember to add that into next week's Salad Days

      I wish I could take credit for the alliums, but it was a complete fluke! And yes, my Crocosmia need some 'editing' too ;)

      Delete
    2. I was given the advice about edible courgette leaves and stems after my friend was aghast at seeing me chucking the leaves onto the compost - in her view a wasted delicacy!! The stems would be a challenge to eat I think - you'll have to let us know if you give it a go!
      I'm intrigued about eating tomato leaves - I've been adding carrot leaves to salads (v nice, btw); will tune in for more info!

      Delete
    3. Yes, I can also vouch for carrot leaves. It's something which helps eke out the winter rations :)

      Delete
  7. Love your Crocosmia Ember glow, I think I need something like that to carry on from Lucifer.So glad your courgettes are a success, they do tend to take off though, maybe eating their shoots will curb their enthusiasm.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have Lucifer in another border - they've got a bit shaded out recently, so I'll have to do something about that...

      Delete
  8. This is very interesting, that tomato leaves can be used in salads etc. Never tried it but I guess I will as my tomato plants are growing the leaves ever so quick. Can you cook them as well? Hmmm... I probably will try it as well as there isn't much room in my two compost bins ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Aga and welcome to Veg Plotting! I must remember to write more about this in this week's Salad Days due on Friday. I have a link to an article which will help to explain things. If I remember correctly it's more like using the leaves as a herb to enhance the tomato flavour where they're used in a dish.

      Delete

I love reading your comments and welcome thoughtful conversations :)

Help me to help you: If you're having problems leaving comments, contact me using the Contact Form at the foot of this page, or via vegplotting at gmail dot com, or @malvernmeet if a quick tweet is more convenient for you. That way I can get things sorted.

Comments aiming to link back and give credence to commercial websites will be composted!

Sorry - anonymous comments are disabled currently owing to continued problems with spammers.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...