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A Parade of Flowers

July 7th, 2014

In the little potager behind the house I have vegetables and flowers mixed together. Some of the flowers are simply decorative, others are edible plants that have been allowed to flower in order to save seed.  This time of year it’s really starting to fill out and look nice, there’s color everywhere you look.
potager in bloom 1
The peony poppies are out in full force adding a pop of color in a sea of yellow mustard flowers and white coriander blooms. These self sow liberally, in the spring I simply pull up all the seedlings I don’t want and leave a few for beautiful blooms.
potager in bloom 4
The ‘Bowle’s Black’ violets are lining one small section of the main walkway, their velvety black flowers are simply stunning!
potager in bloom 2
The tarragon is also throwing up it’s purple spires and the bees are loving it. I’m thinking of moving these to a different location, they’re a little large for the space they occupy. The shape of a tarragon plant is perfect, it’s a little like a cone shaped boxwood. Perhaps a hedge of tarragon somewhere would be nice.
potager in bloom 3
The calendula also seeds freely and I leave in some areas as a cover crop to keep weeds from growing. The flowers are harvested and dried to feed to the chickens in the winter. One of these years I hope to make my own calendula salve, perhaps this fall I will make the time.
potager in bloom 6
Field peas are growing in the newer section of the garden, they were planted with a cover crop mix to smother weeds and improve the soil. Now that they’re blooming it’s time to cut them down to create a mulch. Even in a small garden cover crops can be used.
potager in bloom 7
Right outside the main pathway to the potager the nine bark blooms are fading from blossom to seed. I find the seed balls almost more beautiful than the flowers. I like this dark leaved shrub, it will be moved to the back of the potager so it gets more sun.
potager in bloom 8
The tall spires of foxglove are nearing their end, only a few remain after the hurricane blew through. This one was the last one to bloom. You really can’t beat the tall flowers of this lovely plant.
potager in bloom 9
The carrots are also starting to bloom. These lovelies overwintered in the garden and I’m letting them set seed to collect for next year’s crop. They should make for a good winter hardy crop and keep us eating delicious carrots throughout the winter.
carrot bloom
potager in bloom 5The result of having flowers mixed with vegetables is a riot, literally a riot of color and texture. Here you can see a broccoli plant in the foreground with red mustard flowering in yellow, behind it you can see the peony poppies that seed happily throughout the potager.

What’s blooming in your garden this week?

7 Comments to “A Parade of Flowers”
  1. Nebraska Dave on July 7, 2014 at 7:47 am

    Susy, wow, you are definitely in to the summer mode there in Maine. Yesterday was our first 90 degree day in over a month here. It’s been a very cool year for weather with lots of rain. We received 1.38 inches last Saturday with the threat of more today. The garden soil has never come close to drying out this year. Planting in the mud has been the norm. It’s still a struggle to work in the garden here.

    The only thing I have blooming is the sickly tomatoes that some how, I suspect, how a whiff of weed spray from the neighbor’s yard service and the green peppers that survived the spray as well. I’ve never seen tomato plants with such a small amount of foliage before. The potatoes are blooming fools. They haven’t even shown any signs of defeat through wind, rain, hail, and flash floods. My main concern with the potatoes is rotting in the extremely wet soil. There’s definitely no drought going on here.

    Have a great parade of flowers day.

    Reply to Nebraska Dave's comment

    • Susy on July 7, 2014 at 8:07 am

      Hopefully your tomatoes bounce back, it’s always frustrating when that happens. My mom has a lilac bush that suffers because her neighbor sprays too much.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  2. Laura @ Raise Your Garden on July 7, 2014 at 8:31 am

    Cute flower pics! Poppies remind me of my grandma because she love them so much and hers are blooming right now in our garden, I love how they come back year after year.

    Tarragon is my favorite flavor for chicken pot pie and that is doing well too.

    My sage is actually really a pretty purple right now too.

    Reply to Laura @ Raise Your Garden's comment

  3. Misti on July 7, 2014 at 9:46 am

    My flower garden is definitely in a weird state at the moment. With the foxglove way past its peak and already rotting away, I have holes in the garden. That is until the seeds that spread from the plants sprout, but that’ll be awhile. A lot of my salvia is blooming which is good and I have false dragonhead that has continued to bloom longer than I expected. I’m really looking forward to my Texas star hibiscus blooming…I hid some of them from the deer (as much as I could) and they have buds on them.

    Reply to Misti's comment

  4. Kyle on July 7, 2014 at 12:14 pm

    I’ve had a bit of a different attitude this year regarding bolting plants. I used to immediately pull them out and toss them into the compost. This year, I’ve been letting them sit around a little longer for the local insects. I have bolted mizuna greens, spinach, and kale that have put up lovely delicate flowers.

    Reply to Kyle's comment

  5. Karla on July 7, 2014 at 9:31 pm

    My milkweeds are blooming, as well as some other butterfly-attracting plants. I’m most happy with the combination of orange butterfly weed/milkweed, red bee balm, burgundy blanket flowers, and orange zinnias. The orange butterfly weed has been established for a few years, and last year the pink butterfly weed in a nearby bed bloomed for the first time (its second year) – it’s also blooming now.

    Because the pink butterfly weed (A. incarnata) hosts Monarch butterfly egg laying (orange, A. tuberosa, is mostly for nectaring), I had some larvae to rear last summer before tagging and releasing the emerging adults. Last year I planted seeds for more pink butterfly weed, but the blooms this year are white. I will need to figure out what they really are.

    Reply to Karla's comment

  6. sarah on July 7, 2014 at 10:33 pm

    Well I hope it’s not literally a riot – that would be terrible!

    I’d love to read more about what you feed your chickens. I have some chickens and a bunny and feed them as much as I can from the garden but am always looking for new ideas.

    What’s blooming here… I’m not great at remembering the names of ornamentals. But gomphrena, lavender, purslane, and some kind of small white daisy are all doing well here. Everyone else’e crape myrtles are covering the street in pink and white.

    Reply to sarah's comment

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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