Cultivate Simple Podcast in iTunes Chiot's Run on Facebook Chiot's Run on Twitter Chiot's Run on Pinterest Chiot's Run on Flickr RSS Feed StumbleUpon

Quote of the Day: Joy Larkcom

June 18th, 2017

“There will be disappointments (when gardening). The glorious visions that are conjured up when sowing or planting don’t always materialize and the painful memories of failures lurk in my written records: ‘chamomile path engulfed by chickweed; cat scratched up lettuce seedlings; first cabbage lost to pigeons; drought causing slow pumpkin growth; ‘Treviso’ chicory disappeared. There are bound to be highs and lows: no garden can be beautiful all the time.”

Joy Larkcom in Creative Vegetable Gardening

For two years I have had a vision of what I wanted to create in the garden area below the living room windows. A mass planting of ‘Walkers Low’ catmint with lovely purple allium globes towering above it. I had seen a photo at one time of this and found it stunning.

Clearly my alliums are not towering above the catmint, in fact one is being smothered by it. The flowers are also the same color, which wasn’t the plan either. Perhaps the photo I saw used a lower catmint, the version that grows only a foot tall or so. Or perhaps the alliums grew to their normal height. My ‘Globemaster’ alliums are definitely not as tall as others I have seen, in fast they’re a full 8-12 inches shorter than the others I have seen. All-in-all, this ended up being a gardening disappointment.

The one on the edge is pretty tall, this is more what I was going for, but the other two aren’t even close to being tall enough. The one closer in is being swallowed up by the catmint (as you can see in the first photo of the post). In my opinion this is a waste of alliums. Alliums should be showstoppers in the garden, they’re so graphic and bold.

I’m certainly glad I didn’t buy a lot of alliums, I purchased only 3 bulbs to give it a try first. I may try a different type of allium in, one that has smaller flowers and one that is a different color of purple. These alliums won’t be lost, I love them, just not here. The bulbs will be fed, dug up, and then moved to a new spot in the garden where they can shine and be the showstopper they should be.

What gardening fails have you had this year? 

Egyptian Walking Onions

April 4th, 2011

A few years ago, after reading Gaia’s Garden, a book about permaculture, I started adding more perennial vegetables to my edible garden. There are the usual suspects like rhubarb and asparagus, but many people don’t realize you can buy perennial onions and leeks as well.

I planted these Egyptian Walking Onions 2 years ago along with some perennial potato onions (which aren’t technically perennial because you have to dig them up and replant them). They did well last year, I didn’t harvest any because I wanted to let them get established. Last fall I had a few with the little bulblets on the tops of the stalks. This spring they’re looking great. I haven’t harvested any yet, but they’re large enough I could any day (I’m thinking an omelet might be the reason). These photos were taken 2 weeks ago, and the onions are much larger now.

I even noticed that one of them had “walked” into another area of my raised bed. I’ll be moving these little guys soon to another area of the garden. I’m hoping to have a good patch of these in a few years because they make a nice early onion. A perfect way to supplement the few remaining storage onions in the pantry. They certainly are interesting plants to grow.

Do you have any perennial vegetables in your garden?

Reading & Watching

Shop through these links and I get a few cents each time. It's not much, but it allows me to buy a new cookbook or new gardening book every couple months. I appreciate your support!


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.