Thursday, May 31, 2007

Tales of the runaway garden # 2

Perpetual spinach, likewise rainbow chard, and indeed all leaf beets, were, as we understood it, just that, perpetual. Which is to say they don't bolt. Great, we thought, as we're not planting many vegetables this year, we'll just leave them in, leafy greens in perpetuity.

But of course, any degree of reflection on the matter of the birds and the bees would have told me that any leafing plant will, at some time, have the need to produce flowers and seeds. The plant turns out to be biennial, so yes, it does bolt.

Bitter as can be, they'll have to go the way of all surplus vegetation, the compost bin. But they are rather magnificent, with an architectural, muscular quality, and a lot of colour.

The elephant garlic too, is reaching for the sky, but that's as it should be.


Anonymous said...

Beautiful colours and shapes indeed!

Marly Youmans said...

Grand miniature forest...

herhimnbryn said...

Beautiful L.

Tell me about planting Garlic, elephant or otherwise. My one and only attempt withered in the bulb!

Jan said...

I'm wondering if you're into painting, Lucy?
I wouldn't be at all surprised. You have an ear for words and an eye for photography.
(I hope that DOESN'T sound like a school report!!...)
Fabulous stuff.

Unknown said...

Our chard always goes to seed in the second year after yielding us a few unspoilt leaves in the spring. It is a beautiful vegetable as your beautiful photographs show.

Lucy said...

Thank you, kind people! The prettiness of the ramping vegetation is enjoyable if I don't let the herculean nature of bringing it into some kind of control impinge too much on my awareness! A very wet May has produced a wild amount of growth.
H - I shall ask Tom to do a masterclass on garlic! Plutarch's probably even better at it, we both grow garlic from the Isle of Wight Garlic Farm, who give very good advice with their garlic. When we went to New Zealand last year, we were very impressed with the garlic in the shops there, and asked my sister to post us some to grow. It arrived in good condition, but seemed to suffer from some kind of seasonal jetlag, and wouldn't grow at all!
Jan - I used to draw and paint, sometimes OK when I got my eye in and did it habitually. I had better marks in art than my academic subjects at school, but didn't much care for the thought of art college. I did a certain amount here a few years ago,after reading 'Painting from the Source', then reduced operations to watercolour pencils, now I am altogether seduced by the clean, compact, portable, throwaway nature of digital photography. Unfortunately I am technically clueless and will probably not advance much there either! I wish you had written my school reports!
Plutarch - in fact those early year leaves were very welcome, tender enough for salads. The frosts are never too severe here so it survives. It's often used here in municipal container planting, which is also the only place I've seen runner beans growing, for their flowers.

meggie said...

Suffering severe photo envy here! I love your pics, always.
Wonderful colours.
Runner beans grown for their flowers?? How unusual!

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