Flowers and Vegetables: A Good Combination

Since I think it makes a healthier ecosystem to mix flowers in among vegetables, I have encouraged flower reseeding in the Plot Against Hunger garden. When you do this sort of thing, like a vegetable only garden, it needs managing. In the past couple weeks, I’ve cleared out many of the flowers inside the garden, opening up space for the cucumbers, squashes and watermelon to grow.

The watermelon are looking happy after all the rain.  This is a variety called Moon and Stars.  The green melons are speckled with orange and often have large round orange spots.

The watermelon are looking happy after all the rain. This is a variety called Moon and Stars. The green melons are speckled with orange and often have large round orange spots.

Speaking of squash, we’re getting some zucchini.

Soooo happy to see these.

Soooo happy to see these.

Jane harvested the remaining beets, turnips and carrots in the large outside garden and cleaned up and weeded as she wrote “to the left of the rose bush.” It’s a pretty neat looking garden at this point.

View toward Barton Street from 10th, with encroaching winter squashes

View toward Barton Street from 10th, with encroaching winter squashes

Something was getting into the small garden and eating the carrot tops and the pepper plants. What eats pepper plants? So I harvested all the carrots to clear out any cover the plant criminal was enjoying. I will spare you pictures of the carrots, which were lovely, because even well-disposed readers can only see so many photos of root vegetables. I hope to deliver them to the AFAC cooler at the farm market tomorrow.

One view of the thick floral border, which is effective at keeping out dogs.

One view of the thick floral border, which is effective at keeping out dogs.

The border around the large garden is gorgeous. I’ve been encouraging the volunteers to cut bouquets for themselves as the border will blossom longer.

There are several varieties of sunflower in the border.

There are several varieties of sunflower in the border.

I cut a bouquet for myself on this July 4th weekend.

It's so nice to have flowers in the house.

It’s so nice to have flowers in the house.

Since I’m having some people over for the Fourth, I’ve been planning for another simple meal, which will include a beet salad. I also have so many beet greens that tonight I made a curry with them, adding chick peas and almonds to the mix. It was delicious. Summer is grand.

What a bright puffball of a flower!

What a bright puffball of a flower!

This entry was posted in Community, Local Food and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

33 Responses to Flowers and Vegetables: A Good Combination

  1. Jean-Marcel says:

    An absolutely gorgeous garden which makes me dream of some powerful ikebana free style. But, most importantly, it speaks highly of your generosity and care for others. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

    • arlingwoman says:

      I can only imagine what you could do with some of those flowers! I’m a dump it on that vase and shake it around person, which demands a certain volume. Your arrangements are so simple and elegant and there’s the line they cause the eye to follow. So I can imagine. And it does feel good to help feed people with fresh food.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I can no longer manage gardening because of severe arthritis, but I used to enjoy it, in the Boston area. Of course the growing season is fairly short there, but I did like to mix flowers and veggies as you say you do. And I really miss being able to just walk out the door and pick a bouquet of flowers to bring inside. The color combination of yours here is really lovely.

    Liked by 1 person

    • arlingwoman says:

      Yes, cutting flowers in the summer is such a treat. I just take what’s there, sometimes thinking they might clash, but they never do. I did seek out some blue to cool the combo down, though!

      Like

  3. Eliza Waters says:

    Lovely vase arrangement– Those sunflowers are wonderful!

    Like

  4. Abundant flowers Lisa – what a good idea to plant thickly at the edge to deter the dogs! Pity it doesn’t work with the hungry rabbits 🙂 It’s already the fourth here, so I am celebrating your national holiday already ….. probably while you prepare to sleep! Have a great weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Happy Independence Day, Lisa. Your mix is beautiful. We have fennel growing in the flower beds, but don’t grow veg. The curry sounds good. At least one of our children called beetroot ‘beet fruit’, so we still do.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Lovely photos and write-up – let’s hope the watermelons, cucumbers, zucchinis, and so on, don’t wander onto the road – otherwise they might end up as squash.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. KerryCan says:

    I love your enthusiasm for this! Gardens take a lot of work and I’m sure your passion for this is what makes it all possible. July and August make it all worthwhile!

    Like

  8. Every week the garden looks more impressive and wonderfully enticing. What a fantastic project to work on, Lisa. And personally, I could absolutely stare all day long at lovely photos of root veg. Daydreamy stuff to my eyes.
    Okay, quick gardener question for you. For some reason, no matter what I try – different beds or organic pest spray – I seem to be the only person in America who cannot grow zucchini. The squash bugs see those leaves from a mile away and within two or three weeks I’ve got little copper eggs residing on the undersides. I’ve spent way too many hours hand picking them all off. Have you a magic trick to share?
    Cheers

    Like

    • arlingwoman says:

      Squash bugs. Ugh. Other than picking them off and murdering them individually, the only other thing I do is use Safer Soap spray on them and in a dry year, they can be drowned with a good watering. If you plant early, you could try planting later (mid June) and if you plant later, the reverse. Sometimes you can miss the life cycle that way.

      Like

    • After planting pumpkins year after year with great success, squash bugs moved in. They caused mild damage the first year, then destroyed pretty much everything the following year. I hand picked like crazy but without any success. I even wrapped my precious pumpkin in a nylon stocking which keeps the rats at bay but they got through that too. I’ve since learned they are a huge problem, even commercially. http://michabelle.hubpages.com/hub/Squash-Bug-Invasion

      Like

  9. LB says:

    The border is indeed beautiful! There is something wonderful about a sunflower. They always bring a smile to my face. You are doing such a good thing, Lisa, and I love how you encourage everyone.
    The beets with curry chick peas sounds yummy.
    Hope the 4th was full of fun and friends and delicious homegrown food!

    Like

  10. Boomdeeadda says:

    Wow! You and your garden conspirators (everything is a conspiracy in DC isn’t it? LOL) certainly have green thumbs. Imagine if you weren’t gardening there, it’d be a big ol’ ugly empty lot. Love love love the sunflower and pincushion (? I think) border. So cheery looking and dare I say very hippy-ish. I’m hearing that song “I’d like to teach the world to sing” looking at that. Did you watch the ending of Mad Men? They ended the series with that song playing.
    How’s Einstein doing? Have you joined him for lunch lately? Hey? Do you use the root part or leaf part of the Beets in your salad? I love pickled beets too…mmmmmm I’m snacky but it’s 12:38AM and I should toodle off to bed. Hugs K

    Liked by 1 person

    • arlingwoman says:

      Pincushion! I was wondering what it was. I am appallingly ignorant of flowers. Einstein is doing well, with people crawling all over him. it’s been raining so much, I haven’t eaten lunch outside. Am heading to IL to visit my mom for a few days. Probably no beet salad there! I use the roots for the salad and cook the greens, as by the time the roots are big, so are the greens. Otherwise, they make a lovely green salad! Ooooh, pickled, beets are so good, especially with lots of ginger. Alas, I have no tv, so no Mad Men. Have you ordered poppies yet? I haven’t. But I will…

      Liked by 2 people

      • Boomdeeadda says:

        Actually, I was wrong to call those Pinchusion. They’re called Zinnia’s, which is what I was thinking of but named them wrong. They’re great !!

        I didn’t know you don’t have a TV, I guess now that I think of it, I didn’t see one in your suite but you never know. It might have been in the ‘Theatre room’ LOL. Aren’t those the craziet thing? I think they’re just an expensive place to sleep cause that’s what we normally do when we watch a movie, LOL.

        Have a fab trip home, your mom will be so happy. Are they near lake Michigan? Lucky you to be enjoying so much moisture. We are high and dry here and looking at 32C or 90 F….I’m mellllting (say that like a wicked witch in the Wizard of Oz).

        No poppy order yet, gah! I’m still visiting the sites. It’s like opening a cookbook before dinner. I look and read and read and look and then make the same ol’ thing. LOL Toodles! xK

        Liked by 1 person

  11. I didn’t realize I was so far behind. I hope you had a fabulous 4th. Your garden looks great. I love sunflowers and admire your impressive border. It looks like you’ve already had so much enjoyment from that garden.

    Like

  12. Julie says:

    Love all your prettiness amidst the city.

    Like

  13. Robin says:

    Your vase arrangement is gorgeous, and I love the thick flower border. I’m wondering what that last puffball sunflower is because we used to grow something similar and I can’t remember the name. Your beet greens curry sounds delicious. Any curry sounds delicious, as does anything with beet greens. I have a recipe for a beets ‘n greens soup that I like to make in the summer months. Similar to a borscht and it’s really good cold (which is refreshing in the summer months).

    Our peppers are not doing a thing this year and we can’t figure out why. No flowers, no nothin’, as my husband keeps saying. I’m guessing some critter is eating the flowers which results in no nothin’ (or no peppers). Yet everything else in the garden is untouched. I used to have flowers in my veggie garden in Ohio, mostly because I think the spot we picked for growing veggies was once a flower garden and all sorts of pretty flowers came up every year (most of which I never identified), and I couldn’t bear to pull them out. One year I had volunteer roma tomatoes in the asparagus patch and had no asparagus beetles that year so I made a point of planting a tomato or two in there, and the asparagus and tomatoes both did very well. There’s something to be said for combining things in the garden. It’s as if they watch out for each other.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. arlingwoman says:

    I wish I knew what that puffball sunflower is! No idea. Just saw a field of sunflowers today in IL visiting my mother. In any event, the sunflowers are small, about two feet high! I’m very pleased with the border. My peppers,btw, are being nibbled on by rabbits! little spawn of satan…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Robin says:

      Spawn of satan… lol! We are overrun with rabbits here, and it’s become almost a joke. We see at least 20 or so when we’re heading out the driveway in the morning or the evening. The front lawn is littered with them. We did put up (and dig in) chicken wire to keep them out of the veggie garden, but someone must be getting in. We had a groundhog that used to eat the pepper flowers in Ohio.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. reocochran says:

    I believe you are doing a wonderful thing giving your extra parts of your vegetable crop to the local AFAC farmers market. I was taught by my mom to put marigolds since they are rather pungent around vegetables or flowers which need “protection” from critters. 🙂
    I have been friends with Pauline for awhile, so followed you from her post where she had taken a break. I thought I had left a response here. Maybe I just thought I pushed “post comment?” Just wished to add my praise and admiration to others for your gorgeous bouquet.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s