the great thing about gardening is that there’s a niche for each…
(when i wrote that, i pronounced each to rhyme with niche–try it, it’s a giggler.)
especially at this time of year, i get a lot of questions about vegetable gardens. it’s funny how i can be so obsessed with flower gardening when there is a whole world of garden plants that i haven’t delved into. of course, the same principles of sun, water, fertilizer, and weeding apply and i can answer questions from my dusty attic brain of horticultural trivia and factoids, but the extent of my experience with edibles has been a peppery nasturtium planted with other colorful annuals, countless herb boxes for restaurants and homeowners, an occasional hot pepper for ornamental value, and of course pansies and violas that are amazing in salads or stuck into the frosting of a delicious cupcake.
kids-don’t-try-this-at-home: while we’re on the subject of edibles and i will admit here and now that i have in fact eaten the following–tulip stems, snapdragon roots, rose hips, maple samaras, and far more than my share of the standard peck of dirt that old tyme lore claims every child should consume.
so, i think it’s fantastic that there is so much gardening to go around. on the veggie side of things, joe and sarah over on the north side of town have a great garden plot that they grow pretty close to entirely from seed. it is the topic of many summer conversations, a bounty of many meals, as well as the backdrop for the annual rib-off BBQ that joe has hosted for three years now. (as a member of the planning committee, i will certainly keep you posted with more about as we get closer to the fierce competition. maybe your ribs could take the prize…)
also notable in the vegetables-on-display department is zingerman’s roadhouse for its farm-fresh display of herbs and corn planted in lieu of snapdragons and marigolds, as well as passing up washed out shredded bark for oyster shell mulch. kudos.
i say, let’s unite the worlds of flowers and edibles! if you’re a flower girl or a farm boy, time to try something crazy… maybe an heirloom tomato can sprout out of your patio planter brimming with lantana? how about a mini zucchini vine trailing from your condo pots? and how fun would some lettuce be sprouting from your typical kitchen window box of salmon geraniums?
with my new raised bed that will soon overflow with culinary herbs and delicious veggies, i am ready to dig into the other side of gardening, not to be daunted by vegetable weevils, cabbageworms, and other pests that sound like they could have their own saturday morning cartoon. dear reader, i pledge to you today, i will give peas a chance…