Saturday, January 3, 2009

Yesterday In The Garden

Even though we're barely into Winter, there's still a lot of action in the garden. Violas grow beautifully along the coast this time of year, and when planted in groups above bulbs, their foliage is delicate enough that the bulbs grow up right through them.

Narcissus are some of the most fragrant bulbs going and they make outstanding cut flowers. For a long lasting bouquet, mix them with daffodils and other types of jonquils. They have a sap in their stems that other flowers don't like. If you keep the spent flowers pinched off, they'll keep blooming for days in a vase.

Gazanias are an often overlooked flower. They're often planted around freeway ramps. Give them a chance - they're easily grown, clump nicely and are attractive to bees. They come in a wide variety of colors and are worth a second look.

Here's a bee's-eye view of an African daisy, bursting with pollen and nectar. These flowers come in many varieties and the one pictured has a nice gray foliage with large toothed leaves. It is a perennial, blooms profusely and is routinely ignored by snails, which is always a plus.

Last but not least, a shy nasturtium peeks around its lily pad shaped leaf. Once established, this flower will perform for you non-stop. You can collect the seeds and simply broadcast them - no planting necessary. The leaves and flowers are both edible or can be used (after washing) to decorate a cake or perk up a plate of deviled eggs. You can pick them early, rinse them off and keep them refrigerated until later in the day. They also look beautiful floating in a glass bowl.


High Desert Diva said...

You still have flowers!?!

*experiences bout of envy*


nina said...

This post demonstrates that life is basically unfair.

I can't believe we live on the same continent. In the same country even!

Wonderful photos.