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  • Killer on the Loose September 19, 2014
    Tis the time of year when huge “bees” are flying all over the yard.  They aren’t actually bees, but bumblebee mimics and they prey on the very insects they resemble.  Meet a Robberfly (Mallophora bomboides), a member of the insect order Diptera.  This particular species is commonly called “Florida Bee Killer” due to their preferred […] We love hearing from y […]
    Loret T. Setters
  • Lights, Camera, Action: Hollywood’s Fan Palms September 18, 2014
    Sprinklers let loose— Water is softly spraying a neighbor’s yard, and it sounds nice, even though it is only a plain green lawn that’s benefiting.  Well, not just a lawn— Out the window I see both a tall California Fan Palm (Washingtonia filifera) and a more robust Phoenix Palm (Phoenix Cunninghamiana) standing together in the […] We love hearing from you! P […]
    Kathy Vilim
  • When the Gall Moves, it Probably isn’t a Gall September 12, 2014
    I was walking past the Bald Cypress (Taxodium distichum) tree, one of two saplings I have planted on the southwest side of the pond. Bald-cypress are known for getting species-specific insects known as Cypress Twig Gall Midge (Taxodiomyia cupressiananassa). The smaller of my two trees has a few sprinkled throughout. Galls are housing created from […] We love […]
    Loret T. Setters
  • Gardening for Wildlife at the Flower Farm September 11, 2014
    On September 28th last year (2012), my husband and I closed on our first home, a 1.5 acre property that backs out to a nature preserve and is surrounded by woods on all four sides. I wrote about our gardening efforts last year in an article I called “Wildlife Gardening in Rivendell,” because the property […] We love hearing from you! Please click here to see […]
    Jesse Elwert
  • Jack-in-the-pulpit September 9, 2014
    Anticipation Anticipation makes my world go ’round. I find something, perhaps a plant, just beginning to emerge in the spring. I return to the infant plant often. Watching and waiting. Looking forward to its grand finale. This is the story of anticipation from beginning to disappointing end, of a Jack-in-the-pulpit, Arisaema triphyllum. The photograph above, […]
    Brenda Clements Jones
  • Little Lacewing Life Cycle September 8, 2014
    Lacewings are delicate insects that are considered to be beneficial to your garden.  I’ve observed them in my beautiful wildlife garden during the day and at night.  To the casual observer they appear to be clumsy fliers, but that may serve as a survival technique.  From what I’ve read, they have sensory organs at the […] We love hearing from you! Please cli […]
    Judy Burris
  • Cream of the Gardening Crop: Skimmers September 5, 2014
    I’ve a new dragonfly at my place.  I was excited when I saw the overall purple hue of this beauty.  I knew it was one I had never seen before and at first I struggled to identify it. Anyone can make up a  checklist of Dragonflies and Damselflies (order: Odonata) based on their location.  I […] We love hearing from you! Please click here to see all the beauti […]
    Loret T. Setters
  • Vampires in the Canyon September 4, 2014
    Is there a vampire in the Canyon?  If you were hiking through the Santa Monica Mountains this month, you would most certainly run across patches of strange-looking, yellowish vine-like plants. What is this plant that is laid out across the chaparral bushes as if it were strangling them? Is it really hurting the bushes on […] We love hearing from you! Please […]
    Kathy Vilim
  • Duckweed For Wildlife September 3, 2014
    Duckweed is the smallest flowering plant in the US If you have a wildlife pond, I’m sure you’re familiar with Duckweed (Lemna minor) as it can quickly cover the surface of your pond. Duckweed is commonly found in ponds, lakes, marshes, and slow moving streams. In streams where the water moves more quickly, the Duckweed is […] We love hearing from you! Please […]
    Carole Sevilla Brown

#GardenChat

Heirloom Vegetables: Art in the Garden

While I sift through seed packets and sketch out garden plans for the summer garden I am reminded again just how valuable heirloom seeds are. The history and heritage of each is a fascinating look back at gardening in countries all over the world. Seeds were lovingly collected and saved, safely tucked away for the long voyage to this country and started anew. Amazing!

As I look to my list and arrange plants in their proper places on paper, I’m also struck by the beautiful “pictures” I can create in the garden with heirloom vegetables. A stroke of purple from eggplant Listada and a hint of Caspian Pink tomato blended with Golden Sweet peas paints a Monet-worthy picture. For eye-popping color, the vividly colored Bright Lights chard, Tequila Sunrise peppers and Mascara lettuce yields a Warhol effect. Renaissance still-life paintings come to life in the textures and lines of Costoluto tomato, Marina di Chiogga squash and Prescott Fond Blanc melon. Heirloom art that grows!

I play with my food…  I like to mix the plants up, mingling the vegetables and the flowers, planting my own “works of art”. Each year as I plant my appreciation of the beauty and details of each blossom and fruit grows. Heirloom seeds are true treasures, they’re art in the garden!

Brode Galeux d'Eyesine heirloom squash.

Brode Galeux d'Eyesine heirloom squash.

6 comments to Heirloom Vegetables: Art in the Garden

  • I play with my veggies, too. :) It’s always a fun surprise when people checking out the flower beds spot beans and cherry tomatoes sharing the space.

  • There is nothing better than an Heirloom variety of tomato. Ahh, mouth is watering just thinking about them. — Matti

  • Lisa

    I love the looks of surprise! It’s even better when friends come back and say “I planted vegetables in my flowers, too!” WOO HOO! :-)

  • Lisa

    Very true… heirloom tomatoes are far superior in taste, color and nutrition, the fact they they are so beautiful is a bonus! Enjoy and thanks for sharing, Matti!

  • Beautifully evocative post! (Can you honestly get sweet peas to bloom while tomatoes are ripening, though? Not in this climate. ;) )

  • Lisa

    My earliest ripening tomatoes come on in the first week of July and the peas are ripe around the third week of June so…maybe!! (Though the earliest tomatoes are determinate and “Caspian Pink” isn’t so that combination won’t work.) I love the possibilities! It’s almost as fun planning the plant combinations as it is harvesting the fruit of our labor! Enjoy and thank you for visiting!

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