Sunday, April 10, 2011

Arugula and other flowers

rocket in bloom

When arugula flowers it becomes obvious that it's a member of the mustard family. We like to call it rocket -- that name is easier to say and also hints at how fast it shoots up. This is one of those vegetables that one would do well to plant every three weeks or so, if you want to have some tender young leaves on hand at all times. I made some soup with some tall plants a while back and discovered that the stems get as tough as bamboo when they lengthen out.

It took a lot of oomph to get myself into the garden this afternoon, but when I tested the levels I found that in fact enough oomph had accumulated after two days of rest for me to work for a few hours and fill the yard waste can with weeds and spent blooms.


How could there be so many spent flowers already? Hmm...well, they were blooming when it was raining day after day in March and we didn't go into the garden much. Then I was gone for ten days, and they bloomed some more!
Cecile Brunner rose

All the thoughts I'd had about how I'm ready to move to an apartment with no yard, because I hate all the yard mess that I can never keep up with -- they all vanished as I dug my trowel and shovel into the dirt and cleaned up around the greens and the flowers. I found three little Johnny Jump-ups that had dropped in near the greens and I tucked them in again and gave them a drink. I found two patches of parsley that look like they have been enjoying the weather immensely.

While I was in Maryland the freesias all bloomed, and Dutch iris came up so that I could cut some for the table. I took out most of the rocket, cut some back, and left a few to wave their petals in the breeze.

In the front yard, my amazing single purple verbena plant is blooming again! It bloomed and bloomed and spread over a square yard and more last summer, and didn't freeze back. Verbena that I buy in 6-packs is so hard to keep alive, but three 4" pots of some kind of super verbena that I bought at a good nursery are so vigorous and hardy. The two pink ones are in the back yard and the snails had munched them so I didn't take their picture. They are blooming valiantly in spite of being defaced.

Certain muscles will be complaining tomorrow, but I did enough today to give me hope for the coming months. And I found a good quote from a 1936 book called Garden Rubbish that encourages me to take care of my garden so that I will like it more:

It is utterly forbidden to be half-hearted about gardening.  
You have got to love your garden whether you like it or not. 


Forget-me-nots and columbine leaves

9 comments:

Gigi said...

Beautiful! Your flower beds remind me of English gardens - so pretty.
Blessings,
GG

wayside wanderer said...

Lovely garden and the quote made me smile. So true. Gardening is a mixed bag of extreme emotions for me depending on what is going on out there. =)

Anita said...

You have a lovely garden. Since I don't have a green thumb (and terrible allergies) I have learned much from your gardening posts.

Marfa said...

Arugula flowers are edible! That is what ours looked like mid-summer...I'm anxious for more this year. What kind of soup did you make? Would you share the recipe?

Left-Handed Housewife said...

I love these gardening pix! I'm getting ready to do some flower gardening in these upcoming weeks and I can't wait!

xofrances

Cathy said...

I do not have to listen too hard to hear my garden calling for me...a little spring weeding here and there is not enough. It requires some extended time to get my knees and hands dirty. Maybe soon!

Loved the quote!

Gumbo Lily said...

Such pretty flower gardens. I am so ready for flowers and growing veggies. Now about that quote....I like it, but I am still ripping out some bushes that just won't grow and letting the area go to grass. (I'm so relieved)

Jody

GretchenJoanna said...

I know, Martha, that the arugula flowers would be edible, but sometimes the whole plant gets bitter when it flowers. Maybe the heat has that effect more than the increased light; it hasn't happened yet this year.
I don't have a recipe for the soup. I just put whatever greens I had out there - chard, kale, sorrel, rocket - into some broth with "whatever else." At least one time it was chicken soup....

Go quickly and tell said...

Lovely garden!

Thanks for stopping by Hiddenart
;-)