Friday, June 15, 2012

A Beautiful Chaos

Day 145
The Daily DuBrule

I spent the winter teaching about blended gardens. This means that you weave edibles and ornamentals in together. Well, I think my garden has become the poster child for this style, but probably in a way that would drive most people crazy. In reality, I have had the busiest spring, and it looks like I am going to have the busiest summer ever at Natureworks. I continue to plant and harvest food every week from my 14 raised beds, but it doesn't look AT ALL like my vegetable gardens of past years. A beautiful chaos reigns and it takes a bit of getting used to. I think I like it! It's like an edible cottage garden out there...

Mustard 'Ruby Streak's has gone to seed and flower and hangs over the radishes which grow amongst the 'Sea of Red' lettuce. In the background, half of a bed is filled with feverfew. I need to get it out and plant something edible in there but for now, I haven't the time so it's pretty and I leave it. 
Calendulas are absolutely everywhere, and so are breadseed poppies. I sowed 'Heirloom Pepperbox' seeds in late winter on a whim and they came up everwhere. The calendulas are throughout the bed where I planted peppers and eggplants.  

The blueberry patch has peppermint as a ground cover. It is next to old fashioned orange daylilies and circle flower (Lysimachia punctata). They both try and creep into blueberryland, but I maintain a boundary between them. Yet, it's sure a pretty picture right now as I am beginning to eat ripe blueberries and hang out there every evening for a while stuffing my face. 

A giant hollyhock has emerged in one bed. I banished hollyhocks a few years ago because I couldn't stand the rust. This one is so healthy and happy, I can't help thinking it loves the gorgeous, carefully amended soil of my veggie beds. I am allowing it to remain, even though it literally takes up 1/3 of this 12' long bed. Peas are growing on the trellis behind it and bronze fennel continues to try and grow everywhere. I also pull a lot of it out but it is just so good for the beneficials.

All these ornamental flowers are stopping my husband and I from being overwhelmed by produce. I literally give away food to my staff and anyone who will take it. Right now its greens. Last week it was garlic scapes. Tony won't let me share the radishes, they are HIS to devour. But I have to say this is a pretty good way to grow food if you are really busy and love beauty.

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