Thursday, August 23, 2012

An Easy Perennial Herb

Day 194
The Daily DuBrule

I am a brave woman. I grow many plants that others shy away from because they are vigorous self seeders. An example of my bravery is the fact that I allow garlic chives into my garden. I love this herb. The flat foliage is easy to spot; it tastes like chives with a mild garlic flavor. The flowers open in the fall. Of course this year they are open three weeks early, in late August. The flowers are edible and that's what makes them fun. Have you ever eaten any form of chive blossoms? You take the rounded flower heads in your hand and pull the florets off. Then you sprinkle them in your salad. Try it in tomato salad with basil. Yum. Try sprinkling the florets on a tomato and cucumber sandwich. You get the picture.

All Alliums attract butterflies and garlic chives are no exception. I grow them in the border that surrounds my vegetable garden. This border is filled with herbs and aromatics to encourage pollinators, enhance the habitat, and fool the noses of the deer. Yes, occasionally the garlic chives self seed into places I don't want them. Because the leaves are flat they are easy to spot. I can either rip them out or transplant them to another place where I want a deer proof, edible, white flowering, front of the border perennial in early fall.

My friend Mary, who cared for my father for the last five years of his life, preferred garlic chives over common chives. We kept a large pot of them by the kitchen door. It lived above ground in this big plastic clay-like pot for years. This is one truly hardy perennial.

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