Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Flowering Herbs

Just outside our kitchen door we have an untidy collection of pots filled with herbs. I am lazy and like them nice and handy when I need to use them for cooking. I noticed today how they all appear to be in flower. I don't know if this is because I'm a really good gardener or a really bad one, but all flowers are welcome in our little garden - even dandelions, I love their sunny yellow heads - and I have been enchanted by my accidental flowers. 

Tiny, delicate white petals on the thyme...


a pale blue/lilac flower on the rosemary (I honestly had no idea rosemary flowered)...


...and the chives, which I adore. They are gorgeous in a jug in the kitchen, although they do smell a bit oniony.


The bees like them too.



And now to a bigger, showier version of the chives - alliums. These beauties make me proud and happy every time I look at them. I can't quite believe I grew something so startlingly pretty. This was the first year I planted them and I will plant them every year from now on.



We have absolutely loads of strawberry flowers and high hopes for a little crop of our own this year. 


And little figs! On the fig tree! This is the first time it has produced fruit and I'm rather excited. I'd given up on it to be honest.


And my little helper, Angus, watering his precious sunflower seed. He brought it home from nursery sometime in March or April and we've been tending to it's every need ever since. It's growing nicely and I already can't wait to see the smile on his face when it actually flowers. (I have back-up sunflowers in place, in case we kill that one.)


With every year that goes by I realise how much Bella and Angus like to watch things grow in the garden. Their excitement for tender, bendy rhubarb sticks and strawberry flowers is genuine and infectious and it can only lead me onwards and upwards.

*********************************************

Thank you for your wonderful, wonderful comments on my last post. Writing about memories can be tricky as they often only resonate with those to whom the memories belong, and those they can share them with. But it seems that lying in bed as a child on a light summer night is something we all share and remember with equal fondness. Sounds and smells also conjure up the same vivid recollections. Pulp's Common People takes me right back the student union in 1996 and the sound of seagulls recalls day trips to Brighton. Give me the smell of mud at low tide and I'm straight back in my middle school playground, only a half a mile from the harbour, and cut grass equals school playing fields at lunchtime and sneezing fits from the pollen. And the smell of tomatoes, freshly picked, still attached to the vine...well, I can feel the heat and humidity of my Grandpa's greenhouse in seconds.




29 comments:

Tammy Chrzan said...

Well. You're a better gardener than I am as I didn't even know that herbs bloomed!!!
They are lovely!

forgetmenots blue said...

What a delight to see. I was only today watching the bees on my thyme flowers. Your photos are beautiful x

Penny said...

I love my chive blossoms too Gillian, it is such fun to watch our little potted garden unfold as the summer really arrives. Our cheeky new bunny however has munched her way through quite a few of my plants which isn't what i planned but hey ho we didn't plan to adopt our sweet little bun bun and having her is more pleasurable than having all my pot plants. I look forward to seeing how your little Angus enjoys seeing his sunny sunflower open x Penny

Louise said...

I didn't know rosemary flowered either! It's lovely to see the children so keen on a bit of growing, I hope the sunflower does well for Angus.

Megan said...

Lovely flowers! :)

Helen said...

I love seeing everything finally blooming at the moment and what a super gardener Angus is, that sunflower pretty big!
I too have definite strong smell associations, including tomato vines connected with my Grandparents' greenhouse, also fresh jasmine with volunteering in India
http://ahandfulofhope.blogspot.co.uk/

grace said...

Bit late to the party and inly just read your last post, beautiful words and so true. I have pots of beautiful and totally neglected chives by my back door, I love their purple ness against the green stalks. I killed the sunflower my boy bought home.......need to replace it fast! X

the linen cloud said...

Your flowering herbs are so pretty Gillian ... mine haven't flowered yet ... we must be a little behind weather wise ... I love how you describe all your pots beside the door ... I bet it looks lovely ... Bee xx

Vintage Sheet Addict said...

Chive flowers are lovely in salads, I'm looking forward to my herb patch growing, unfortunately I have a little walk to get there! :) x

SaraJ said...

I keep meaning to plant a herb garden where it is easily accessible - but have't quite managed it yet!
Such vivid memories you describe too - seagulls always take me back to my childhood. We lived just outside Brighton, and you could hear always hear them. They used to wait on the school fence towards the end of break times too, and then as soon as we went back to class, they would swoop down and pick up any crisps or sandwiches we'd dropped! Happy days! :)
x

Louise said...

Lovely pics! Hope your figs survive 'the birds', I'm thinking of naming my kiwi plant Tippi Hedren, lol!

Imogen Eve said...

How beautiful. I'm particularly enamoured with your chives and aliums flowers.

Susan Smith said...

Flowers always make me smile, whatever they are. I think it is good that the kids are enjoying the garden too.

Cheryl mylittlepieceofengland said...

What pretty herbs you have, especially the chives. It's lovely watching children appreciate the wonder of something growing, hope Angus doesn't have to wait too long for a flower :) xx

Xelenacrochets said...

I've never seen thyme's or rosemary's flowers!
Your painted pots look great.
And I envy Angus's sunflower, mine are still tiny.

kitty kat said...

As I read your post I'm thinking "did I write this?" - like you took the herbs from my garden and thoughts from my head. Then I read pulp in 1996- finished uni by one year so just missed that association! But cut grass does equal school playing fields and especially for me sports day!

Hindustanka said...

Loved your post... I also grew up at parent's dacha (country house), so even now those memories take me away to my childhood days. That's why I always visit my parents' garden these days, and try to help them there.
Your children will certainly remember all of that too.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you - any flowers are welcome, especially this year! Just so you know, some herbs change taste if they're allowed to flower, so if you're using them for cooking you might want to take some of the flowers off. It's not all of them - the 'softer' herbs are the worst, so basil, for example. The leaves go sort of tough and slightly bitter. I let most of mine flower, I just stop the basil and mint!

Ladybird Diaries said...

Gorgeoys photos of your lovely herbs and flowers. Your alliums are amazing, you are right to be proud of them. I love chive flowers too and also have a little jug of them on the kitchen windowsill.
M x

Sopa Azul said...

Oh Gillian, what beautiful words! You are very talented! Hugs from Spain.

Jo said...

I don't use many herbs in cooking, but I grow them for the bees, they absolutely love them, especially the chives. I love alliums too, though they're a bit thin on the ground this year, I think I need to plant more next year.

Anna-Marie Field said...

Hi Gillian,As you say,all flowers are welcome!!Do try chives flowers in your salad!!They not only taste great but they look so nice with the colors of a garden salad!!It's such a great thing when kids appreciate nature!!!Have a happy week!!!
Love
AMarie

Jen said...

Flowers are always welcome round these parts too. My thyme is not flowering (I am hoping this is not disasterous) but our big rosemary bush at the allotment looks amazing with all its purpley blossom. Its great that the children are so interested in the garden. I had high hopes the boys would get involved at the lottie, but getting involved to them means eating marshmallows from the bbq then having a water fight courtesy of the water butt at the end of the lane. Oh well. Lovely pics Gillian. x

...Tabiboo... said...

We seem to have a bumper crop of chives this year and the sage has gone mad!

Nina x

CJ said...

What a lovely collection of plants. Chives are indeed beautiful, and well done you for photographing a bee, they're tricky to capture. Fingers crossed for a magnificent sunflower.

harriet said...

Be sure to place netting over your fig trees, or else the birds will eat them! I know this from experience!

Annie @ knitsofacto said...

Aren't flowering herbs just the prettiest things. We've just planted a rosemary hedge between us and next door and I'm hoping that's going to flower ... it just needs the right weather but the flower colour depends on the variety ... I think the one we bought flowers white.

Samantha said...

Chives, which are high in vitamin C, potassium and folic acid are a good addition to modern recipes to restore vital nutrients that are lost in cooking. It is known to promote good digestion; ease stomach upset and prevents bad breath. They have a diuretic effect that will lower high blood pressure.

Julia said...

Flowering herbs are just beautiful in my opinion! The chive flowers are definitely my favorite! I have potted herbs on our deck, so they are super convenient when I am cooking in the kitchen! You have such a nice collection of pots, too.