The flower that smells the sweetest is shy and lowly. -William Wordsworth
Some of nature’s daintiest flowers produce the most delicious and beneficial foods. Other flowers which are simply pretty to look at, provide pollen so that other flowers, fruits, and vegetables can be more plentiful. Some simple flowers act as great defenders, assistants, hostesses, or producers. Furthermore, a single flower that wilts when its season has passed can leave behind a seed pod with dozens of seeds. None of my flowers are roses, camellias, azaleas, or hydrangeas–I enjoy those flowers too–but all of my flowers serve a great purpose.
You’ll remember that I started sowing seeds in April and May for flowers and vegetables. The first sign of production in progress for my vegetable plants comes in the form of shy flowers. Some of my earliest vegetable flowers appeared this week.
[The Following Pictures were taken between June 8-12]
This is the first flower that has appeared on my okra plant. It only lasted a day and then wilted. In it’s place will be an okra pod that will turn into an okra of course. It’s smaller, but it reminds me of the beautiful Hibiscus that also only lasts one day. Here’s a great surprise: the petals are yellow and the center of the flower is a deep red. It’s an inversion of the tiny petunias I planted with the okra as they are deep red on the outside and yellow in the inside.
I also had so many Chamomile blooms that the plant was beginning to look leggy. I thought maybe I should pick some in hopes that the plant will want to reproduce more petite daisy-like little Chamomile flowers. I clipped some lavender as well for this fragrant sweet bouquet which will make a calming decaf tea.
It was only a day later that I encountered, for the first time ever, a tomatillo bloom. At first glance, it looked similar to a tomato bloom, but upon closer inspection it turned out to be very different. The pistols are purple and the yellow petals bend upward. When you view it from above the plant, it looks like a star-shaped lantern. It appears to have its own little covering much like the way tomatillos have papery leaves covering their fruit.
Then today I discovered the opening tomato blooms. It won’t be very long before tomatoes take the place of these tiny flowers. They will be several times the size of the flowers and in my experience, tomato flowers are always the same size whether I am growing large or small tomatoes. Also today came the first white Petunia bloom. I am particularly proud of this flower because I planted the seeds from white petunias I grew in Georgia. Petunias are among my favorite flowers of all. They are easy to grow, forgiving, and give lots of seeds (but if you’re not paying attention, you’ll miss the appearance of seeds as they are quite small). To me, the Petunias are lady-like. They remind me of flowing skirts, handkerchiefs, and Mexican restaurants. I’m sure it seems like a silly connection, but there have been so many times that I have sat on a patio designed with colorful tiles, lanterns, and terracotta pots filled with Petunias. Furthermore, I have yet to meet a plant that a Petunia didn’t grow well with. Here’s the bird’s eye view of the okra arrangement now. Soon the bottom of the container will be full of white and red Petunias of varying sizes and okra will come up the shoots of the large leaves.
Here’s to the sweetest flowers!
Coming soon: Baker’s Creek Heirloom Seeds Arrive, re-arranging plant arrangements for a fragrance that is loathed by mosquitoes, what to do with sunflowers, up cycled plant containers, purple food in Okinawa, and much more!