Vegetables And Herbs
As I mentioned in the previous post, I left some vegetables and herbs flowering for pollinators and for seeds. It also helps to draw beneficial insects into the vegetable patch. The downside is that these beneficial insects don’t discriminate, they eat anything they can grab, honeybees and bumblebees included. But we never have to spray our vegetables.
Globe or Greek basil has very strong flavor for a very small basil. It’s only 6 inches tall with tiny bright leaves. I grow many types of basil and found that they cross pollinate as well. Last year I planted seeds I collected from the Globe basil but the basil that grew from it turned to be a short basil with small green leaves, a hint of purple and with a Thai basil taste.
Anise hyssop is everyone’s favorite, bees, wasps, butterflies and myself. I like to brush against it which causes it to release an anise aroma. The tiny flowers are also good in salads or desserts as it has a sweet nectar and anise scent. Once the flower fades, the American Goldfinches take over for the seeds.
This is a honey bee favorite, Garlic chive or Chinese chive. The flower is edible with a strong chive flavor. Sometimes I wonder if it will make the honey smell and taste like chive.
Any type of mint will do, they love it. Just don’t forget to cut the spent flowers off otherwise there will be plenty of mint in the garden as it spreads like crazy. I have that problem and have to pull seedlings out.
Borage has pretty lavender and pale pink colors and tastes like cucumber. Flowers are good in salads and sweets. However, it self-sows easily and can take over your garden in no time.
I love broccoli raab for its bitter taste. Birds love the seedpods. The wild one is very hardy.
Chinese broccoli is one of my favorites. It’s great in soup, stir-fry. It’s also very hardy and self-sows.
Saffron is a type of crocus that blooms in late summer. I let the bees have the pollen before I harvested three stamens off to dry.
I plant lavender along our walkway and stonewall where we can brush against them to release their perfume in the garden. Not that many flowers are deer and rabbit proof but this is one of them
There are many more herbs and vegetables in our garden as both of us love eating fresh vegetables and drinking herbal tea. Rubbing fresh herbs in your hands for the scent is also very refreshing. I think the herb pollen that mixes in with the honey is also a good medicinal property.
Next will be flowers for bees from what we love to hate….weeds.