Sunday, March 27, 2016

Saturated Color, Succulent Blooms and Garden Scapes

Dwarf Pomegranate Blossom

Saturated Color, Succulent Blooms and Garden Scapes

Despite not doing much in our garden this year, our perennials are doing really well and look quite spectacular.  And when I say this, I'm most specifically thinking of the pomegranate blossoms, which are so saturated in color, it can be quite difficult to make out the details. 

The blossoms have a tough, waxy exterior that split open revealing an impressively fuzzy interior protecting the delicate petals.  These blossoms never cease to impress me because they are pretty strange, as far as blossoms go, and the blossom is just so sopped in color.  

The pomegranate is not the only blossom going on in the garden right now. We also had many orange aloe blossoms that bloomed and passed, and currently have a single yellow aloe blossom stretching towards the sky.  

Aloe barbadensis Miller

Succulent Blooms


We have many aloe plants in our yard, many received as gifts.  I did purchase one, just to be sure it was Aloe barbadensis Miller which has thicker succulent leaves and a yellow blossom.  When I purchased this one, I thought I was getting the 'better' aloe, but as it turns out, it may not be.

Instead, the aloe with the orange blossoms, probably the Aloe arborescens is the best aloe for medicinal use (in case you're interested in the medicial values of aloe).  According to Eattheweeds, since aloe is considered medicinal, is not considered an edible type of aloe.  

For some reason, consumption of the aloe gel is quite popular for many different ailments including digestive issues and inflammation, however there are opposing views of consuming aloe gel as well.

Allium ampeloprasum (leek) scape

Garden Scapes


I love alliums.  Alliums include onion type plants that are commonly used by all cultures as a basic seasoning staple. Currently in our garden, we are growing hardneck garlic, softneck garlic, several types of shallots, green onions, chives and leeks.  We don't grow 'regular' bulb onions because they are relatively inexpensive to purchase.

Of the alliums, hardneck garlic, leeks, onions and shallots produce 'scapes' (Softneck garlics do not produce scapes).  Garlic scapes are well known and quite popular. The lesser known are the scapes grown on the onion-y side of the allium family. All scapes are stems with flower buds.  

Allowing the scapes to blossom diverts energy from the bulb part of the plant to seed production via the flower.  I personally would recommend harvesting SOME scapes, letting others flower.  Then eat SOME flowers (because they are quite delicious too) and then allow some to go to seed for planting in the garden.  The flowers and seeds can have a more potent onion flavor than the plant itself, according to EatTheWeeds. We had previously posted that the green onion flowers were quite tasty, much like the green onions, but packing more heat. 

There is a lot more going on in our yarden right now, but we need to save photos for future posts and this is quite a long blog entry already.