Friday, May 22, 2009

Where the allium grows

Allium flower where we have a trio of young lavender plants, but we won't see any flowers until well into the summer. This is the first time that we've ever set allium bulbs into the ground and I must say that they make the most coolest-looking blooms. Any allium lovers out there? I've seen photos on other garden blogs but I think because the shape reminded me so much of obnoxious dandelions, these were more of a curiosity than anything else.

I held off on updating with our first harvest of the year as I believe the snow peas could use a couple more days in the sun. The garden has been growing in the direction that I had hoped for, and it has given me such a good feeling to be working outside more every day. Although the slugs and snails were trying my patience, daily "gastropod foraging" with chopsticks and a container of cheap champagne won me the first round. Then, after a brief period of heavy rain, they were out again and I hit 'em with killer slug bait. Nasty stuff, and nastier to see the lethal results, but natural methods simply weren't enough to win the war.

Tiny peaches   Peach tree 5.2009

On the peach leaf curl problem, we removed all of the diseased leaves and went with using Syllit. We were told that if 80% of the leaves were affected, the chances of saving our peach were slim. Fortunately only 50% of the tree was affected and for now, it seems to be doing better. No serious aphid problem even if the ants still like to hang around despite the sticky fly tape barricades! We have a few tiny peaches and they are actually looking bigger and healthier each day.

Borage   Wild fennel

This year my green thumb truly made a mark in the herbs department. The borage that I had written about earlier is looking great, and the shiso/perilla plants are giving me more leaves than I can use. The real showstopper is the wild fennel that somehow weathered a tough winter. Not only was it the first plant to start showing green in early spring, but it also reseeded and propagated itself in a 4-foot radius from the original source. And that's without any intervention from me. While I was mowing the lawn today I noticed hundreds of baby fennel seedlings sticking out of the ground. If only the garden pests would chomp on them instead of everything else.

Butterfuly on allium

Average daytime temperature: 25°C / 77°F


  1. Sounds like you are well into the gardening season there. I love alium. And there are so many kinds. Even ornamental alium that is gorgeous. Some like it wet, some like it dry. There is an alium for every condition. Slugs... yuck. I battled with them once when I lived on the Oregon coast. At least I don't have to worry about them here. Sounds like you are happily in anticipation of some soon harvest. Enjoy!

  2. I love aliums! I planted a trio of the ones in your first picture but unfortunately snails ate them before they were able to bloom.
    I have to advise you to be extra careful with slug bait. I know you have dogs and if one of them eats it...its a live threatening situation.

  3. I'll google around for a furikake recipe for you so you can use those shiso leaves!

  4. Gail - allium flowers are a totally new world for me. I'll have to look into it further because I think we'll go with those instead of tulips next year. Thank you for the thumbs up on gardening, I always feel like I'm in the right place when I'm working with dirt!

    Gintoino - a pity about your allium. For us the big worry is always the dogs who like to destroy new leaf growth! Thanks for the advice about the slug bait. We use it only in the back garden where the dogs aren't able to get to. Fortunately none of the neighbors pets are able to access the area either...only the snail slugs(!)

    Kat - thanks Kat, for lunch today I tried the recipe that you sent and it was delicious!

  5. It all looks great, especially the allium flowers. If your peach tree has peaches on it, it should be OK. The one we had that died never produced anything. Good luck with the battle against snails - we have the same problem here after a relatively wet spring.

  6. Chaiselongue - I would be only too happy if the peach tree makes it through this year. The nectarine that we planted didn't make it through the winter — a shame as we never got to see any fruit at all.

  7. Rowena - thanks so much for stopping by and visiting my blog. We have a word in French "Orgueilleux" which seem to share the same root as "Orgoglioso" - although I think the meaning is "inordinately proud" maybe even "arrogant".

    I agree with you that a gardener who raises good fruit & veggie ought to be proud:L it's hard work, patience, planing and lots of thought and ingenuity.

    Good luck for your peaches. and I love that picture of the butterfly on the alliums. I have found that even regular onions or leeks that are let to flower will attract plenty of butterflies , pollinators and beneficial insects.

  8. Sylvie - teehee! The french and italian words for proud certainly do look similar, and perhaps the italian meaning could also mean arrogant to a degree, but the reason why I chose proud is because of that darn rooster in the header image! Long story short...I dream of having hens and a rooster in my garden but it would impose on the rest of the people living in this villa complex. Therefore, I took Mr. Arrogant Rooster as the watchful mascot of my garden blog, a space for which I am dearly proud to share my garden in real life!

  9. Hurrah for the peach - hope it survives and gives you yummy fruit for years.

    Beautiful photo of a lovely allium - I love those globey flowers.

    I can just see you out there knocking back glasses of champagne with the slugs - they do love a good party.

    Vis a vis aphids and scale - I've had some really good luck with a disgusting concoction of water, oil, soap and a very stinky Tuscan cigar. Everything I've sprayed as turned up toes and died. Ha!

    Wonderful about the fennel, it is sooo good. Louis makes a terrific fennel risotto...

  10. 77? Really?! We've been experiencing 100s. The zucchini is going nuts and the salsa garden is a delight. What is your favorite thing to grow?

  11. Farfalle - a tuscan cigar? I remember you mentioning this nicotine concoction before, but since we had all of our spray bottles topped off with a myriad of solutions, I thought we'd use them all up first. So far, the pyrethrum gives the best results against ants and aphids. That ortica tea and chile pepper/soapy water worked only for a couple days until we had to reapply.

    Fennel risotto sounds wonderful. You'll have to post Louis' masterpiece one of these days.

    Maybelline - looking at the date of that post, I wish I had known that 3 days later the temps would jump to 90°F. Still peanuts compared to the 100's but boy did the heat hit me harder while working in the garden. My favorite thing to grow is tomatoes...a pity that I have only so much space!

  12. I love Alliums, they come in so many shapes, sizes & colors now. You will enjoy growing them Rowena. :)

  13. Are there growing zones in Italy or is that just an American thing? If there are, I'm curious to know what zone you are in?

  14. Perennial Gardener - to think that I would dare compare them to dandelions! I'm so looking forward to adding several varieties come this fall.

    Maybelline - from what I've experienced, it's an american thing (like tomato cages). Good point that you brought up as I'll have to post what a packet of seed says on growing regions.


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