Tuesday, March 23, 2010

bolting beauties


freckles romaine lettuce

Despite our unpredictable spring weather--down to 34 last weekend, up to 80 today--it's been warm enough overall that most of my winter vegetables are bolting (producing seeds and flowers instead of leaves.) I tend to let the flowering ones go until the last second when I absolutely must reclaim their spots for tomatoes.


red sails leaf lettuce


not-quite-bolted purple cauliflower


parsley


kale


broccoli

The flowers attract bees and maybe a few butterflies, plus I think their airy, dainty display is really pretty.

13 comments:

katina said...

I am intrigued by this purple cauliflower and am curious as to the colors of the flowers. will they be purple when they open? or just have purple backs, but the insides will be some other color like white?

Iris said...

Hi katina,
This is the first time I've grown the purple cauliflower, so I don't know what the flowers will look like. I'll let this one go and report back.

Kathleen Scott said...

So glad you're letting them flower and seed, Iris. Butterflies enjoy the flowers and you may get a goldfinch for some of the seeds later.

I let my Italian parsley bolt last year and now I have it coming up all over the place. It's a host for black swallowtails so I don't mind. Besides, did anyone ever have too much parsley?

Love the purple cauliflower!

Iris said...

Kathleen--My parsley is now a huge bush but I won't mind if it comes back all over the place like yours did. I do use it several times a week, so I'm not complaining! And I look forward to those swallowtails. I'm going to let that last little purple cauliflower go, too. Curious to see how it seeds/flowers.

Ellie said...

Love the veggie flowers. It is funny that usually we are all about the bloom except when it comes after what we want to eat! I loved your parsley! I was still using what you gave me three weeks later and it was still crisp and delicious.

Iris said...

Ellie--So happy the parsley was tasty for so long! My huge parsley plant is finally bolting, so I'll save you some seeds.

TexasDeb said...

I was out of town for a few days and on our return find EVERYTHING is bolting. I decided to do as you are doing, leave the plants in place to bloom (and potentially seed out) to draw bees and butterflies until it is time to put in tomato and pepper plants.

Great minds working alike I suppose... : ) Love that purple cauliflower btw. Even if I didn't like to eat the stuff think it would make a wonderful accent plant in the winter.

Annie in Austin said...

Now you really have Cauli-FLOWER, Iris! Last year the heat made the radishes inedible, but the flowers looked pretty cool. Haven't seen any volunteer radishes, however.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Iris said...

Deb--I'm not even going to harvest that last little purple cauliflower because I want to see how it blooms/seeds. I really love the vegetable flowers and am waiting a coupla more weeks to put my tomatoes/peppers in the ground. You're right: makes a really pretty accent plant no matter what!

Annie--Exactly! Can't wait to see what those flowers look like...

LindaCTG said...

Yes, it kills me that things bolt so fast! Am cutting lettuces like crazy and the cilantro, too. I leave my lettuce as long as possible, too, since aphids arrive & the ladybugs take over, laying eggs for their larvae. Am glad to find a fellow Freckles friend. Can't live without this one! And agree on parsley. Mine doesn't come up all over the place after bolting, but I do leave it for the swallowtails. I'm happy to share. I'll plant tons more next year, since I use it every day for us & the bunnies! Since it's a biennial, perhaps our crop this year will hang around. Last year was so hot that even first year plants bolted.

getgrounded said...

Iris, I'll bet your veggie garden is gorgeous right now! Thanks for posting these pics; many veggie flowers I've never seen, so it's fun to get to see their display.

Lancashire rose said...

I left some of the flowers on bolting vegs for the bees. They seemed to like the napa cabbage flowers. Now they are out before they draw attention to my garden-don't want those harlequin bugs in here this year. Your purple colly is beautiful. wish my parsley would bolt. Far too big.

Iris said...

Linda--Somehow my huge parsley managed to make it to its second year before bolting--can't wait to see some swallowtails! Am frantically harvesting the last of the decent parsley, kale, and lettuce leaves.

getgrounded--You're welcome! The kale flowers were new to me. The veggie flowers do put on a show, don't they?

Lancashire rose--I'm definitely going to plant that purple cauliflower again next fall. My parsley is huge, too.