Must I Eat My Vegetables?

Three leeks isn’t many. All will be grilled and consumed in one night.
Realistically, I’ll probably end up watching them flower and set seed.
(The flower color may not be as fine as Allium ‘Globemaster,’ but the leeks are a lot cheaper.)


I’ve been slow, stubbornly slow to grow a few edibles in the garden. Having a magpie ornamental plant collector at the helm is challenge enough for this garden.
But winter in zone 10 offers that rare opportunity, an almost brainless season in which to grow vegetables. Cool-season vegetables only, of course. Lettuce, spinach, peas, et cetera. This fall, I stingily gave up a few inches of winter’s bare ground to the leeks and mustard, more to reassure myself that I can be flexible.


I admit, the leeks are seductively beautiful. Not a speck of insect damage. (I have no fight in me against insects. They win, I lose. End of story.)
And the fall-planted mizuna has been a happy pig in all this rain. The pink flower is from a gomphrena, not chives.


This doesn’t mean there will be zucchinis in the garden this summer. My mom’s little garden has summer vegetables covered. But I do have seed for an amazing climbing Italian summer squash that I can’t wait to swag through the pergola, Trombetta di Albenga from Renee’s Garden. It bears the most bizarrely wonderful, meerschaum pipe-shaped squash. Which, realistically, I probably won’t eat either.

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7 Responses to Must I Eat My Vegetables?

  1. Alice Joyce says:

    One never knows:-] That squash sounds tasty and appealingly shaped!
    xo Happy New Year
    May it be golden!!

  2. Kathy says:

    3 leeks are just fine for potato-leek soup , even though the recipe calls for 8. I am plotting the addition of Green Zebra tomatoes and Armenian cukes for next summer. I may have to resort to wine barrels, as my plans for any and all open garden spaces are vast. Unrealistically vast I might add..but what would a garden be without willful disregard of real estate ?

  3. Just found your blog – I enjoyed it a lot – particulalry the eucalyptus part. I am debating turning a small amount of space over to vegetables this year – maybe just those that tend to be expensive like courgettes and aubergines. Happy New Year.

  4. MulchMaid says:

    Having grown edibles in dedicated beds every summer for decades (I’m showing my age) I rather happily embraced the fact that there was much less space for them in my newer (three years now) garden. I still put in a few vertical types: Asian eggplant, basil, one or two tomatoes, but except for this past summer when I desperately need to cover bare ground quickly, most veggies are purchased, rather than grown. Leeks added a lovely green note to our winter garden in past years. They seem to weather our Portland winters and we can enjoy them in January!

  5. Denise says:

    Alice, aren’t blogs great for announcing summer plans in the middle of winter? Helps with my follow-through!
    Kathy, I like the way you think. Real estate denial, zonal denial both make interesting gardens. You must have wine barrels available for a nickle a dozen.
    AYIMG, so glad you stopped by. It’s like getting a new pen pal. Happy New Year back at ya.
    MM, I think I need to get better acquainted with Asian eggplant. Anything vertical.

  6. Urban Farmer says:

    Denise, I just stumbled upon your blog tonight as well, two new fans in a day must be a welcome site! I must say you expand my backyard thinking…I come from the camp of using backyard space for farming with the goal of producing as much food on a plot as possible (right here in SoCal – Santa Monica). But, I am realizing that I can mix in beautiful ornamentals both for aesthetics and for beneficial insect attraction. Thanks and I look forward to your future posts!

  7. Denise says:

    Urban Farmer, I just checked your blog, and am very much looking forward to your future posts –wonderful info!

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