Tuesday 22 May 2012

Free chive edging is looking great.

The chives which line the long beds in the veg patch are looking marvelous. The purple pompom flowers are just beginning to burst from the equally beautiful, elegant buds. This is especially satisfying because they cost nothing, in fact they are the reward for some shamefully lax weeding practices. When I set out the fruit garden I used chives to edge the long beds.  Chives make an easy, useful, informal edging and they look fabulous. When I set out the veg patch a year later with the same layout I needed more chives to mirror the scheme. Fortunately I found plenty of plants self -seeded around the garden, almost all I needed! A real bonus when  loads of plants were needed to line the 7m long beds. 

If I had been dutifully hoeing the beds a quick, shallow shuffle of the hoe would have sliced the growing shoots before they broke the surface. A nice sharp hoe is probably the best tool in the battle against weeds, getting them young. When things do get out of hand, finding useful seedlings in a weed covered bed is at least a small compensation for a nasty, tedious weeding job. Verbena bonariensis, Stipa tenuissima, Verbascum, Digitalis and Papaver somniferum often pop up in unexpected places and I gratefully move them on. I weed around the desirable seedlings and leave them to grow on until they are a good size to move or pot up. 

My chive seedlings were bolstered with a few clumps cut from the existing plants in the older beds, (chopped out with a bread knife) and just a year or so later they are the stars of the veg plot this week. 

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