July 17, 2008

Echoes, Buzzes, and Blooms

I'm making good progress with the Plume Poppy quilt. I love, love, love to do echo quilting. For me it references the energy and vitality of the plant.

Out in the garden, the actual plume poppies are just on the verge of blooming. You can see some of the Asian pears in the background:

The fennel is blooming heavily. I enjoy snipping bits to cook with, but mostly I grow it because it is such a good bee attractant--if you squint, you can see a few in this picture:

And once the bees are drawn to the fennel, they make side trips over to the bean blossoms to fertilize them--this is a lovely purple flowered variety. The beans are purple as well, but turn green when cooked:

I grow obedient plants mostly just for the novelty--each blossom is on something akin to a ball bearing, so if you have a lot of time on your hands, you can swivel them about and they will stay where you put them--hence the "obedient". They attract a type of small bee with a green sheen to its abdomen, that crawls deep into the blossom:

The cannas are just starting to bloom. I'm keeping a watchful eye out for the hummingbirds they attract:

The hydrangeas are putting on a particularly good show this year. They have benefited from all the rain we've had to date, as the "hydra" in the name would suggest:

Last but not least, the nasturtiums are starting up. These make wonderful additions to salads, both the leaves and the blossoms, with their slightly peppery taste:

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