Monday, May 16, 2011

Ch-ch-ch- chives!

It's mid-May and so our garden has a familiar splash of lavender. If I show this picture (below) to friends, most are hard-pressed to name the gorgeous flower. And yet it is not a familiar flower bed entry at all, but the bloom of a beloved vegetable: chives.

 The purple globes stand atop thin stems. It is the stems which serve as the garnish in our soups and salads and which turn a sour cream dip from bland to marvelous. Early in the spring, when the green shoots first pierce the ground, I find this plant most useful. Now that the flowers have formed, the taste becomes a little too strong. But the color - oh, the color! - attracts my attention from far away. It is a clump of exquisite royalty, there in the corner of our garden. The plant will not be as pretty again this year.

 Here's a wider view of the plant ((Allium schoenoprasum) and how it's delicate purple globes bob atop the thin green stems. Chives are the smallest species of edible onions. I think it is the prettiest plant in our garden. How can the meager tomato bloom compare to this? Or the lowly potato?
 As I am mowing, this flash of purple gives me joy to be outdoors. It is a shade known only as well by the Canada thistle or the teasle.