Thursday, October 23, 2014

Grow vegetables for the flowers

When was the last time that you looked at a vegetable plant and sighed in delight over its blooms?
er ... did you ever notice the blooms?
If you didn't, don't worry, you're not alone. Not many people ever bother to really look at a vegetable plant, except when they are hunting for a veggie that they can harvest (or looking for a pest that has got to the prize before they could). But, next time, take a good long look and you will discover that quite a few of these blooms could get the plant into the ornamentals category, if not the edibles one.
For instance, this okra bloom. The way the okra (ladies fingers / bhendi) blooms pale golden and so prolifically, especially in the tropics, could easily make it a favourite.


And this bright yellow bloom of the cucumber is just as pretty. Dotted along long rambling vines, it makes a very pretty picture, doesn't it?



Here's a closer look. Now do you see what I mean?



This one is so very eye-catching, isn't it?! The bloom of the Ash gourd is just as bright golden as its fruit is pale silvery grey-green. Such a contrast, right? And compared to the other gourds, this bloom is really big. 
Did you know that like the blossoms of the pumpkin, gourd flowers are edible too? Imagine having hot batter-fried gourd blossom pakoras on a rainy, stormy evening!
(Do make sure that you select the male flowers for this and leave the female flowers to carry on with what they do best ... create little baby gourds, of course!)


And there's no doubt about it that the best part of the bitter-gourd is its flower. Seriously!
Okay, quite a few of you many not agree with me (my husband included. He loves this knobbly bitter vegetable with a passion! ) but just look at it. Now picture a canopy of these golden yellow little blooms scrambling over a trellis or screening an ugly view. Very ornamental, isn't it?

 Bok choy! You didn't think it would have such pretty flowers did you? Well, neither did I! In fact, my daughter was so taken in by these blooms that she insisted that I save them and dump the green leaves.


If you think that there is an overdose of yellow blooms in this post (there is!), it's time for a change.  Have you ever seen the flower of the Red Amaranth? Take a look at this up-close-and-personal view!
I know that one is expected to keep pinching off the flowers to prolong the harvest period but when I see this I'm forced to think twice about pinching it off.

But the veggie bloom that takes the cake and the cake-stand for sheer uniqueness has to be that of the snake-gourd (padval)! Have you ever seen anything else quite like it???
This one I most definitely would grow! What about you?

16 comments:

  1. What a lovely post! I do love the flowers and sometimes even just the foliage on my vegetables... and I am also one of those people who love karela... :)... Happy Deepavali!

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    1. Thank you! And a happy Deepavali to you too :)
      I know what you mean... some of the vegetable plants are so under-rated, aren't they? Just because you can eat their fruit, people stop noticing everything else about them? So unfair!
      hmmm.... karela! Pretty flowers, pretty foliage. I wouldn't go further than that , personally! ;D

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  2. Yes, many veggies have very nice looking blooms. I especially like the okra flowers.

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    1. Absolutely, Sue! I know of several that I'd rather grow for the flowers too :D

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  3. It's so true Sunita.. Most of us are only interested in the harvest but not the beautiful flowers of the vegetable.. Nice clicks..

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    1. Thank you, Vasudha. Glad you liked it :)

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  4. okra must be hibiscus family, judging by the flower. I've never eaten okra. Maybe one day

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    1. Oh yes it is, Diana! How observant of you.
      I'm not a huge fan of okra, the vegetable but I think okra, th bloom, is very pretty! :)

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  5. BTW if you grow South African succulents check if they want to be dry and dormant in the 'summer' or the 'winter'.
    I think you have rain year round?

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    1. Thanks, I will do that, Diana!
      No, we get rains only from June - August, and then sporadically in September.

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  6. Great article with excellent idea! I appreciate your post. Thanks so much and let keep on sharing your stuffs keep it up.

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    1. Thank you. So glad you enjoyed it :)

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  7. Wow glad to hear such new topic . I always admire my bitter gourd beauties and wonder how god created delicate male flowers and strong Female flowers. As we SHARE COMMON INTEREST I WOULD LIKE TO INVITE you for my marathon on growing own veggies. please have a visit to my blog in your free time for registration. I value your participation

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  8. That is bok choy? The green leaves I love to eat! I cannot imagine preventing it to bloom in order to get those tasty vegetables.

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    1. Yes, that is bok choy, Sophie. Unfortunately, once it starts blooming, the plant puts all its energy into completing the cycle and starts concentrating on making perfect little seeds for the future. Which means that it starts deteriorating soon. Which is why kitchen gardeners pinch off the buds as soon as they start appearing.
      Such a pity, isn't it?

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