Friday, September 23, 2011

The many faces of broccoli

Here on the plot, Broccoli is much much more than a one hit wonder. No, it goes on to churn out three more hits I can think of before we hop off the bandwagon and move on to the next plant of the moment. So for the time being, it more than earns its keep in what is very high value property - a good sunny bed in my winter garden through to spring - because it doesn't end once I behead the main stem.

You see, the broccoli doesn't give up there. In a desperate bid to reproduce, it throws out side shoots. I've never known these to get as big as the main flower head - they bolt to seed much sooner - but they're certainly as large as any broccoli McCain's can deliver to your freezer. Tasty little bite-sized morsels.
But the plants still don't give up - they just get a lot less patient. The tertiary stems bolt almost immediately, throwing up tall flower stems of tiny yellow flowers - attracting almost every pollinating insect in a two block radius. If you don't like broccoli or bees, this probably isn't the time to go strolling in my garden. But the plants still have a home - I want them to go on to to produce the tiny black seeds that will be next years crop.


And then after living such a fulfilled life, and working so hard for me - I guess its time I retire them somewhere befitting such a worthy counterpart...


... or I could just throw their nutritious goodness to the raptors.

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