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Thursday, August 28

When Chives Grow Flowers

"Don't wait for someone to bring you flowers. Plant your own garden and decorate your own soul". 

What's more, it is not necessary to plant a flower garden. Flower gardens do have their unique allure. However, vegetables and herbs can provide flowers to beautify your garden space. 

So far, I have observed a minor leaf miner attack on my small plot of white and purple chive varieties. Leaf miners affect both the productivity and marketability of chives. Infestations cause yellowing, then subsequent browning of infected leaves. The irregular mazes of greenish-white mines are not attractive to consumers.

Can leaf miners be trained to carve out cute messages into leaves? Example "I Love You".

Nothing out of the ordinary until..

...imagine my surprise when I found my white chives with clusters of small white flowers! Was it good, bad; it definitely was not ugly. 

Upon enquiry, the first response received was that chives flower when they are under stress. My chives (local name: ti lonyon) under stress?! Was I misguided in believing that I maintain a happy garden? Not satisfied with that response, I consulted with the world wide web. In my online search I found that chives flower as per normal plant cycle. Most of the literature- written for temperate climates- states that chives bloom in May/June. However, in this tropical climate they are flowering in August. Consideration is also given to the fact that high rainfall consistent with the Rainy Season which officially begins in June has only just began, after a prolonged Dry Season. Either way, the dainty blooms are welcome.

They begin like this, shrouded in light veil of mystery:

,,,Then the light white sheath reveal closed buds:

...And then the buds open:
Beautiful bouquet

This source advises the removal of flowers after blooming to prevent the spread of plants throughout your garden. But what to do with all these blooms? The flowers are edible! They can be utilized in your culinary creations as garnishes, salads, flavored vinegar and other recipes available on the web.

The internet is rife with photos of purple chive flowers.No flowers have been observed with the purple chive variety as they were planted after the white chives. I look forward to a colour change in these flowers when they appear. 

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