Garden Friday–Summer’s Stars

Montbrecia - Guenette photo

Dirty hands, iced tea, garden fragrances thick in the air and a blanket of colour before me. Who could ask for more? (Bev Adams – Mountain Gardening.)

Our garden star this week is Montbrecia. We were given bulbs for this plant a few years ago and had retained no memory of what it was or how it would bloom. (Though I’m sure we were told.) Last year, these amazing fronds appeared drooping with gorgeous, flute-shaped, brilliant, orangey-red blossoms. This summer, the plant is even more of a show-off. The hummingbirds are in love with it and the whole patch is like a war zone as the buzzing little creatures zoom in and out.

I resolved to find out what the heck we had growing out by our bean trellis. Many thanks to Maggie Flostrand. She gave us the bulbs as well as reminding me of the name. Lovely in flower arrangements but invasive. Her words – I was always very brutal with keeping them cut back. Lucky for us, we have the space to push bits and pieces of invasive plants to the edges. Point in fact – our hearty little (so far) patch of bamboo growing on the cliff.

And here’s another tidbit that I picked up from a Facebook contact. Montbrecia is considered quite a pest in Australia. Maybe their version of Broom? Thus proving the point that any blooming thing can take on weed status when it grows where it shouldn’t.

pattypan squash

Sharing the spotlight with the Montbrecia, is the Patty Pan squash. (I got this picture from Google because we ate ours too fast to photograph.) These little summer squash had Bruce and I reflecting and lamenting on lost gardening knowledge. We have one plant that is filled with patty pans. A few had fallen off and we wondered if they could be eaten that small. Going off to trusty old Google, I discovered that one is supposed to pick Patty Pan Squash when it is between one to four inches in diameter or in other words – small. Dah … our parents and grandparents would have been well aware of how to deal with this colourful vegetable. Thank you Grandma Google.

Last night we had steamed Patty Pan Squash with butter and fresh, chopped basil. In a word – delicious.

Yearlling bear - Guenette photo

And, of course, what would a Friday garden blog be without a picture of our regular visitor. She (arbitrary gender assignment since I referred to last year’s bear as he) is a newly independent bear, fairly small and innocent looking, but still managed to tromp on a small rhodo the other day in her relentless pursuit of salal berries. Wow betide us when the blackberries and apples ripen.