December in the Garden
The days may be shorter and the weather may be wet and rainy, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty going on in the garden! At Persimmon Park, we’re still growing plenty of vegetables, herbs, and edible flowers. Below is a sampling of some of the things that are growing in the demonstration beds and the residents’ plots.
One of the most impressive things growing in the garden are these brussels sprouts! A notoriously finicky vegetable to grow, one resident has managed to grow some beauties. They’re almost bursting off the stem – it’s time to pick them!
There are also some enormous heads of broccoli and cauliflower popping up in the garden. The key is to pick the heads when they’re still firm – once they start to open up, the plant is trying to flower and produce new seeds to make a new generation of plants. And if you’re wondering why the cauliflower pictured above is tinged with purple, it’s a special Italian heirloom variety. What’s more, there’s also cauliflower varieties that turn completely purple, orange, or even a bright green!
Many people may not realize that there are several kinds of edible flowers that can grow through the winter here in the Bay Area. Some even really appreciate the mild wet weather! Pictured above is the pretty blue borage flower – the buds and the leaves have a mild cucumber flavor. The leaves can be steeped to make a tea and the flowers can be sprinkled into salads, dropped into a glass of water or, if you’re feeling ambitious, try making a borage fizz cocktail!
For all the tea lovers out there, you can also grow chamomile through the winter. Simply pick the pretty white and yellow flowers and steep them either fresh or dried to make a delicious calming tea. To learn more about growing, harvesting, and brewing your own chamomile, take a look here.
Happy gardening! We hope this post inspired you to dust off your rain jacket and keep as busy as this ladybug in the winter garden.
PHOTO CREDITS: HOMESTEAD DESIGN COLLECTIVE
Bay Meadows is a family-friendly neighborhood with lots of green space to enjoy all year long. Whether its growing your own vegetables in a gorgeous community garden with our resident gardener, playing a game of pick-up basketball after work, team building over bocce and beers, or checking out Dig it every first Saturday of the month. There’s no shortage of green space to explore.