No longer a perennial

After picking all the florets off the Nine-Star broccoli, I kept an eye on it for more shoots, so that they didn’t turn to flowers. Under its cloche and a layer of micro mesh, however, it was difficult to keep up with the new shoots. Thus, this is what I now have.

I’ve not seen white flowers on broccoli before – and they are certainly pretty – but I understand that this means the plant is no longer perennial. On the plus side, this means there is no point in protecting it from cabbage white butterflies, so the protective layers have come off. The bees may as well have the flowers to feed on instead and I can look out on the garden without the eye sore that the plastic coverings were.

Anyway, I’ll see how the plant fares. You never know…. And in the meantime I will rejoice in the sudden appearance of florets on the purple sprouting broccoli. These were a late variety planted last year but still, there is late and er late.

Other pleasing observations are how much the bumblebees love the flower on the yukka. I’d never have guessed that this would be such a magnet for them but they’ve been entertaining over the last few days.

The black dot on the flower is one of the many bumblebees that visited the flower in the space of couple of minutes. It looked a bit like Heathrow Airport.

Talking of insects, last night there was a metallic beetle on the lemon balm. I can’t work out what kind of beetle it is but it is beautiful, isn’t it?

About Helen

I have always been interesting in living a more environmentally friendly lifestyle and used to do what I could. Now, I have come to realise that we have reached such a point in terms of environmental degradation that it is more important - perhaps - to focus on building resilience. I therefore do as much as I can to reuse, grow my own and encourage a supportive community, for example. I also keep reading and learning all the time.
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24 Responses to No longer a perennial

  1. Interesting-looking insect!

  2. Glad to hear your broccoli has done well under the cloches. I haven’t tried using them, but have been tempted. I don’t believe I have ever grow broccoli, but I have tried brussels sprouts and they became a favorite of worms. The wasps and hornets kept busy running off with them all day. I didn’t plant any kale this year because I was late getting the garden in and I knew the critters would move in with no chance of an early harvest. The temps were too cool to plant on time and then it wouldn’t stop raining for a few weeks straight. I always like watching beetles because they always take their work serious. They have navigation issues, though, and can’t always seem to fly straight. 🙂 The color of some of them is amazing. Take care and thanks for sharing.

  3. nanacathy2 says:

    Purple sprouting broccoli is delicious and has to be grown as you can only buy it when its too big. Enjoy.

  4. Going Batty in Wales says:

    I didn’t plant PSB last year but did grow Asparagus kale which serves the same purpose. It has flowered this year and I will save the seed but suspect it will be 2023 before I get heads on it again. Meanwhile it will give me leaves and I have some seedlings of PSB to provide heads for next year.

    I have no idea what your beetle is but it is great that your garden is providing so many habitats and so much nectar.

    • Helen says:

      I’d never heard of asparagus kale. Will you be able to get heads off the same plant in a couple of years even though it is flowering now?

      • Going Batty in Wales says:

        I think once it has flowered it dies but as this is the first time I have grown it I can’t be sure about that. I got the seeds from Real Seeds of Newport Pembs – just a few miles from me and it was grown for them by someone I know who lives even closer! I chose it because it gives me leaves in its first winter and then heads in the following spring. But actually I have been picking flower heads off all the kales and they have all been delicious. However they are green and a bit of purple does make a nice change so I will also grow PSB in future.

        • Helen says:

          Yes, purple makes a nice change. And thinking about kale, I have enjoyed its flowers in the past, though these were incidental to my growing plans.

  5. Clare Pooley says:

    Your beetle is a Rosemary beetle and they feed on members of the mint family which of course includes rosemary, thyme, sage and lavender. They are an invasive species and do quite a bit of damage breeding mainly in the autumn. I put up with them for a while because they look lovely but now I pick them off if I see them. https://www.bbc.co.uk/gardening/advice/pests_and_diseases/identifier.shtml?rosemary_leaf_beetle
    I sowed some broccoli seeds this year and only one germinated which was disappointing. Your purple-sprouting broccoli looks good!

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