my love of herbs has spanned decades now, probably with my first real exposure in the Williamsburg gardens in Virginia. i visited the homes and gardens in 1980, and really from then on, have had a love of colonial plantings. something happened to me during that visit. i think the impact of the beauty of the summer gardens, and the delicious food made from the vegetables and herbs caused me to appreciate the love of the garden.
it was then that i decided i must have a garden. and, every year since then, i have not only grown plants, but herbs. i learned so much about what plants could do for people over the years, not only for aesthetics, but for pest control, and to even attract beneficial insects to help other plantings.
somewhere along this learning curve, i decided to plant a chives border.. i find that having a border like this in my small mixed vegetable bed allows the chives to be a natural deterrent to pesky intruders. at least, i like to think that happens.
chives are a perennial with purple flowers. the flowers will appear this time of year, and into the beginning of june. there are many recipes that use chive
blossoms, although i have not tried any of them. a similar plant, garlic chives, has white blossoms and seems to flower later in the season for me in Michigan. both chives and garlic chives do best in full sun, growing about 12 inches tall.
when i moved to midland six years ago, i purchased a couple of plants at the farmer’s market and these plants have since been divided over and over. chives easily multiply and provide plenty of additional plants for use all over your garden beds.
chives are easy to harvest when needed for a salad or seasoning for a meal. simply snip the chive stems, leaving at least two inches at the base of the plant. the plant will grow throughout the summer replacing what has been trimmed. i use chives in homemade salad dressings, to flavor sautéed vegetables, and even for decoration at some meals.
if your garden lacks chives, consider adding them to a corner and appreciate them for their ease of growth and great compliment to your weekly meals.