You might wonder why flowers would ever need defending. When we first started eating locally and growing some of our own food in our community garden plot, we considered flowers a silly diversion. Lovely to look at in the neighbor’s plot or at the farmstand, but not at all what we were after. I’m glad to say we’ve come around. It started with the bouquets from Longview Flowers at the Headhouse Farmers’ Market – so much more beautiful than anything I’d seen at a traditional florist, and entirely local. Inspired to grow some ourselves, we planted a small peony bush in the corner of our plot that reliably rewards us with dozens of puffy pink blooms every year. Since then we’ve tucked in tulip and daffodil bulbs, grown chamomile to dry for tea, used marigolds to deter bugs and watched calendula thrive almost anywhere we scattered seeds and last long into fall. There’s no better evidence that growing flowers helps pollinators than watching bees buzz happily among your flowers. And in this time of year when we’ve planted favas and spinach a month ago that are still only an inch high, I can visit the garden….
… and pick a daffodil.