By Mary H. Dyer, Credentialed Garden Writer
Once they get the upper hand, controlling Queen Anne's lace flowers is extremely difficult. Wondering how to control Queen Anne's lace in the garden? Click this article to learn more about this challenging plant and its management.
Photography by Caitlyn Galloway of Little City Gardens
A friend sent me this photo from San Francsisco-based Little City Gardens and I couldn’t help but share it. Who knew carrots produced such pretty blooms!?
Caitlyn Galloway, one of Little City Garden‘s co-founders and lead farmers, shared that they seeded the carrot bed in fall, harvested carrots in spring and left the rest in the ground to flower. By early summer, the carrot plants left in the ground formed these beautiful umbel-shaped flowers. And—you guessed it—purple carrots make purple flowers. Caitlyn and her team grew two varieties of carrots: ‘Nelson’ (orange carrots, white flowers) and ‘Purple Haze’ (purple carrots and flowers).
Keep in mind that carrots are a biennial crop that is grown as an annual. The first season, carrots grown from seed produce leaves, stems, and tasty roots. At this point, we usually pull them up while the roots are young and tender. Left in the ground for another season, the plants “bolt.” Stems elongate, flowers bloom, and seeds form. You can’t get a double-whammy and harvest carrots and flowers from the same plant you’ll have to choose.
Next year, I’d like to grow enough both for carrots and for blooms. The flowers look just as delicate as Queen Anne’s Lace and would be perfect as a filler for summer bouquets of dahlias, cosmos, and zinnias. I love the idea that a blossom this beautiful comes from a vegetable—it’s almost like a reward for those of us who forgot to harvest the carrots in early spring.
JANE EDMANSON: Don't you just love reading gardening books, especially if they've got really fabulous photographs? They are so inspirational. And today I'm so fortunate, because I'm about to meet a really well respected garden photographer, plus I'm going to go to see his garden. And also - he's going to give us a few tips about how to take really good photographs in your own garden.
Simon Griffiths' photographic works have been published in many magazines and more than 70 books. Simon and his partner live at Kyneton, an hour and a bit north-west of Melbourne.
What I like about this garden is that it's really relaxed. You know, you've got plenty of stuff in it and it's just got a lovely feel.
SIMON GRIFFITHS: Yeah, it's cram-packed full of all my favourite things.
JANE EDMANSON: Why so much cramming?
SIMON GRIFFITHS: They all hold each other up so, you don't need to stake anything if everything's really tightly planted.
JANE EDMANSON: Now, this is. on two sides you've got the borders and the grass in the middle and then on the other side, what happens there?
SIMON GRIFFITHS: Well, then we have different areas of the garden so we've got the vegetable garden over here and then there's the entertaining area over there, the terrace.
JANE EDMANSON: And some of your favourite plants, what would they be? Roses, I guess.
SIMON GRIFFITHS: Stripy roses.
SIMON GRIFFITHS: Probably one of my favourite things in the whole world and the white Himalayan blackberry over here.
JANE EDMANSON: Now, tell me about that. I don't know it.
SIMON GRIFFITHS: So, it's deciduous and in winter, it looks like the canes have all been spray-painted white. They're absolutely amazing and stunning in winter.
JANE EDMANSON: Does it have fruit?
SIMON GRIFFITHS: No, it never has fruit. It seems to have flowers, but it never fruits.
JANE EDMANSON: OK. It looks a nice one, though. And I can see a nice little cottagey sort of thing in there.
SIMON GRIFFITHS: Oh, that's Ian's studio. That's where he works during the day. That's lovely. He's an architect.
JANE EDMANSON: Yeah. And you've put that in?
SIMON GRIFFITHS: Yeah, we renovated an existing shed.
JANE EDMANSON: And you've got some really beautiful trees that really do give great bones to the garden.
SIMON GRIFFITHS: Yeah, we were lucky enough to inherit the cedar and the elm over here and at the back there is the hawthorn hedge.
JANE EDMANSON: And the hawthorn, that's sort of part of this area, isn't it?
SIMON GRIFFITHS: Yeah, it is. The hedge is very traditional. OK, follow me.
JANE EDMANSON: There's just a beautiful feel to it. These Flanders poppies look like they've just grown here quite naturally, but there's more to this area than just a drift of flowers.
(Laughs) That's a good dog race, isn't it?
SIMON GRIFFITHS: It is a good dog race.
JANE EDMANSON: Does he go up and down all the time?
SIMON GRIFFITHS: He goes round and round. He does circuits of the garden.
JANE EDMANSON: Oh, that's fantastic. This one's far too old and too dignified.
SIMON GRIFFITHS: Yeah, this is Massimo. He's 14, so he's past his running days.
JANE EDMANSON: He's lovely, though. He's a very cute dog. Aren't you, eh?
And I notice this wonderful cardoon.
SIMON GRIFFITHS: Yeah, the cardoons are fantastic.
SIMON GRIFFITHS: I got the seed originally from Susan Irvine. She had a huge colony of them.
JANE EDMANSON: Oh, the lovely rose lady.
SIMON GRIFFITHS: Yeah, yeah, and she gave me some seed and I'm still growing them.
JANE EDMANSON: Now, are they edible?
SIMON GRIFFITHS: No, that part of them isn't edible.
SIMON GRIFFITHS: But down in the leaf part, this bit here, the stem, is what you eat.
JANE EDMANSON: I think they're so architectural, aren't they?
SIMON GRIFFITHS: They are. They're fantastic to grow.
JANE EDMANSON: In fact, you've got lots of kind of really good architectural plants.
SIMON GRIFFITHS: Yeah, big tall things. Queen Anne's lace.
SIMON GRIFFITHS: Yeah, it's great. Easy to grow.
JANE EDMANSON: Easy to grow, and in amongst everything, it just looks fabulous. Bit of a cutback in autumn - away you go.
SIMON GRIFFITHS: Yes. Good for the compost.
JANE EDMANSON: Now, that plant that I spotted down here, that blue one - everyone wants to know what it is.
SIMON GRIFFITHS: Oh, that'sCerinthe major.
SIMON GRIFFITHS: Everyone that comes to the garden asks, 'What's that blue plant?'
JANE EDMANSON: Yeah, little shrimp sort of flowers, aren't they?
SIMON GRIFFITHS: Blue shrimp plant.
JANE EDMANSON: Yeah, amazing. I like your little vegie garden, but I, in particular, like this plant. Tell me about it.
SIMON GRIFFITHS: Ah, the thornless blackberry. This is just one plant.
SIMON GRIFFITHS: And we loop it around some stakes here, and it grows, and we get about 6kg, 7kg, sometimes 8kg of fruit off one plant.
JANE EDMANSON: Wow! And do you have to prune it a lot?
SIMON GRIFFITHS: Once it's finished its fruiting, you cut off that year's growth and then this is next year's growth over here.
JANE EDMANSON: Oh, look at it. Gee, how strong is that?
SIMON GRIFFITHS: I also wanted to show you.
SIMON GRIFFITHS. the garden shed.
JANE EDMANSON: Oh, that's lovely. Now, that's part of Ian's studio, though, isn't it?
SIMON GRIFFITHS: Yes, it is. I asked him if I could have a metre of his studio to make a little garden tool shed but he only gave me 80cm, so it's kind of tiny.
JANE EDMANSON: Ooh, it's very neat and nice, though, isn't it?
JANE EDMANSON: I often think that you can tell a person's personality by looking in their garden shed.
SIMON GRIFFITHS: You sure can.
Simon, this is a lovely place to sit and have a cuppa.
SIMON GRIFFITHS: This is the part of the garden we use the most here and we live out here in summer.
JANE EDMANSON: How important is shade? I mean, this Deodar is just fantastic.
SIMON GRIFFITHS: Very important in a climate like Kyneton, where we get hot, hot summers.
JANE EDMANSON: Yeah, yeah, and I love the way you've just got it very simple, with the rug especially for the dog.
SIMON GRIFFITHS: Yes, the dogs don't like to sit on the granitic sand (Jane laughs) so, they have their own Persian rug for the garden.
JANE EDMANSON: And this is your little gesture for formality, is it, with the topiary box hedge?
SIMON GRIFFITHS: Yes, my little topiary collection that I clip twice a year to keep them looking good and this is what I use to trim it. These are Japanese box shears.
JANE EDMANSON: Oh, my goodness gracious. Oh, aren't they beautiful?
SIMON GRIFFITHS: They're specifically designed for trimming your box bushes.
JANE EDMANSON: Oh, that's just lovely, isn't it?
JANE EDMANSON: This is a real photographer's garden. It's as pretty as a picture and Simon will be back later in the program to give you some tips on how to take beautiful photos in your own garden.
Tino and Sophie
TINO CARNEVALE: Can you use compost in replacement of potting mix?
Well, potting mix has been designed and manufactured to have certain qualities - good amounts of air, good drainage, good water- and nutrient-holding capacity, as well as a stable pH, whereas compost can vary depending on what it's been made out of.
So, yes, you can grow plants in straight compost, but if they're in pots, they'll do far better with a good potting mix with some of this black gold added to it.
SOPHIE THOMSON: It's a common term in gardening, but not everyone's clear on what dead-heading is.
It simply means to cut off the old flower spike to encourage more flowers. By dead-heading regularly, it gives you a longer flowering period and I'm gonna get to enjoy this buddleia for months to come.
✦ Although the fern can grow in direct sunlight, it is best planted in partial shade or filtered sunlight.
✦ The Kimberly Queen does well in the USDA hardiness zone 9 – 11. Consider the location of planting the fern accordingly.
✦ Watering should be done once in 2 – 3 days, depending on the climate. The soil should be moist but not too wet. Watering the fronds as well as the soil will encourage the plant to grow well. Never allow the soil to completely dry out.
✦ Spread mulch in a thickness of 2 – 3 inches around the base of the plant every 3 – 4 months. This is necessary to protect the roots during the winter in areas that are very cold, because the roots give out new fronds in spring.
✦ The Kimberly Queen fern cannot tolerate freezing temperatures, so if you live in such areas, grow the plants indoors.
✦ If you have planted the fern indoors, make sure the environment has a reasonable amount of moisture, or the leaves will gradually turn brown. You can use a humidifier for this purpose. Regularly spraying the plant with water will also help.
✦ Apply a water-soluble fertilizer in the soil around the fern once in 3 months.
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✦ When planting the fern in a pot, mix soil and peat moss in equal quantities, and plant the roots in the mix for best results.
✦ Regularly remove any dead fronds that you may find to encourage healthy, rich, and green growth. Heavy pruning near the level of the soil, once in 2 – 3 years just before the advent of spring will keep the plant green and extend its lifespan.
✦ If the temperature falls below 60°F the plant will stop growing. You should make necessary arrangements to transplant the fern whenever needed. However, transplanting the plant too often will weaken it, so prior planning is a must.
✦ This fern is propagated very easily by the process of plant division. To do this, you must remove the plant from the soil, and gently with your hands separate the ball of the roots from each other. Each one of them is capable to grow a new bunch of ferns. Plant division is best done when the fern starts to overcrowd the pot or its designated area in the garden.
✦ This species of fern is highly resistant to pests and diseases. However, if affected, appropriate pesticides can solve the problem.
✦ The Kimberly Queen fern is a non-toxic species, but it can still cause mild sickness in pets and humans if consumed. Hence, the location of the fern should be kept out of the reach from small children and pets.
With winter coming soon, make necessary arrangements to create the ideal growing environment for the Kimberly Queen fern, and enjoy the beauty of the new fronds that will appear at the start of spring.