This is a picture of our freshly harvested carrot bed, it is currently waiting for a fresh layer of compost and a new generation of carrots. However, if you notice in the fore ground a nice little group of flowers. Those are carrot flowers, and there is a story.
The thing with a carrot is that it is a bi-annual, meaning they live two years, the first year they grow and produce foliage, the second year they flower, make seeds and die. Most gardeners harvest carrots after the first season, when the root is nice and tender, before it flowers and the roots get hard and fibrous. I am not a seed collector (yet) I buy all my seeds and I never save seeds so I have never and would never keep a stand of carrots into the second year for seeds, and even if I did collect seeds I wouldn’t need this many.
So why do I have carrots flowering in my garden?
I. Have. No. Idea. None, nada, ziltch.
I bought purple carrot seeds from a company I have bought from for years, and I have successfully grown this variety at least twice. These flowers are from a first year planting. My other carrots did well, but this variety decided to skip year one and go right into year two.
I was quite cross when I first realized what had happened and I almost pulled out every single one of them. Then I got curious and decided to wait and see. I’m glad I did. They are a delightfully un-expected addition to my boring vegetable garden, waving their pretty little colors in the breeze.
I’ve fallen in love, and I believe that these little flowers are going to make a seed collector out of me after all, I want to duplicate them next year all over the garden.
And it makes me wonder, maybe this wasn’t a mistake after all, maybe it was a gift…..