An herb made for the flower garden

Look at this stuff! Chives make any flower garden pop. Saw these in the Idea Garden at Longwood yesterday. Big clumps anchored the four corners of almost every bed in the herb garden there and let me tell you, on a chilly, gray day, they were standouts. Lately, it seems, everyone's into herbs for their ornamental value, which for chives is considerable. What part of your garden wouldn't be enhanced by a show like this?

Chives are useful in many ways, too.  You can eat both flowers and leaves, usually in salads. Both also can be sprinkled atop or around a plate for dramatic effect. Chives are very high in vitamin C, and were used in herbal medicine to help with digestion. They were put to other uses, too, but I'll spare you the details. One wonders how the ancient herbsters ever came up with some of these things. Let's see. You have hemorrhoids? Ah yes, let's try leeks for that. (Wait - I promised not to go there.)

Chives look cool in pots in the kitchen and the leaves can be frozen, which has never occurred to me. Some recommend drastic cutting back a couple of times during the growing season to promote a denser plant. I like snipping a few stems, cutting them into bits, and sprinkling on fresh tomatoes or a garden-lettuce salad. There we can definitely go.

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