Seasonal bouquet/ lupines

seasonal bouquets - lupines

I grow lupins for many reasons aside from their being pretty cut flowers.

Because permaculture thinks in terms of “functions” rather than “elements”, plants are selected and placed in a garden depending on what functions they can fulfill.

Seasonal bouquet - lupines

Lupins are a nitrogen-fixing plant which means they are capable of converting the nitrogen from the air into fixed nitrogen and storing it inside little nodules on their roots. Through leaf decay and leaching from roots, this nitrogen becomes available for other plants too.

They are also capable of accumulating minerals which their deep roots can extract from the subsoil. These minerals, too, become over time available to other plants. By growing lupines next to my young apple trees, I make sure the trees are quite well fertilized without having to import nutrients from outside the garden.

Lupines next to an apple tree

Lupines are also excellent bee forage plants – I have put the vase on a table in the backyard and there’s at least one bumblebee on it at all times.

Bumblebee on lupine

For the vase, I pick lupins when about half of the flowers on a stem are open. I love how the stems, after they are cut, twist and turn giving the bouquet such an interesting silhoutte.To prolong their not tremendously long vase life, you can prick the stems with a pin just under the blossom, then fill the stem with water and plug with a piece of cotton. But honestly, I seldom bother preferring to enjoy the flowers for several days and then picking a new bouquet.

seasonal bouquet - Lupines

8 comments for “Seasonal bouquet/ lupines

  1. 20/05/2014 at 20:29

    I love lupin flowers. It’s a childhood memory in the garden of my grandmother.
    Have a nice week.

  2. TP
    20/05/2014 at 16:38

    Pěkná váza.

  3. Amanda
    20/05/2014 at 16:29

    These plants produce awfully tasty edibles too… I am living in Ecuador at the moment, and the ceviche de chochos, which is a ceviche made with the legumes of the lupines, might just be one of my favorite foods here!!

    • vera@gtc
      20/05/2014 at 16:57

      So interesting, Amanda! I know that the perennial lupines I grow are not edible but I’ve been meaning to look into some of the edible varieties. Your recipe looks lovely – unfortunatelly I cannot read Spanish 🙁

      • C.Lin
        21/05/2014 at 09:29

        Yummy, I’d like to taste some.
        As for the edible varieties, I found that information :
        do you read French by the way ?
        Lupin was my favorite as a kid. Those flowers remind me of my childhood. Thanks !

        • vera@gtc
          22/05/2014 at 20:20

          Thank you, Céline! French is a bit of a challenge though, I’m mostly guessing 🙂

      • Amanda
        22/05/2014 at 16:03

        I don’t know exactly what I did, but this time I visited the same website, and the recipe popped up in English.

        However, I would still not know where to buy chochos in Europe. Possibly in a South American foods store? Hope you come across them one day, I know I will miss them a lot once I leave Ecuador 😉

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