Chives! Gotta love 'em. Pictured above are garlic chives, allium tuberosum. The Latin name for onion chives is allium schoenoprasum. Both have medicinal and culinary qualities and are great in the garden.
Members of the allium family, which includes onions, leeks, and scallions, chives add a more delicate garlic or onion flavor to foods. They are good raw or cooked. We add ours to salads, soups, and omelettes as a matter of course.
Chives are high in vitamin K, which is good for the bones. They contain folate and choline, which aid memory and mood. They also have vitamins A and C as well as certain compounds known to help fight cancer.
In other words, in addition to tasting good, they're good for your health.
And I love having them in the garden. I've lined beds with them. Since they grow in clumps, they are good at holding soil together. Moreover, they deter aphids and moles and are deer resistant. They're evergreen and have pretty flowers. What more could you ask of one small plant?
But there is more! They are easy to grow. They prefer sun, but will do just fine in partial shade. While they prefer slightly moist soil, they can withstand a dry spell. And they are economical. I am not what anyone would call thrifty where my garden is concerned -- although I admire the ability to be able to do that. But I've divided chives at bedding plant size -- to plant them in my garden -- with great results. And, of course, since I've grown them for years and years, I've divided large clumps plenty of times.
Oh -- I almost forgot -- the flowers are edible, too!
For years, my husband and I worked at creating a series of gardens on our four-acre lot in a rural, Texas subdivision west of Houston. I have to say, it was a fantastic experience. Now, I have a pocket garden on a golf course.
From me to you with a smile.
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