What’s in Bloom: Fruit and Pollinator Garden edition

There is a part of the Well Fed Community Garden that is always open to the public, and that is our pollinator garden.  When you are taking a walk down Athens Drive feel free to pop into the pollinator garden, enjoy the beauty of the blooming flowers, and touch and smell the aromatic herbs in the raised beds.  There is plenty to explore and there are some signs up to help identify the plants.  Below are some of the herbs, fruits, and flowers that can be found in the pollinator garden or along the fence that protects our vegetables from deer.


The greenery pictured above is shiso.  Shiso is an herb in the mint family that is sometimes used in sushi.  It has a unique fragrance when a leaf is torn and a unique flavor when eaten. You can sometimes find this green variety or a purple variety growing wild in the woods around here.


The fruit tree pictured above is a pawpaw tree.  Pawpaws are native and can also be found in the woods around here.  We only have two trees at the Well Fed Community Garden and this year is shaping up to be our biggest harvest yet! The pawpaws also have a unique flavor that is hard to describe if you have not tried it yourself.  The yellow-orange flesh tastes similar to a muted banana and mango combined, but watch out for the large brown seeds speckled throughout the fruit. To learn more check out Andrew Moore’s 2015 book Pawpaw: A Search for America’s Forgotten Fruit.


Fig trees do amazingly well here in the Triangle.  Since varieties can be all different colors when ripe, give the fig a light squeeze; if it is very soft, it is ready to harvest.  The fig pictured above still needs some time to ripen, but in the next couple weeks we’ll have figs galore.


The exotic flower and fruit pictured above is a passion flower vine, also called Maypop.  There are many varieties of passion flower and this is one native to North America.  The fruit is delectable and tastes like candy.


You can see in the picture above that our pear trees are being weighed down by all the fruit being produced.  The low hanging fruit will make for an easy harvest.


The Well Fed Garden was designed by the permaculturist, Will Hooker.  One of the design features is a living fence made with dwarf apple trees pictured above.  The new growth of the apple tree branches are tied and pruned directing the plants into the shape of the fence, creating an edible living fence.  The apples are ripe and ready for picking.


The pollinator garden has a wide array of flowers planted for the pollinators in the area.  Pictured above are a honey bee and a bumble bee enjoying the echinacea flowers.


This bright yellow and orange flower pictured above is a daylilly.


The little orange blooms pictured above come from a milkweed plant.  Milkweed is the sole host plant for the monarch butterfly.


This vibrant pink bloom pictured above is a Stargazer Oriental lily.


Below you can see bees and butterflies enjoying some of our beautiful flowers.  If you would like to enjoy our flowers too come visit us for our weekly volunteer day Thursday mornings 9:30am-12:00pm and our Wine and Weeds event Thursday evenings 6:00pm-8:00pm.  You can also find our flowers at the Irregardless Cafe; we provide the flowers for their table arrangements. We hope to see you soon!



Yard long bean plant




Mexican sunflower