Early Photos from Spring in the Vegetable Garden

April 11, 2012

Here’s a quick look at some of the plants that are growing in the garden this springtime. Most of these early risers are perennials, with a few biennials and even hardy annuals that over wintered and will soon run to seed.

Thanks to the shorter and warmer than usual winter things are flowering a bit ahead of schedule and growing faster than normally for this point in the spring season. There are also less hardy crops like Swiss Chard that are making surprise appearances after surviving an extremely mild winter.

A Look at What’s Growing in the Veggie Garden this Spring

Globe Artichoke Plant

Artichokes – This is the first time that I have actually experienced globe artichokes surviving the winter and returning with absolutely no cover or protection. The cardoon plant also made it through without damage.

Purple Asparagus Spears

Purple Asparagus – They are still growing rather slowly but the asparagus spears have yielded their first harvest of what will become the first season of full production from the new bed.

Oyster Plants and Burdock Root

Oyster Plant – A medley of salsify, scorzonera, and leeks, with burdock root in the background. Salsify and scorzonera have become perennials in my garden and are always allowed to flower and attract beneficial insects.

Leafy Greens

Leafy Greens – Led by an assortment of kales, hardy greens can always be relied upon to over winter successfully and provide some of the earliest fresh produce from the spring garden.

Strawberry Plants in Flower

Strawberry Blossoms – This photo from the perennial edible bed shows how well the strawberries are doing. The plants are covered with those tiny flowers that will soon turn into big, sweet, and luscious berries.

Sea Kale

Sea Kale – An unusual and rare perennial edible here in the US but more popular in Europe. I’ve been treating this one more as an ornamental, and enjoy the unusual shapes, textures, and color.

Yarrow and Herb Plants

Yarrow – A medicinal and perennial herb plant that is considered a great companion in the vegetable garden and attracts many beneficial insects. It is also often planted strictly as an attractive ornamental.

Blueberry Blossoms

Blueberries – These are loaded with blossoms this year and have been drawing a lot of attention from local bumblebees. I’m anticipating a productive harvest and hoping that the birds haven’t noticed the bountiful crop.


Rhubarb – Another low maintenance edible perennial that also makes for a beautiful landscape plant. The red stalks will be ready and waiting to join the fresh strawberries to create some interesting desserts!

Mustard Flowers

Mustard Flowers – Way ahead of the other greens, the mustard plants have been in full flower and keeping the bees busy for weeks already. I’ve started removing these plants but will leave a few just for seed.

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  • Kim

    Hi, your garden looks amazing already! I as well have some fruits and veggies already blooming! My strawberries are flowering just like yours, I was told if they begin to flower too early, like now, I need to pull off the flowers to ensure healthier, stronger, more tasty strawberries later. Have you heard this?

  • Kenny Point

    Thanks Kim, there usually is a trade off between size and the number of fruits that a plant can produce, with fewer overall fruits resulting in larger individual fruits. For example the pumpkin growers competing to raise the world’s largest pumpkin will only allow the vine to produce one fruit. Some plants will thin themselves by shedding flowers or fruits if there are too many for the plant to support. I have not heard of growers thinning their strawberry flowers and I have never tried that for myself. If you have the time and interest you could always experiment and thin some to compare with the others that you do not thin… and let us know how it turns out.

  • Sue

    This may sound dumb, but I always thought rhubarb had red stems. The kind I planted look the same as everyone elses except the stems are always green. Am I doing something wrong or is this just another variety of rhubarb?

  • Kenny Point

    Not a dumb question at all… most varieties of rhubarb have red stems, but others are green, and then a few have stems that change from green to red as they ripen and mature.

  • Looking great Kenny. It’s still a little early here in New Brunswick Canada but it’s warming up and hopefully I will be able to start turning over the garden this week. If the rain stays away for a few days.

    I am just now getting my vegetable garden seeds planted indoors. Hope I do better with that than I did last year.

  • Kenny Point

    Thanks James, good luck with your garden this season!

  • Looking great indeed. It looks like your gardening has paid off. keep the great posts coming!

  • Here, each spring in western North Carolina, wild mustard turns entire fields into a sea of yellow blossoms. And, though its season lasts only a couple weeks, we’ll pick quite a bit for steaming or sautéing. Unfortunately, mustard greens have never been one of my favorite greens. How do you prepare it?

  • Kenny Point

    Hi Chris, I usually mix mustard greens with milder greens like kale and collards and the steam or simmer with garlic until the leaves are tender. It can also be eaten raw in salads if you like to spice things up a bit.

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