City Garden: Chives

These bright, beautiful purple flowers are... chives! (The green hollow stems clutched in my hand might look more recognizable). Chives grow quickly and can be used in so many ways. They look sprightly and green, and their whole being just says spring and summer. Here's a quick how-to guide, if you'd like to grow your own (from seed or from a purchased start):

-SUN: Chives thrive best in full sun, so put them in your sunniest bed, on your patio, or in your brightest window.

-WATER: Not too much, not too little. A good soak every day or every other day when the soil starts to look dry seems to be all they need. If the chives start to look sickly and yellow, cut back on your watering; if they start to look dry, brown, or wilted, bump it up a bit.

-CARE: Pinch off the flowers to encourage the green stems to keep growing. And, stay on the lookout for aphids (tiny bugs that look like specks of moving white dust). If you do find aphids on your plant, a homemade castile soap or neem oil spray on the plant can help get rid of them.

-USES: Chives are wonderful atop nearly anything savory. They taste like a very mild onion, so they're great when you want just a bit of oniony flavor or a little green color to spruce up your plate. Sprinkle chopped chives on mashed potatoes, fried eggs, soup, avocado toast, pasta, pizza, and grain and bean bowls. They are, of course, a classic in potato salad. As far as other things go, this = chive vinaigrette is easy, mouthwateringly piquant, and bright, bright green. And, you can eat the purple blossoms, seen above. Sprinkle them as a garnish like you would anything else - they're especially beautiful atop a salad. If you find yourself with way too many blossoms and stalks to eat, share with friends or turn them into a sweet bouquet indoors.

You can see more from my city garden, here, if you'd like. What are you growing this summer?