Believe me, I'm grateful that Elliott takes care of the great outdoors here in Hope so that I can sit on the back porch and write about it! But come late August I get nervous when he starts making threatening noises about mowing the back lawn again and that I'd better pick the flowering garlic chives before he mows them down (he knows this to be an unforgivable offense but still it propels me into action).
Regular chives with round leaves have lavender blossoms which bloom early Summer but garlic chives have flat leaves which I find more flavorful, and delicate white blooms that smell very aromatic and make an exquisite and tasty garnish. They are particularly lovely sprinkled on salads such as this cucumber and onion salad. I also cut the leaves into small slices and freeze them for baked potatoes during the Winter. My garlic chives plant was given to me by my cousin Marion Bush whose company "Wild Edibles" in Westchester NY supplies wonderful things from ramps to lobster mushrooms to restaurants in the greater NY area. She learned from her mother my Aunt Margaret who in turn learned from our Great Uncle Nat who founded the New England Mycological Society.
Years ago Aunt Margaret taught chef Larry Forgione about wild edibles and also provided him with them for his restaurant. She likes to joke about how they used to meet like drug dealers in the early hours of dawn in a parking lot in Long Island as my Uncle David didn't want it known that she was doing this!
The one plant that Marion gave me over 20 years ago is now growing everywhere except for the spot where I officially planted it, which means we may eventually have a lawn of garlic chives. This does not please Elliott. But look at the bouquet I harvested and decide for yourself! It reminds me of a sad/funny moment at Uncle Nat's funeral in the Berkshires. The ground was carpeted with thyme. Aunt Margaret couldn't resist saying: "Are you supposed to have (a) wild thyme in a graveyard?" Thus carrying on another Uncle Nat tradition...punning.