Reach for the Sky

by Cynthia

Last year I planted a bronze fennel seedling in one of my half barrels that I have on my deck. I had started some from seed and had this last one left and didn’t really know what to do with it so I said what the heck, let’s plop it in the half barrel. Little did I know what would become of that bronze fennel a year later!

It is now enormous and stands taller than our roof. It has far surpassed any that I have ever planted in the ground. I don’t really know why it is doing so well; perhaps it likes the soil in the barrel? Whatever the case may be it is huge and tall and doing wonderful.

This towering fennel is covered in flowers right now. The flowers on it are some kind of beacon to beneficial insects because I see a ton of them buzzing and hopping from flower to flower. It is actually pretty neat because I can see this fennel from my living room so I get to witness all the bustling activity going on with its flowers.

I mostly grow bronze fennel for its seeds which are really tasty in things like stuffing or spaghetti sauce. The seeds can also be made into a tea to help ease stomach aches. They also make a good breath freshener when you chew them.

It is also a very pretty herb. The airy bronze colored fennel leaves look so nice growing next to other plants. I especially like it mixed with pink flowering plants. The colors really go well together in my opinion. In fact I plan on saving some seed from this fennel and growing some more in the back of my mixed flower bed next year. I think I might place some by the hollyhock seedlings that I planted this year.

If you have the room, I would recommend this herb to anyone. It is not only useful but also very beautiful.

A few days ago we had some rain. This picture shows how pretty the raindrops look clinging to the fennel's leaves.

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