Gardening where the sidewalk ends

Fabulous Fennel September 5, 2008

Oh man, this might be the perfect parking strip plant. Tall enough to provide scale and structure, but easy to whack back and see grow again next year. Hardy as heck (in Zone 8), zero care required. OK, it’s classified as a weed in some areas, but just deadhead the flowers before they go to seed, and keep after any sprouting seedlings before they get too big and they’re easy enough to control. At least that’s been my experience! I had a great-looking copper fennel (herb) in my last garden; this year I’m trying a low-growing bulbing fennel (veggie) that doesn’t seem to have much in the way of bulbs yet, hm.

This beauty is practically a grove of trees, in a neighbor’s parking strip garden:

Tall fennel

I love how the flowers attract butterflies and bees. Plus you can eat the pollen, seeds, fronds and stems, all tasting deliciously of anise. Mmmmm.

Would someone please tell me if they ever see fabric with a fennel flower print? I think I need some pillows that look like this:

Fennel sky


9 Responses to “Fabulous Fennel”

  1. Megan Says:

    That would make a lovely fabric print. Call me crazy, but check out this snap of fabric at Bolt on Alberta.
    fabric at bolt
    Don’t the three on the right look like fennel flowers? I’t a shame they’re not the same colors as your photo, that would be beautiful.

  2. PGL Says:

    What a wonderfully graceful plant and it has so many great benefits too. đŸ™‚

  3. PGL Says:

    I forgot to mention that I have a surprise for you at my blog!

  4. Cynthia Says:

    I never would have thought to plant fennel along a parking strip but it looks great in the picture you have here. I also love the last picture and agree with you about the fabric. It would be gorgeous to see some with that print!

  5. Gail Says:

    Yes, it is a perfect plant for that full sun exposure…it is also a perfect plant for attracting swallowtail caterpillars…if you don’t mind sharing it with a hungry caterpillar!

  6. Susan Says:

    What a gorgeous photo. I need this made into wallpaper for the bathroom.

  7. Joy Says:

    I am such a fan of fennel too ! You made the best application of it I have seen yet .. hiding an almost .. well ok .. ugly area so beautiful with fennel trees ! I have it in my garden all over and I love the scent of anise .. my hyssop is one too !
    Do you mind if I link a post of it with yours ?

  8. Philip Says:

    Very graceful. Don’t you just love the fragrance? I do, and I love how it contrasts with the plant with bits of bronze next to it.

  9. greenwalks Says:

    Megan –

    You’re not crazy, I think you’re right! Wish I was a sewing person… I love fabric, but have no idea what to do with it! Someday I will just spy a fennel print pillow and nab it.


    PGL –

    Thanks for the comment and award! That was so sweet. I’m going to pass it along, I’m slow though.


    Cynthia –

    Fennel is a pretty popular parking strip plant in Seattle, especially the bronze/copper variety. It’s so easy to grow and looks so funky and fun!


    Joy –

    Yes, that gardener did right to plant something tall by the ugly pole. Happy to have you link whenever and whatever you like, thanks for doing so!


    Philip –

    Yes, that is definitely up there with my favorite garden scents.

    – Karen

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