Category Archives: Perennials

Mid-October flowers in the Edible Garden

No frost thus far in October and it looks like it could be a frost free month! That and record high temperatures and there are a lot of plants still flowering or reflowering! Most but not all are edible!

Cicoria Fantastica!

I love chicories, a huge diversity of vegetable and wild forms, some perennial, hearting types, dandelion like types, various colour forms often like this one splashed with colour, varieties used as root vegetables, coffee surrogate types, forms for winter forcing, hardy, tasty, healthy, beautiful when flowering (both white, red, blue and pink forms are available) and there are no pests or diseases here…what isn’t there to like about them?
I harvested them for storing in my cold cellar and forcing later on in the season. This one was used in an Indian curry with barley “rice”.


Perennial thicket bean update

A hardy perennial bean has been a wish amongst permaculturists for some years, and one of the most interesting species is Phaseolus polystachios. Jonathan Bates of Paradise Lot fame (with Eric Toensmeier) kindly sent me seed last year. The 2-3 plants sadly all died. This year one of my remaining seed germinated and the resultant plant has grown well, kept indoors all summer.. It is now in full flower in the living room, but has been invaded by aphids. Is it self-fertile?
See my earlier blog post here

Jack-go-to-bed-by-noon/Chorogi/Madeira vine tuber harvest

Harvested roots of Jack-go-to-bed-by-noon (Tragopogon pratensis), an introduced weed in my garden. It is related to salsify and scorzonera – I eat the roots and force a few for early spring greens; Madeira vine is in the Basellaceae and isn’t everybody’s cup-of-tea as they are rather mucilaginous – they can also be forced in winter for the equally mucilaginous greens! I LIKE THEM, but always mixed with other veg. Finally, I harvested my long neglected chorogi which were surprisingly good yielding despite the fact that they were completely overgrown by weeds..
All are now stored in the cellar.

Jack-go-to-bed-by-noon (Tragopogon pratensis) / geitskjegg
Anredera cordifolia (Madeira vine)
Chorogi or chinese artichoke (Stachys affinis)


Garden pictures 24th-25th September 2016

A collection of pictures from last weekend in the garden!


The Youngs of Aberdeen

On my way up north from Edinburgh by train I stopped off to visit Scottish Rockers ( Scottish Rock Garden Forum luminaries) Ian and Maggi Young’s wonderfully diverse garden in Aberdeen. Ian was actually the first person to review my book and I blogged about the review and Ian’s labour of love since 2003, his weekly Bulb Log here:
Maggi is the intrepid commander-in-chief of the Scottish Rock Garden Forum and other FB fora for many years, a forum I used to follow daily until FB took over as there’s an enormous amount of information and knowledge there, and perhaps 30% or so of ornamentals are edible!
Ian kindly volunteered to pick me up at the station and I spent a pleasant hour or two looking through their paradise. Although it wasn’t the best time of year to see the garden there were still a number of plants in flower and it was good to also meet Allium wallichii here too (see my blog about the Edinburgh botanics)…and this week’s Bulb Log from Ian features a great shot of this plant on the front page:
Now to plan a spring visit!