Happy Easter 2023 with this floriferous forced Primula elatior (oxlip / hagenøkleblom) in the kitchen window. Unlike England where oxlip is a rare native plant, it was introduced to Norway in the 1800s from further south in Norway and has commonly escaped from gardens naturalising mainly in my area and further north, right to the very north of Norway. This is the first of the three Primulas to flower here, followed by Primula vulgaris (primrose / kusymre) and finally Primula veris (hagenøkleblom).
All 3 species which also commonly hybridise where they grow together, as in my garden, are considered to be edible. I mostly use them in mixed salads, the flowers decorating early spring salads. This is what Cornucopia II says about their edibility:
Another one flowering currently in the window are the forced dandelions which we’ve been eating for since January most days:
Despite the fact that the soil is frozen solid apart from the top couple of cms, I was surprised to discover the year’s first flowers in the garden: 1. I received this as Primula veris subsp. macrocalyx but is always a couple of months earlier than Primula veris, so I wonder if it’s a hybrid?
2. Primula elatior (oxlip / hagenøkleblom) – this could also be a hybrid
I was going to post an album of pictures showing off all the late flowers in the garden this record-breaking mild autumn still without any frost, but as they’re all edible I made a salad instead! There were 33 different edible flowers (see the list below the pictures) plus 30-40 greens and a whopper carrot which I decided to keep whole as a feature! It was cut up when the salad was tossed afterwards. It has a story too as it is one of the Danish accessions rematriated from Seed Savers Exchange (SSE) in the US last winter. I took a few seed before sending the rest on to Danish Seed Savers (Dansk Frøsamlerne). It’s called Kämpe which means Giant in Swedish/Danish (I call it Whopper as it’s probably the biggest/thickest carrot I¨’ve grown here). It’s not a very old variety and SSE informed that it was a cultivated variety originally from the Swedish seed company Weibulls. Anyone know more about it? Salad flowers, all harvested from the garden Salvia (blackcurrant sage / solbærsalvie) Fuchsia magellanica Hemerocallis “Stella de Oro” Taraxacum spp. (dandelion / løvetann) Rubus fruticosus (blackberry / bjørnebær) Papaver somniferum (opium poppy / opium valmue) Viola altaicum Campanula persicifolia (peach-leaf bellflower / fagerklokke) Sonchus oleraceus (common sow-thistle / haredylle) Glebionis coronaria (chopsuey greens / kronkrage) (3 varieties) Daucus carota (carrot / gulrot) (unopened flower umbel) Geranium sanguineum (bloody cranesbill / blodstorkenebb) Brassica oleracea (kale / grønnkål) Oenothera biennis (evening primrose / nattlys) Begonia Malva moschata (musk mallow / moskuskattost) (white and pink flowered) Malva alcea (hollyhock mallow / rosekattost) Monarda fistulosa (wild bergamot / rørhestemynte) Monarda “Elsie Lavender” Calendula officinalis (pot marigold / ringblomst (2 varieties) Campanula trachelium (nettle-leaved bellflower / nesleklokke) Calamintha nepeta (lesser calamint / liten kalamint) Tropaeolum majus (nasturtium / vanlig blomkarse) (2 varieties) Pisum sativum (garden pea / ert) Origanum spp. (wild marjoram / bergmynte) (2 varieties) Campanula lactiflora Alcea rosea (hollyhock / stokkrose) Tragopogon pratensis (Jack-go-to-bed-at-noon / geitskjegg)
Sorry for the silence here on the Edimentals blog. I’ve been busy preparing to produce signs and plant labels for the Allium garden and the World Garden as well as working on various KVANN (Norwegian Seed Savers) projects. However, I had to share the joy of making the first salad where all (25) plants were collected outside in the garden (we’ve been making salads from cellar ingredients all winter). The snow is now gone from most of the garden and the temperature rose to above 5C today which has stimulated a lot of early shooting edibles. No complete plant list, but the salad included various Alliums, Rumex, Dystaenia, Taraxacum, Arabis, Hablitzia etc. The first outside edible flower of 2022 was a Primula veris subsp. macrocalyx.
20 years ago on 19th August 2001, the Extreme Salad (Man) was born when I made my first (of two) world record salads with 363 different plants and 382 ingredients (i.e., including flowers and leaves from the same variety). During last night’s garden tour, the occasion was marked by a 120 plant salad (1/3 the number of the 2001 salad)….and it was tasted by the participants! Although far from the world record, it was probably the fastest made extreme salad as I only had 30 minutes to collect the ingredients and 30 minutes to put it together before the participants arrived! The second picture below shows the only known picture of the original extreme salad!
5 years ago…on the 15th anniversary, I made this salad with my garden helper Josefine Marie Dichmann:
40 years ago this month I came to Norway to find a place for us to live as I was to start work at Institutt for kontinentalsokkelundersøkelser (IKU; Continental Shelf Institute) in Trondheim in October 1981. The flat I found was here in Malvik kommune (Torp). To celebrate 40 years in Malvik I made a salad with 40 different genera. The names of the genera are below the pictures!
“WHY IS IT SWIRLY WHEN IT’S LATE?” (MMA, 2020) Probably the last dandelion to flower in the edible garden in 2020! The temperature didn’t drop below +12C last night, but there may be snow later in the week!
There were unusually many plants still flowering in the garden in October this year as we experienced a bit of an Indian summer. We’ve now had our first frost, so time to publish this album of 116 pictures of over 100 species. Most but not all are edible / edimentals and, yes, I should have made a salad.
After many years trying, I finally had a taste of home grown myoga or Japanese ginger (Zingiber mioga) this week! I think it was in the garden of my friend Frank van Keirsbilck (of http://www.thevegetablegarden.be) in Belgium that I first saw this plant. I bought a plant from Edulis nursery in the UK in 2010 and planted it in my garden, hoping it would be hardy enough. It survived for 3 years, but grew weakly and emerged in the spring later and later every year, before disappearing for good. Determined to have a taste, Frank sent me a starter in 2016 and, now, 4 years on my pot grown plant kept indoors in a cold bedroom all year finally produced a flower bud, the main part eaten. We made a Japanese style soba (buckwheat pasta) dish to which the shredded myoga was added! A very pleasant mild ginger taste, making it all worthwhile. I will now move it to a larger pot.