As we approach midsummer many of my perennial vegetables are beginning to flower and from spring leaves and shoots we are now in the flower bud, scape (flower stem) and broccoli stage. Many stronger tasting plants have much milder upperparts than the earlier growth. This is presumably because the plants transfer their energy from insect defence to seed production.
Last night’s greens included all my 16 Hostas, Allium scorodoprasum (sand leek / bendelløk) scapes; broccolis from sea kale (strandkål), ornamental sea kale (Crambe cordifolia) and Turkish rocket (Bunias orientalis); and flower buds of two daylilies Hemerocallis lilioasphodelus and Hemerocallis dumortieri!
Sea kale Crambe maritima is sometimes referred to as the King of the Vegetables (Queen is perhaps more fitting!) . This is partly due to the fact that it was in the past cultivated in heated greenhouses for nobility in the UK for Christmas! Maybe not the King, it is certainly an aristocrat and the easiest perennial brassica in cold climates (along wtih even hardier Crambe cordifolia) as it is hardier than perennial kales as it resprouts from the roots every spring and can easily be covered by a mulch of leaves or suchlike in colder climates. I do this every autumn just in case we have a very cold winter (I have experienced plants to resprout from deep roots when the surface roots have been killed in winter). I would normally take off the leaf mulch early April, but this winter it’s been so mild I removed it a few days ago and the plant had already put out delicious sprouts…I’ve been snacking on them! My oldest sea kale is approaching 40 years old, but hasn’t appeared yet (oldies sleep longer I guess!). Much more about Sea Kale in my book Around the World in 80 plants or by searching here: https://www.edimentals.com/blog/?s=sea+kale
They are also beautiful. The pictures show the cultivar Lily White which is only about 8 years old.
An old stone wall collapsed below the house in the winter on top of one of my Crambe cordifolia (ornamental sea kale / buskstrandkål) plants….well, it bounced back through the rubble bigger and better…here in full flower!
I found 4 plants of one of my favourite and most productive perennial vegetables, Crambe cordifolia (Heartleaf Crambe / buskstrandkål) for sale at 70% off the normal price of kr 150 in a garden centre (Hageland, Lade) yesterday!! I already have it, but want more varieties and I have plans for the others next year! I’ve never seen this for sale in Norway before…
This is one of the 80 in my book Around the World in 80 plants!
Imported from Denmark (www.majland.dk)
After 11 days of mostly fast food, it was good to get home this evening to a jungle of slow food….
Ingredients: Hablitzia, Rumex acetosa, Rumex patientia, Myrrhis (young seeds), Hemerocallis middendorfii and H. lilioasphodelus (daylily buds), Crambe maritima (broccolis), Crambe cordifolia (broccolis), Nettle, 2* Origanum, Tragopogon pratensis (flower stems and buds), Allium senescens, Campanula latifolia, Asparagus trichophyllus, Chives (flower buds), Peltaria alliacea, garlic, chili and chicory (2 types)
On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10155133708310860.1073742941.655215859&type=1&l=faf982b775
I was taking a picture of my second Crambe cordifolia (heartleaf crambe / buskstrandkål) flowering for the first time in the garden from my bedroom balcony. I noticed this chiffchaff (gransanger) presumably gorging on diamond back moth larvae (kålmøll). It then moved across to a horseradish, another plant in the Brassicaceae with plenty of food. Both plants are in my book!
Perennial vegetables, Edimentals (plants that are edible and ornamental) and other goings on in The Edible Garden