Garden Share Collective – February

It’s time for the February post of the  Garden Share Collective hosted by Lizzie at Strayed from the Table.

I’ve been away from the garden for a week and apparently it rained pretty heavily for most of the time. I froze three baking trays of sliced courgettes the day before we went away so I wouldn’t come back to too many marrows! There were still a couple but I know exactly what to do with these. I’ll post about that soon. First up are my lovely spices….

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I was thrilled to see that the chamomile had flowered. I’m going to harvest this and use it for tea.

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The lemon grass looks spectacular and, with the anise hyssop’s purple blooms and the purple flowers of cinnamon Basil I am very pleased with this Spice Bed.

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Caraway has gone to seed….

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….as has Black Cumin….look at the beauty of those seed heads. Looks like seed harvesting is imminent.

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Remember way back in the depths of winter when I was planning my Pimms bed and decided to include Strawberry Spinach? I was desperate to grow this unusual plant and just have a look at it! I’ve been harvesting the leaves for weeks now and they are a great addition to salad. Do you want to know what the berries taste like?

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They’re a bit on the small side…

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…ah here’s a bigger one. Here goes…..chomp. Hmmm… you know when people try and describle an unusual meat like crocodile or squirrel, for example, and they always end up saying, “Oh, it tastes just like chicken.”? Well, strawberry spinach does not taste like chicken. There is a hint of sweetness but they definitely don’t taste like strawberries. I’m at a loss as to what they taste of but, if pushed, I’d say they taste like a spinach or lettuce leaf. Yes, leafy. They taste leafy. Quite understated but quite pleasant. Would I grow them again? Definitely!

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Here’s the Pimms bed. Another little experiment that wasn’t part of my original plan are these little fellas.

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Endamame beans. My friend adores them so I picked up a punnet of seedlings at our local market. Also growing up the trellis are gherkins. I can’t resist a gherkin. Last year I grew them for the first time. I checked on them when they were tiny but, because they had prickles, I assumed I had to leave them a bit and they grew to ENORMOUS proportions. I learnt a valuable lesson. Pick your gherkins when they are small and rub off the prickles!

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Here’s a teeny one that can be picked in a few days….

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And here’s his older brother. He can still be eaten. Just chop him up and pop in the brine mixture.

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Sunflowers are ready for harvesting. I’m looking forward to roasting them in a spicy mix. Aren’t the seed heads spectacular.

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Some beautiful beetroots are ready to be eaten….

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…radish and carrots ‘Paris Market’ are still a little way away…..

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Oh no! Florence fennel has gone to seed. Rats!

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Aubergines are looking good. Just hope they fruit sooner than last year. It was well into autumn and they didn’t get very big.

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It’s Pepper-tastic in the greenhouse. Again, I hope I get a reasonable crop because normally it gets too late in the season for them to get to any decent size.

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And loads of beautiful toms literally growing everywhere in the garden!

That’s the harvesting….

To Sow:

I am planning on sowing more lettuce and start thinking about winter veges. I’m not really a winter vege gardener but think I’ll have a go this year.

To Do :

Harvest sunflower seeds
Harvest spice seeds
Plan winter veges
Preserve as much produce as I can!

Enjoy whatever you do in your garden and do pop over to Strayed From the table and check out what others are growing too.

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14 thoughts on “Garden Share Collective – February

  1. Thanks for the update on the Pimms bed, I was itching to find out how it looked! I’m definitely going to try out the strawberry spinach, it looks so colourful and sounds tasty too. It all looks so abundant, roll on UK summer, can’t wait!

    • Thanks Alex! Yes I’m definitely going to do the Pimms bed again with strawberry spinach. I like trying new things especially if they turn out to be a success. I look forward to seeing yours in your summer! Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  2. There’s so much going on in your garden! I love the spices you’re growing – I tried growing caraway last year but got zero germination… maybe this year. If you haven’t snipped the flowers off your fennel already – the pollen is fast becoming a gourmet ingredient in the UK, and it really is a good flavour for adding to yoghurt sauces or with a mild cheese to make bruschetta.

    • I didn’t know that about fennel pollen. Thanks for telling me. I love the flavour of fennel. Do I literally just sprinkle the pollen into sauces? What an amazing idea. Do you have a blog post about it? I think I’ll go and have a look now 🙂

    • My big toms aren’t looking too good….just the cherry ones 🙂 yes hilarious isn’t it that the Florence fennel goes to seed when I wanted the bulb! Ah gardening….. it’s all fun and games 🙂

  3. What do you mean the strawberry spinach doesn’t taste like chicken? 🙂
    The fruit looks really interesting from them, I would love to taste one at some point will have to see if i can find them somewhere here in Australia to buy.

  4. Your garden looks so beautifully productive! I particularly like the spice bed, and looking at your healthy plants is making me want to sort out my herb bed. Some of the more rampant specimens need taming and I’m very keen to find space for hyssop. Thanks for the lovely tour.

    • I love herbs but don’t know much about them; always learning which is good! The spice bed is a steep learning curve. Tomorrow I’m going to harvest the chamomile for tea and the caraway for a cake! Thx for your lovely comments. I think this is the first year (after 4 yrs) that I’m really enjoying my vege garden! It’s productive but I’m still learning and still have lots more plans!

  5. It all looks fabulous. I’ve tried so many times to grow Florence fennel but it either doesn’t germinate or goes to seed so now I’ve given up. Since reading about your Pimms bed (wonderful wonderful idea) I’ve been planning to plant my own so this will be the year – if it ever stops raining. Thanks for the inspiration.

    • Nice to know that others struggle with florence fennel and its not just me…. Good Luck with the Pimms bed! I’d definitely make one again. I found the borage a bit of a monster over shadowing everything and I forgot to plant the mint! Otherwise all went well 🙂

  6. Pingback: Garden Share Collective: February 2014

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