Mangetout in flower!

Well, one flower.  I thought I’d try planting mangetout in October in an open coldframe – just to keep the worse winds off them.  We’ve had frost on a few occasions but they seemed to keep on growing although very slowly.  Surprised today to see a flower appearing.  Don’t really think I’ll get a meal out of this lot though. You’ll also notice that forget-me-nots has moved in to keep the mangetout company.

Hopefully, a bit more productiveness coming out of this little lot. We’ve been filling the leaf bin then leaving it for a couple of days then topping up.  Looks like another top up is due. The manure is from our next door neighbours horses – they’ve got four so there is no shortage of muck.  We’ll keep adding to this pile over the next week or so then call a halt.  By next winter this will be lovely and crumbly.  Last year’s pile is now sitting on top of where the potatoes are going in March- I’ve left the worms to do the digging!

Something I might still get a meal out of before the New Year is the perpetual spinach. This is such doer and I love the flavour.  Don’t know how many pickings I’ve had off this little stand. Potato rosti, perpetual spinach and poached eggs on top – yum yum! If I could only grown one thing this would be it- easy peasy and tastey. Must admit it looks better in the garden than it does in this picture.


14 thoughts on “Mangetout in flower!

  1. Mmm, that spinach looks great, it’s so good to have something fresh and green at this time of year! I wonder what other gardeners would choose if they could only grow one thing? For me it would be rocket for the same reasons – easy, tasty and reliable, a real doer indoors and out. If only everything in the plot was that simple… 🙂


  2. Exactly, if only everything was that simple. Just been out digging up some parsnip – no two the same (ish) size! Although, I grew them smothered in pot marigold so anything is a bonus. Rocket grows like a weed here – I’ve got some in flower currently. Never really sure what to do with it though – it’s a bit like sorrel – never seems to find it’s way into the kitchen although we’ve got loads. Why not ask the question about growing only one vegetable?


  3. Yes, I might stick it in my next post, it would be interesting to know what people would choose. We use rocket a bit like young spinach, either as a salad leaf alone or with other loose leaves and herbs and it’s also great thrown into things like pasta dishes and risottos at the last minute for a peppery hit. I must admit I’ve never really got my head round sorrel although the French seem to love it!


  4. Maybe ask about herbs also…hands down winner here would be coriander. It’s so expensive at the local supermarket and we use masses – that’s the royal ‘we’. I garden – hubbie does kitchen stuff. This year I sowed every three weeks, picked it young, tore all the leaves off and froze what we didn’t use from that picking. Just finished what we had in the freezer so next year I’m going to stuff the flower beds with coriander as well. Thanks for the rocket ideas I’ll pass then on to the cook!


  5. Ah yes, the coriander…after battling to grow the stuff on a Welsh hillside for years it’s been something of a shock to see it go like a weed in warmer climes. The polytunnel – which I dug over and manured a few weeks ago – is FULL of it again! What a luxury and so tasty. I think however that my vote would go to marjoram which is happily setting itself all over the garden, I love it raw and cooked, it’s pretty in the flower beds, too, and it’s a great nectar plant for bees and butterflies. Going through my seed basket and making plans for next year now – wouldn’t it be terrible if we really could only grow one thing?!


  6. I’d really like a polytunnel but after the greenhouse fiasco I’m a bit wary. One full of coriander mid winter borders on heaven. Ah, marjoram I split loads this autumn and moved it around the place super plant seems to grow anywhere I’ve got it in deep shade and full sun. Lemon balm is the same grows anywhere and the bees love it. In my garden the most amazing though is the winter savoury – humming bird moths go crazy for it as do the bees. Yes how awful if we could only grow one thing especially if it was grass! Ah, roll on spring 🙂


  7. Well, in our garden coriander is nowadays a weed (not quite so annoying as sweet cicely, though) and as we grow it entirely for the seeds we cannot harvest it before it has seeded all over the place…
    The favourite of herbs would be a battle in the family – Pekka would have thyme and sweet marjoram, I’d go for summer savory; winter savory is our curiosity item – every textbook declares it cannot overwinter in garden in Finland, full stop. Ours is now some seven years old…
    My favourite of vegetables would – surprise surprise! – be squash; I would quite happily fill the garden and the surrounding countryside with variations of it.


  8. I wish it was a weed in our garden we use it by the bunch in indian food. Never have enough but maybe in 2014 things will be different. I tried sweet cicely last year but the seeds didn’t germinate maybe I need to give it another go. I’ve bought chervil seeds to try in 2014 a new herb for me.

    Never grown summer savory not even sure I’ve tasted it even! Winter savory thrives (although another herb we never use!) couple of years ago we got down to -20 lost the rosemary but the winter savory was fine. Mind this year it’s been cut to the ground and transplanted late autumn so not sure how it will fare come spring.

    Last summer with help from friends I cleared a huge patch of brambles and created a herb bed. It’s looking a bit lost at the moment but I’m hoping come spring it will begin to be productive.


  9. Summer savory goes well with beans, Jerusalem artichokes, various Brassicas and also meat dishes – its old Finnish name translates as pepper herb (in German it is Bohnenkraut= bean herb); it’s rather strong but aromatic It’s easy to grow and really worth having in your herb bed!


  10. And by the way: sweet cicely seeds must be sown the same autumn they ripen – in the spring their germination rate is already very low. But I warn you – it can become a veritable pest! We have now tried for ten years to get rid of it…


  11. That might have been a bit of luck the non germination of the cicely! So many other things to grow maybe I’ll give that one a miss and try the summer savory instead. Think I’ll be working 14 hours a day come the spring – can’t wait.


  12. Have you got anise hyssop (Agastache foeniculum)? It’s a perennial, looks quite nice also in a flowerbed, attracts butterflies and can be used as a seasoning for most dishes and drinks.


  13. I’ve got a plant I bought at a sale last year I’ve also got some seeds to try this spring. I used to grow it when I lived in he UK but there is was a short lived perennial – well on my heavy clay it was. Great bee plant and looks good. I was going to ask – if you could only grow one squash – mean I know – what would it be? I’m trying a butternut and sweet dumpling this year. I planted winter carnival a couple of years ago and it was so tasty I thought I’d plant it again but have been unable to get seed so thought I’d try the sweet dumpling instead.


  14. Whoa – that is a difficult one! I think that if we had to survive a year with the harvest of one squash plant only then it would have to be Marina di Chioggia. It bears at its best more than 30 kg of extremely high quality fruits. – Our favourite among the small-fruited ones is Gold Nugget – it’s really delicious!


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