Saturday, March 12, 2011

A long list, still a work in progress.

This is very much a work in progress, to be added to as more plants are ready for sale (we have loads of new culinary plants in the works!) and as I find the time to write descriptions for them. It seems every day that a book, a nursery, a blog, a chef or a seed catalogue, throws another amazing plant our way that absolutely must be tracked down and grown! So expect this list to get a lot longer.......and please feel free to add your suggestions to my 'must grow' list, there are many amazing plants that can make our lives healthier, more sustainable and more beautiful. 
Food plants:

Allium cepa, Walking Onions - Egyptian onions. Allium that grows bulbs on the top of its stems. Bulbils can be eaten, or planted to form larger onions. Left to their own devices these can fall over and the bulbils at the top of the plant will grow, produce more bulbils, then fall over again, hence ‘walking onion’ and create a self sustaining onion patch.
Allium schoenoprasum  Chives. Fantastic herb, hardy, decorative, delicious. Happy in most soils, but will thrive in well composted gardens in full sun. Can die back in Winter. Easily divided. Use both leaves and flowers in the kitchen for a delicate onion flavour.
Allium tuberosum Garlic chives.
Tulbaghia violacea Society Garlic. Another hardy Allium with edible flowers and foliage, also worthy of a place in the flower garden.
Allium fistulosum Perennial Spring Onion. A handy plant for the herb garden. Forms a clump that can be used as you would Spring onion, tops or stems can be removed from the clump as needed. I collect the seed and use it to grow my baby Spring onions.
Chamomile, Roman. Gorgeous groundcover with appley scented foliage and white daisy flowers, great for herbal teas and attracting beneficial bugs to the garden.

Chamomile, German. Annual, most medicinal chamomile. Will self seed.
Artichoke ‘French Purple’ and 'Green Globe' Glamorous vegetable, both in the garden and the kitchen. Fantastic silver foliage and edible flower buds. Dies back to rootstock in Winter, easily divided in early Spring. Hardy, does best in a well drained site with lots of organic matter.
Black currant
Temptation Strawberry
Lovage Levisticum officinale Hardy perennial to 2m. Strong flavoured leaves, stems and seeds used as a flavouring, young leaves good in salad.
Giant Italian Parsley 
Globe Artichoke ‘Green Globe’ and 'French Purple' Cynara scolymus Fast growing, perennial vegetable producing edible buds in Spring. Can be divided in its second or third Autumn. Prefers good, well drained soil in full sun. Produces better with extra water, but tolerates dry periods.
French sorrel Rumex acetosa Clumping perennial to 30cm. Easily grown in goo soil, protect from slugs. Lemon flavoured leaves salads, soups, sauces and sorbets.
Salad Burnett
Apple mint .
Peppermint .
Basil mint .
Variegated Pineapple mint .
Moroccan Spearmint.
Marjoram .
Curly Golden Oregano
Oregano .
Pizza Thyme
Laksa – Vietmamese Mint
Dianthus, Clove Pink
Mexican Tarragon, Tagetes lucida. Pretty perennial marigold. To 40cm, yellow flowers, frost tender, protect from frost or grow as Summer annual. Anise scented leaves used as tarragon substitute or a wonderful herbal tea. Flowers attract beneficial insects.
Warrigal Greens
Lemon Verbena
Temptation Strawberry
Purple and Common Sage
Pineapple Sage
Culinary Angelica Angelica archangelica Hardy biennial to 1-2m. Sun or part shade, well composted soil. Many uses in the kitchen. Great cooked with rhubarb, can be candied, used as a vegetable or in salads