Monday, 29 November 2010

My (current) favourite plant

This blogpost has been put together specially for the "Blog Carnival" hosted by Fer of "My Little Garden In Japan". Cheers, Fer -- a great idea. The brief was simply to post about one's favourite plant...

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It's hard for most gardeners to say precisely what is their favourite plant. OK, some gardeners do specialise in one type of plant only. I'm not one of these people. I like different things at different times, and I'm forever experimenting with new things. A few years ago I became obsessed with Hardy Geraniums and acquired lots of different varieties, but I went off them, kept only a couple and moved on to other things. Now I am very much in favour of the Cornus (Dogwood) family. If the truth be known though, I'm still primarily a vegetable gardener rather than a flower gardener. I like the idea of being able to eat what I grow, but of course I want the crops to look nice as well.

So what is to be my subject today???

I considered the Endive family. I'm very fond of endives, and they are hard to find in the shops in the UK. They are also massively photogenic.



I considered the Borlotto bean. What other plant has such wonderful-tasting seeds and such striking seed pods?




In the end I decided that my current favourite plant was the Chilli. In the past I've had lots of success with chillis in my garden, and this year was no exception. Indeed, when I started my blog in August (2010) the chillis were doing so well that I adopted the red chilli as my "signature" emblem, as in the header of my blog --


 So here is a little selection of photos of this year's chilli crop. Enjoy!















37 comments:

  1. I grew chilies this year, but only because my daughter bought me some seeds last Christmas. We're not lovers of spicy food and if truth be known, I'm a little frightened of chilies after hearing of one too many people who have had bad experiences with them. I think the plants are really striking though, they look so colourful and you get plenty of chilies off just one plant.

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  2. Don't worry Jo, I'm always cautious with chillis. I never grow the really atomic ones, like Bhut Jolokia, Scotch Bonnet and the "Naga" ones, and I always test a tiny piece of one before I use it. I just think a small quantiy of chilli adds a welcome depth and warmth to many dishes.

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  3. Hi Mark, your hot red chillies are looking so healthy and bountiful! Im not so lucky with mine..:(

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  4. Hi Mark, great choice and a great selection of chillies. I draw the line at Scotch Bonnet that's as hot as I go. The Naga and Bhut are a step to far, when you have to taste chilli sauce by dipping the end of a cocktail stick in the bottle you know it's too hot!

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  5. Hi Damo; praise from you on the subject of chillis is praise indeed! I did in fact grow some Scotch Bonnet once, but they were just unpleasant -- too hot to taste, and they overpowered everything else.

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  6. Hi p3chandan; Nice to hear from you again. Maybe you didn't have much luck with chillis this time, but you grew Mulberries, which must be a much greater achievement! You probably grew mangosteen and rambutan too, and that would make me really jealous.

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  7. Hi Mark,
    It must have chilies that you grew yourself. I hope one day to have a vegetable garden.

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  8. I love your pictures of chilies, especially this time of year, when everything is gray and brown.
    They are too hot for me, so I grow them just because they are so pretty.

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  9. Oh those chillies look very good Mark, I wouldn't have picked England as a chilli growing paradise, that's fabulous.

    I'm off now to take a look at your tomatopedia link, I am slightly tomato mad right now :)

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  10. Hello! Thank you very much for this post!
    I truly apreciate you taking the time to be part of the blog carnival.

    All your chillies look amazing. You have so many varieties as well. I hope the ones I get to grow next year will be half as good.

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  11. Hi Mark - The best way to enjoy chillies is from someone else's photographs - yours look beautiful but I'm one of those Jo referred to as having had a bad experience with chillies and they were mild ones at that.

    I couldn't help thinking that if they did that to my hands what did they do to my insides!!!

    We did grow pointy sweet peppers though that had the look of chillies but none of the heat!

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  12. Hi Sue; Re Chillis - point taken. People react differently to different things. For instance, I'm violently allergic to fresh Coriander (Cilantro): it makes me pass out. And then some people get a reaction from parsnip leaves. The joy of gardening is that there are so many different plants to choose from so we can all grow what we like.

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  13. Wow, I had no idea that you could be allergic to cilantro, for me is such a normal plant.
    But then again, I guess being Mexican makes you very resilient to all kinds of food.
    For example for me chilies are the most normal thing. Is so interesting that many people has never really tried

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  14. Beautiful, your reg chillies. But I am allergic to this plant and fruit, so no hot chillies in my garden.
    I remember few weeks ago, a friend of mine, send me seeds from France, and inside the package, there was seed of hot pepper, I could not bread.
    I had a really bad allergy.
    Great post.

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  15. Hi Mark,
    With me it is a skin thing the chillies made my hands burn for three days. I didn't wear gloves as they were supposed to be really mild. I love coriander and it makes you pass out!!! Crikey.

    A neighbour of mine had a problem with his eyes suddenly swelling and I tracked it down to the fact he had been cutting back a euphorbia which incidentally is the same family as the pointsettia that Fer has featured. Dangerous things - plants

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  16. Hello Mark !
    These red chillies are simply gorgeous : )
    If you are going to be identified with a veggie .. this one is perfect .. wonderful photos too : )
    Joy

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  17. hi Joy; Yes, being identified with a chilli could somehow be seen as desirable I reckon ("Hot and spicy"??), but maybe not as a parsnip!

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  18. Gorgeous photos. Do you grow outside or in a greenhouse? I've never tried growing chilis but I know my husband would be very happy if he could have his own priviate stash. The great thing about vegetables, you can try something new every year!

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  19. Hi Marguerite; I grow all my chillis outdoors, because I don't have a real greenhouse - only a couple of small portable, plastic ones. The chillis seem to do well anyway. I grow them in pots, which at least has the benefit of making them portable, if you want to put them in or out of direct sunlight at any stage.

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  20. I grow chillies every year but have never done as well as you (and mine are in a greenhouse!). Perhaps I start them off too late as they are usually just getting into their stride when the cool weather arrives - and they stop growing.

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  21. Hi Easygardener; Do you feed your chillis? I use tomato feed, and it seems to work well. Towards the end of the summer you can give your chillis a "Hurry Up Call" by either starving them of water, or giving them too much water. In either case they will 'panic' and decide they HAVE to set some seed pretty quickly in order to pass on their genes, so the fruits ripen that bit sooner.

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  22. It looks like you have a very healthy, productive garden. I love the photo of the endive..such a pretty, light green color.

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  23. chili's are my fav too:) i loved them what a nice harvest.cheers

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  24. Hi Beste; Thanks for visiting my blog -- and for the comments you left me. I look forward to reading your blog too (though I am going to struggle with the use of your language!). I sse that your Profile says you are in France. My daughter lives in Ferney-Voltaire, just across from Geneva. Is that anywhere near you?

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  25. That "make them panic" is a good advice, I will try it next year when I grow some chilies.

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  26. Fer; you will have to choose carefully which variety you grow, because chilli plants can get very big!

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  27. I'm not a big pepper eater but I do think they are very beautiful... I love the colors! L

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  28. I love looking at chili pepper photos! I think it is one of my favorite items to peruse in seed catalogs as well. The problem is that I end up with too many! I love the photo with the toddler contemplating the jalapeƱos, talk about starting them early!

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  29. Hi Eliza; The toddler is Lara, my grandaughter. She is already pretty keen on gardening -- particularly the "harvesting" aspect. Don't think she would want to eat a whole chilli just yet, though she has delevoped a taste for curry!

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  30. Wow! These photos are special! A hot pepper painting......uuuhhhh; what do you think, Mark? I think it would be so much fun to do a chili pepper painting! You really are quite a photographer!

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  31. Hi Egretta; Be my guest! A chilli pepper painting might look good in someone's kitchen. Fer????

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  32. Hi! yes I have seen chillies on a lot of kitchens, they look great as paintings!

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  33. Love those chilis.

    More Ruby Tuesday, come and see.

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  34. wow! you have a very red chillies here, and all are perfectly captured. Happy Ruby Tuesday anyway.

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  35. Beautiful shots of the red chillies. Dropping from Ruby Tuesday.

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  36. Sorry if I'm asking a question you've already answered. One of my chillies has just flowered, does that mean the fruit will grow from it? I'm really clueless, this is my first time growing them.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, if the flower has been pollinated, when it dies off the chilli fruit will grow from it.

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