Saturday, 6 November 2010

Our Feathery Fronds

Yes, that's right - "fronds", not "friends"...

I was cutting back the bronze Fennel today, tidying it up for the Winter. I normally cut off the stems about 30cm above ground level, like this...

Fennel plants trimmed-back for the Winter

I noticed that the plants are producing some tiny new shoots at their bases. You could say they were "feathery fronds"... (perhaps)

This one is posed of course -- a strategically-placed leaf helps show off the frond

In close-up this one looks like a bottle-brush!

Whilst undoubtedly photogenic, the little shoots are also very delicate. I doubt whether they will survive the Winter. More likely they will die off and the plants will have to start all over again in the Spring.

I grow the Bronze Fennel for ornament, rather than as a herb. I think its flavour is less strong than the green variety, but it is more decorative than the green one. We like to use fennel seeds in cooking, but only in small quantities becasue they are very strong-tasting. I have also heard that the roots of fennel exude a chemical that inhibits the growth of other plants (very selfish, eh?), so I avoid growing it in my raised beds. Does anyone else know any more about this matter?


  1. So glad to find your site! I'm a fellow kitchen gardener, but in southern US...and I just adore going to my backyard to pick dinner! Our fennel is also making many small shoots...but because our climate is mild, it should continue nicely for awhile longer. Our fall crops are progressing nicely--but I still have quite a bit to plant in the large garden. Do you plant cool weather crops? Look forward to reading more of your site.

  2. Hi Julie; Welcome to my blog! I hope you'll visit again. There's nothing more satisfying than eating crops you have grown yourself. My Winter crops are cabbage, black kale (Nero di Toscana), Sprouting Broccoli, parsnips and chicories (e.g Rossa di Verona).


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