When I first set out to be a photographing + blogging gardener I undertook to be honest about what I grew (or didn't), showing failures as well as successes. Did you see that I have signed-up to the Bloggers' Voluntary Code of Fair Practice? (Badge in my sidebar now). I believe that being over-selective with which aspects of your garden to show to the world is in a sense being dishonest. It is with this thought in mind that I offer you this post today.
A big disappointment for me this Winter has been the "Petit Posy" Flower Sprouts. I had high hopes of these - they allegedly combine the best features of Kale and Brussels Sprouts. Being billed as exceptionally Winter-hardy and producing their crop at a time when few other vegetables are available, I thought it sounded like an attractive prospect. However... For space reasons I only have four of these plants, and two were basically "Reserves" planted much later than they should have been. But all four are a lot smaller than I had expected, and I have yet to harvest any sprouts. I haven't the heart to pick anything so small!
Viewed like this, they perhaps appear OK, but compare the size of those sprouts to the size of the supporting stake (25mm square). Not big.
Here's one in close-up. They look like loose or "blown" Brussels Sprouts, or tiny cabbages:-
I also have to report that the aphids absolutely LOVE these things, which makes me like them even less.
I suspect that I will harvest all of the Flower Sprouts in one go, and that they may (if we're really lucky) provide a single serving for the two of us - maybe stir-fried or lightly steamed.
Now look at this:
Yes, it's a Red Cabbage. You might think, looking at my photo, that it seems perfectly normal. You'd be wrong of course, because the whole thing is pathetically small - no more than 6 inches across - and this photo is a close-up. It is a "Marner Langerrot" Red Cabbage, that grew tall and spindly, but never produced a heart. Funnily enough, I have resisted digging it up because I actually quite like it, for its photogenic qualities. Those pale inner leaves are quite attractive, aren't they? This particular plant has featured in several of the "Frozen Veg" style photos I have published recently.
Next, the Hamburg Parsley. This is another one of of those veg that supposedly delivers the best of both worlds - a root vegetable similar to the parsnips, and a herb like parsley. In fact it has disappointed in both categories. The roots were small (particularly viewed in comparison to the lovely parsnips that grew right next door to them), and the herby parsley-like vegetation was a lot less vigorous than the "real" parsley. A bit of a flop all round, I would say.
Disclaimer: I accept the fact that these vegetables, grown by other people, in other conditions, at other times may have been hugely successful, but I I'm just saying that they didn't work for me.
So, what failures will you admit to then?
BTW: I hope to be able to report on some more successful enterprises before too long! :-)