Monday 24 January 2011

A herbal makeover

The other day when I did my "Scarborough Fair" blogpost, I was embarassed to see how disreputable my parsley plants were looking, and I decided I had to tidy them up. Isn't it funny how blogging about your garden makes you take more care about its appearance? It's as if you don't want it to be seen in public without its make-up!

I have quite a few pots of parsley on the go. My intention had been to try to keep most of them under cover, protected from the worst of the weather, but unfortunately some of them have been out in the open.

Most of the parsley plants were looking pretty scruffy, with as many yellow leaves as green ones

The tidying-up session was basically just a question of snipping off with a pair of secateurs all the yellow leaves and removing the extraneous bits of debris like dead leaves and pine needles. Actually I think the yellow leaves are quite picturesque in their own right...

But the nice green leaves are better, because they hold out the prospect of culinary delight as well...

So here is the end result. Much better.

This time I shuffled things around a bit and all the pots of parsely are now in either the coldframe or one of the plastic greenhouses. Hopefully as the weather warms up they will put on some new growth. Before long I must think about sowing some parsley seeds. They usually take a fair while to germinate, and the seedlings grow pretty slowly early in the year. We use a lot of parsley, so I try to keep up with our demand for it. This is a lost cause really, because if we had more parsley available, we would just use more! Have you tried it in Tabbouleh? This is a North African salad dish made with LOTS of herbs - mostly parsley. Great with a spicy lamb casserole. Strongly recommended!


  1. Tabbouleh! Yum. To make it authentically you take any recipe and add 5 or six times the parsley. (So we were told by our Lebanese neighbours 30 years ago and we've always had it that way since). It's traditionally accompanied by hummous and Kibbeh (lots of different spellings for these dishes) minced lamb and bulgur. (Haven't checked yet if you are vegetarian)

    I've been trying to grow more parsley just for tabbouleh, and with a bit more success in recent years. It's hanging on in my plot despite the snow, and getting ready for a spring spurt. Yummy

  2. The parsley looks suitably refreshed Mark. Forget to check on our row at the plot.

  3. Mal, re tabbouleh: I agree with you. In England we tend to think of tabbouleh as being cracked wheat / bulghur with herbs in it, but the real experts see it the other way round. I have had it with just s sprinkling of bulghur - almost as if "just to show willing". Suits me! I love parsley (though I also like loads of mint in my tabbouleh).

  4. You are so right, Mark! It's like tidying up your house before your mother comes to visit! My parsley plants look about as scruffy as yours did in your before photos. Yours sure like great in your after pictures. I believe you've inspired me to get out there and clean mine up a bit ;)

  5. Love Tabbouleh, I must grow more parsley!

  6. I remember you saying that you eat parsley more like a vegetable than a herb. I can't take to it myself, I know I am going to be shouted down here but I think tabbouleh has the texture of horsefood!

    Now I am going to duck for cover :)

    Regardless of my dislike for it in large quantities, I do admire your plants. Even the yellow bits.

  7. You're right about the yellow ones being attractive. They have a delicate appearance. You sure got the rest of them looking good! Nice job!

  8. Can eat bunches and bunches of curly leafed parsley.


    P.S. The flat leaf kind would be a waste of space.

  9. That parsley looks better now!
    I try to overwinter mine, but it turns all yellow. However, it starts to grow again in March. So for the winter months, I have always some in the freezer.

  10. I never seem to manage to grow enough flat leaved parsley or coriander for my culinary needs, I love things like tabbouleh Thai green curry. One of my goals for this year is to keep up with the succession sowing to minimise the amount I wind up buying. Love your green parsley close-up, I can practically smell the freshness!

  11. I have to agree with Lucy, that the flat-leaf variety of parsley is always (for me at least) a disappointment. It never seems to have the same strength of flavour that the curly variety has. And it grows a lot bigger, thereby diminishing its Value For Space Rating.

  12. Isn't that funny about making things look good for blog posts. I always crop my photos and make sure there is nothing unsightly in the background. I have had lots of visitors lately...some who only know the property from the blog. A couple of them seemed a little even said the potager was much smaller than she expected. That's because I never photograph it with someone in it to give a size comparison. I have been doing a bit of tidying up so the next lot of visitors aren't too surprised. I must admit when my nephew visited with his family, finding a fresh pile of cat vomit and small but steaming turd from the geriatric chihuahua on the front step was a bit confronting. LOL.


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