Saturday 18 January 2014

Winter greens

Yes, Winter greens, not "Wintergreen", as in "Oil of Wintergreen" that pungent plant extract used in perfumery and medicine!

In Winter-time it is more difficult than at other times of year to provide a reliable source of vegetables, and I have decided that I will make a bigger effort in this area this year, but at present my produce is a bit limited. I have some of the ever-reliable Cavolo Nero still, but the Brussels Sprouts are long gone and the PSB is nowhere near ready.

Cavolo Nero "Black Magic"

To try and keep up the supply of greens I have grown a few bits and pieces indoors, such as this tray of Mesclun, which has had the benefit of the Growlight House for all of its short life:

That lot has been grown from a pack of seeds supplied on the cover of Grow Your Own magazine. A lovely selection of leaves - apart from the rather bizarre inclusion of carrots! What are you supposed to do - leave the carrots to mature, or eat the leaves?

I have also grown three small "Little Gem" lettuces in a seed-tray, initially in the Growlight House and latterly on a windowsill.

"Little Gem" lettuces on the windowsill, with an aerial view of  Mark's Veg Plot behind!

The plants began to bolt before hearting-up (hardly susrprising, is it?), so I picked all the useable leaves.

Out in the garden I also have something else very green:

Not "greens", but certainly green. It's a sprig of this Rosemary plant, seen here surrounded by several pots of Sage:

Looking closely, I see that there are lots of flower-buds on the plant, so hopefully before long it will put on a good display.

Rosemary is often described as being susceptible to damage in cold conditions, but I have found it to be very hardy and resilient. It is one of the few herbs that is available for picking all year round. Most of my other ones are in pots in the coldframe and it will be a fair while before I can pick anything from them:


  1. Our rosemary has flowered continuously for ages now and looks really healthy. We haven't set our grow gardens off yet - decorating stiff in the way!

  2. I'd love to know why I can't seem to keep rosemary alive from one season to the next.

  3. These are all very inspiring photos Mark and it has made me anxious to go out and plant a few trays of greens in the summerhouse. I usually do but didn't so far!! Oh, I do think the carrots were included to eat the new green tops which apparently you can, and when your other greens are all gone, surely there must be a few little baby carrots to harvest? ;-)

  4. anything green and edible at this time of year is so welcome isn't it? as you know we've just got back from a few weeks away and our rosemary bush is looking SO healthy... I must remember to leave it alone more x

  5. How lovely to see fresh greens at this time of year - this happened to me too where carrots were in the mix - I understand you can eat them if chopped finely enough.

  6. Great looking greens. I've been using rosemary over winter as well and it has proven very good value for money. I bought a little plant in early summer and it has trebled in Size and thrived. Gives a great flavour to meat.

  7. Mizuna seems to grow no matter what the weather throws at it and in the mild weather this year it has gone mad. Hairy bitterdress (yes, the weed) is also very tasty and grows year round. There's also something very satisfying about eating the weeds!


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