Saturday 7 June 2014


The term "Marginals" normally refers to plants that grow on the periphery of a pond - on the margins between land and water. I am not using the term like that though. My marginals are plants that are squeezed in to odd little corners of my garden that wouldn't normally seem like viable places to grow anything, because they are too dry, too shady or too exposed.

The Comfrey is a classic example. Earlier this year I moved all the bits of it I could find into a space between a couple of compost bins. This area gets very little sun, and the soil is very poor due to the presence of masses of roots from my neighbour's huge Leylandii conifer. However, the Comfrey is managing to grow quite well:

That photo above was taken about the middle of May. Now, 3 weeks or so later, the plants are flowering:

I am going to let the plants grow for another week or so, and then I will chop them done nearly to ground level and use the foliage to make some Comfrey Tea to feed my Tomato plants.

Another area of the garden which would at first sight appear very unpromising is the alleyway between my garage and the brick wall that separates our property from the road. This is where I keep things like bags of compost and used compost bags that are full of stuff waiting to go to the Tip. It only gets sunlight for a small part of the day. Fortunately, as I have found by sheer luck, that is OK for growing Leaf Celery.

I sowed the Leaf Celery indoors and when it was big enough I transplanted 9 plants into a big plastic crate (with some drainage holes in the bottom). I hadn't really decided where the crate would live, and I never got round to moving anywhere, but it seems fine where it is. The Celery is certainly thriving. I like to think that I make maximum use of the space I have available!

The only trouble with this site is that the Celery is "out of sight and out of mind", and we keep forgetting to use it. Next time one of us makes chicken stock, we must try to remember to use a few leaves of it.

This is another nice way to eat the Leaf Celery. Pick just the tiniest leaves and have them as a salad ingredient.

They have an amazingly powerful flavour and aroma, so you only need a few! 


  1. All space is useful isn't it. I never got round to sowing my leaf celery I wonder if it it too late now!

  2. I think we'd always be looking for more space, even if we had a huge garden. I quite fancy having a go at leaf celery. I've never been bothered to grow celery itself as it seems rather fussy but this seems much less so.

  3. Maybe we need to try celery leaf too as we have no success with either celery or celeriac.

  4. I had comfrey in my last garden. Like you it was in a bad spot in the garden, yet it grew well enough there. I haven't found a space for it here. I think we use all our spaces too well.

  5. Great photos Mark!

    I make tomato fertilizer from stinging nettles - but I only add it at the beginning, after I plant my tomatoes in the garden, because it's high in nitrogen. I heard about comfrey fertilizer, but I've never made it yet.

  6. When we've moved, the only problem we've had with mint is that it takes over the garden! Since we moved into Deopham, 5 miles or so from here the mint just dies. We've tried cuttings, when we first moved, seed sown directly into the ground and some in pots, even tried the greenhouse! It just doesn't seem to like it here!


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