Rocket (also known by the botanical name Eruca vesicaria subsp. sativa) is a fantastically easy-to-grow edible; it’s a productive plant with leaves that bring a deliciously peppery flavour to salads and culinary dishes. I really enjoy rocket leaves eaten fresh in a salad. One of my favourite simple suppers is a jacket potato with rocket and avocado. However, you can also cook with rocket, as these leaves produce delicious soups.
Arctium lappa can be found growing wild across Europe, Scandinavia, and the Mediterranean, as well as other locations around the world. In the UK, Arctium lappa is more commonly known as Greater Burdock, but I’m sure that this plant has a range of common names, as it’s a native plant of so many countries.
This is an edible and medicinal plant that is grown or foraged for food and medicine.
Origanum onites is one of my favourite plants; its a pretty little thing with a long flowering period; plants bloom over the summer months. This is a superb plant for a wildlife garden. Origanum onites plants produce an abundance of these sweet, dainty flowers that are adored by bees, butterflies, hoverflies, and moths. Commonly known as marjoram, Origanum onites is a culinary and medicinal herb with aromatic leaves that will enhance a wide variety of culinary dishes.
Crimson flowered broad beans are great fun! These rather glamorous plants are the crimson flowered form of broad beans. Plants produce large cerise coloured flowers, which are followed by green broad bean pods, filled with green broad beans.
Broad bean ‘Crimson Flowered’ (also known by their botanical name of Vicia faba) are superb plants for bumble bees who delight in feeding on their flowers’ nectar.
Peas (also known by their botanical name, Pisum sativum) are annual vegetables from the Fabaceae or Leguminosae (Legume) family. These climbing plants produce pods filled with peas. The peas are often the focus for gardeners and cooks, but don’t miss out on the extent of the gourmet delights that peas offer us – as all parts of the pea plant are edible – the shoots, leaves, pea pods, and the peas themselves – they’re all utterly delicious!
Ilex is the latin name for the genus of plants we often refer to as hollies. This is an interesting and diverse group of plants, that includes evergreen and deciduous plants, that form small shrubs, tall trees, and everything in between – depending on the Ilex species or cultivar grown.
Ilex are native plants of the United Kingdom, Europe, the Mediterranean, the Americas, China, North America, South East Asia, and other areas around the globe.
Salsola soda is a vegetable that’s also known by many common names, including: agretti, roscano, saltwort, Russian thistle, Friar’s beard, Monk’s beard, Barba di Frate, or barilla plant. Plants have a grassy appearance, with stems of needle like leaves, that grow up to around 60cm (2ft) tall, depending on your plant’s growing conditions. This is a mild but delicious tasting vegetable that adds a freshness, which softly and subtly enhances stir fries, risottos, and many other dishes.
You can’t miss Anthemis tinctoria when it’s in flower, as these glowing, sunny yellow daisies really stand out across the garden. Anthemis tinctoria is commonly known as Dyer’s Chamomile, as the flowers and stems of this plant can be used to dye fabrics and other materials. Plants flower in the summer time. In the UK, Anthemis tinctoria usually blooms during June, July, and August.
Globe artichokes are a wonderful vegetable to grow, they look so beautiful and taste absolutely delicious! A freshly harvested globe artichoke has an entirely different and far superior taste and texture to a shop bought globe artichoke.
Globe artichokes are easily raised from seed. You can sow seeds directly in the ground, where you want your plants to grow, or start your seeds off in containers.
Broccoli is a lovely vegetable to grow. Advances in seed breeding have created a more versatile range of broccoli cultivars that can produce a harvest in autumn, or late winter, early spring, or summer, depending on the broccoli cultivar you choose to grow and the time that you sow your seeds.
Depending on the broccoli cultivar that you’re growing, seeds of this vegetable can be sown from March to July.
Hyacinths are divinely fragrant bulbous plants that favour moist, but well drained soils and thrive when planted in a sunny or partially shaded spot. If you’d like to grow hyacinths in your garden, you’ll find an array of Hyacinth cultivars available that produce pretty pastel toned flowers, as well as cultivars that produce vibrant, darker coloured pinks, reds, and blue coloured flowers.
Allium is a large genus of flowering plants, it features hundreds of Allium species and many hybrids. Onions, spring onions, chives, garlic, and leeks are all part of the Allium family, as are many other plants, which are grown for their decorative flowers and seed heads.
Most Allium flowers are known to be popular with bees, butterflies, hoverflies, and other pollinating insects.
Asparagus, also known by its botanical name of Asparagus officinalis, is a delectable vegetable, which is made even more appetising when you eat the spears the same day they are harvested. The sooner you eat asparagus spears, the sweeter they taste. Freshly harvested asparagus spears have a familiarly sweet quality, it’s rather like the sweetness we enjoy when we eat freshly harvested sweetcorn, I adore asparagus!
Broad beans (also known by their botanical name of Vicia faba) are wonderfully easy to grow beans that tastes delicious. If you haven’t grown them before, you might think of yourself as someone who doesn’t like broad beans, but stay with me – it’s still worth growing this fabulous vegetable. That sounds mad, I know! But so far, I have converted every single friend who had thought they disliked broad beans, as home-grown broad beans are a true delicacy; their taste and texture is a million miles away from shop bought beans.
Lagurus ovatus ‘Bunny Tails’ is a really lovely annual grass that produces ovate, soft, fluffy, panicles which look very pretty on the plant, and last indefinitely as a cut flower. The stems dry so well and so easily, requiring no special care – simply cut a few stems and place them in an empty vase. Lagurus ovatus ‘Bunny Tails’ suits modern, urban, cottage, and country gardens, complimenting both formal and more relaxed plantings.
Soleirolia soleirolii (also known by its common name of mind-your-own-business) is a fast-growing, ground-covering perennial. The stems of Soleirolia soleirolii root readily, which helps this plant to spread rapidly. I must warn you, whether you grow this plant indoors or outside, Soleirolia soleirolii can be an invasive plant! The plus side of this plant’s keen, spreading nature is that you can easily divide Soleirolia soleirolii to make new plants!