‘Mild Cultivated’ rocket is a cultivated form of rocket that produces green leaves with a lovely fresh, yet mild flavour. Rocket ‘Mild Cultivated’ foliage still has that lovely peppery rocket taste but the leaves don’t have any heat; these leaves are without the intensity of flavour possessed by other more commonly found rocket cultivars. This is the ideal variety of rocket to grow for children or anyone who doesn’t enjoy hot, spicy flavours.
Although watermelons can be grown very successfully outdoors in the UK (once all risk of frost has passed); I must tell you straight away that watermelon seeds need to be started off inside a glasshouse, polytunnel, or consevatory. ‘Little Darling’ plants need to grow within the confines of a warm and protected environment until all risk of frost has passed (which is usually from late May to the middle of June, depending on where you garden – in the UK).
Pea ‘Rosakrone’ (Pisum sativum ‘Rosakrone’) is super pea variety that produces these dainty, rose-pink and ivory coloured flowers. Plants produce small to medium sized green pea pods that can be eaten young (as mangetout), or allowed to develop into deliciously sweet green peas. This is a decorative and reliable vegetable that will succeed in a sunny and open site, in almost any moist, but well-drained soil.
Alpine strawberries or wild strawberries (also known by their botanical name Fragaria vesca) are small, low growing, plants that trail along the ground, spreading via runners; these pretty little plants can grow up to around 15cm (6 inches) tall. I adore alpine strawberries! These dainty little plants are utterly charming, with attractive leaves, delightful white flowers, and the delicious red strawberries they produce.
Watermelons are great fun to grow! If you’re wondering whether we can grow these delicious fruits in the UK, the answer is yes we can grow watermelons! However, these plants will need to be started off in the protection and warmth of a glasshouse, polytunnel, or conservatory, and in the north of the country, (and in exposed positions) it may be preferable for watermelons to spend their entire lives indoors.
Skirret (also known by the botanical name Sium sisarum) is a perennial root vegetable, which enjoyed great popularity in the medieval and Tudor periods, but sadly is rarely grown nowadays. I expect Skirret’s fall from favour is due to this vegetable producing thinner roots than carrots and parsnips and therefore being far more fiddly and difficult to clean and prepare than these more popular root vegetables.
Huauzontle (also known by its botanical name Chenopodium berlandieri) is an easy to grow annual from Mexico. Due to their similar appearances, this vegetable is easily identifiable as being a relation of the common weed, Fat Hen (which itself is another edible plant). Huauzontle plants produce edible leaves and teeny tiny flowers, which are eaten as newly formed buds, in a similar way to Broccoli.
Physalis peruviana is a tender, herbaceous perennial plant that produces absolutely delicious tasting orange berries, which are quite exquisitely wrapped in these gorgeous papery lanterns. Also known as Cape Gooseberries, Ground Cherries, or Inca Berries, Physalis peruviana is a lovely plant, with a slightly shrubby habit.
I find that Physalis peruviana plants don’t grow very tall. Physalis peruviana plants eventual height depends on the seed the plant was grown from, as well as the plant’s age, and the overall growing conditions the plant has enjoyed.
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.
French beans (known by their botanical name, Phaseolus vulgaris) are such lovely vegetables to grow. These plants are both productive and decorative, with attractive flowers. French beans are super plants that will truly enhance your garden; the beans they produce taste delicious, too!
Firstly, take care to select the type of French bean you want to grow. There are two types of French beans: tall climbing French beans (often called ‘Pole Beans’) that grow up to 8ft (2.5m) tall (and taller!)
I love growing blueberries! Blueberries (Vaccinium corymbosum and Vaccinium angustifolium) are deciduous shrubs that produce sublime tasting berries. These handsome plants produce tasty fruit but they bring added interest to the garden with their intriguing white, bell-shaped flowers, which are adored by bees in springtime and their vibrant autumn leaves. In autumn, blueberries deliver stunning leaf colours, turning vivid shades of orange and red before falling.
Chilli pepper ‘Trinidad Perfume’ (Capsicum chinense) is ‘no heat’ or ‘heatless’ Habanero chilli pepper with a truly gentle flavour. ‘Trinidad Perfume’ chilli peppers can be enjoyed raw or used in culinary dishes; these lovely chilli peppers have a mild flavour, rather like a sweet green pepper, but with added perfume.
‘Trinidad Perfume’ chilli pepper plants produce green fruits that ripen slowly to a very pretty yellow colour.
Hesperis matronalis is a short lived perennial or biennial that’s often known as Sweet Rocket or Dame’s Violet. These lovely plants are very easy to grow; they really are super plants to grow in your garden. Hesperis matronalis are hardy throughout the UK and they’re also drought tolerant, too. Plants will grow in any soil, apart from waterlogged soils; so avoid sowing these seeds on wet ground.
Hesperis matronalis var. albiflora is a short lived perennial or biennial plant that is often known as Sweet Rocket or Dame’s Violet. These lovely plants are very easy to grow, they’re nice things to have around. Hesperis matronalis var. albiflora plants are hardy throughout the UK and they’re also pretty drought tolerant, too. Plants will grow in any soil, apart from waterlogged soils, so avoid sowing these seed on wet ground.
Tomato ‘Irish Gardener’s Delight’ (Solanum lycopersicum ‘Irish Gardener’s Delight’) is an intermediate (cordon) tomato that produces these wonderfully glossy red fruits. These tomatoes are a bright and cheerful, pillar box red; ‘Irish Gardener’s Delight’ is a proper red tomato!
In the UK, from February to April, ‘Irish Gardener’s Delight’ tomato seeds can be sown inside a warm glasshouse, polytunnel, conservatory, or on a particularly bright and sunny windowsill.
Tomato ‘Flamingo’ (Solanum lycopersicum ‘Flamingo’) is an intermediate (cordon) tomato that produces these rather lovely mini plum tomatoes in a quaint cherry-red colour.
From February to April (in the UK), ‘Flamingo’ tomato seeds can be sown inside a warm glasshouse, polytunnel, conservatory, or on a particularly bright and sunny windowsill. When sowing tomato seeds and growing seedlings on, it’s important to be able to provide your plants with sufficient light (ideally from above), as bright light is needed to produce strong stocky plants and prevent your plants from becoming leggy.
Tomato ‘Rosella’ (Solanum lycopersicum ‘Rosella’) is an intermediate (cordon) tomato that produces these stunning burnished mahogany coloured, cherry tomatoes. Given sufficient warmth and light, ‘Rosella’ tomatoes are easily raised from seed. ‘Rosella’ tomato plants will thrive grown inside a glasshouse, polytunnel, or conservatory.
Once all risk of frost has passed, (from the end of May until the middle of June – in the UK) ‘Rosella’ tomatoes can also be grown outside in gardens or allotments, where they grow happily planted beds and borders, or in raised beds or containers.
Blackcurrants (Ribes nigrum) are hardy deciduous shrubs that thrive in warm and sunny, sheltered sites. These naturally bushy plants will grow in almost any well-drained soil. Blackcurrants enjoy regular watering throughout the summer months; these fruits will tolerate a wetter soil through the growing season, providing the ground isn’t too wet during the winter months. These productive fruits can be grown in full sunshine or partial shade.
Sweet Pepper ‘Redskin’ (Capsicum annuum var. annuum (Grossum Group) F1) is a naturally dwarf sweet pepper cultivar. These diminutive looking plants produce large sized green fruit that start off green but eventually ripen to red. The Royal Horticultural Society has awarded Sweet Pepper ‘Redskin’ with an Award of Garden Merit; a coveted accolade that recognises this plants ability to perform well, given the appropriate growing conditions.
French bean ‘Red Swan’ (Phaseolus vulgaris ‘Red Swan’) is a dwarf French bean cultivar. These plants will grow up to around 30-50cm (1-1.5ft) tall. I find French bean ‘Red Swan’ plants are usually a little too tall to grow in a container without at least few stakes or supports to prevent the plants from becoming annoying and lolling all over the ground.