I’ve been reading John Evelyn’s “A Discourse on Sallets” and being a retro-romantic reactionary I found it all very fascinating. Reading it I was reminded that sallet might be making a comeback as a permaculture term for perennial salad plants. It is a middle (read old) English spelling for salad. Many of the herbs and leaves in Evelyn’s book are familiar (lettuce, parsley, borage) others almost forgotten (skirret, good king henry). But not to Permaculturists who are familiar with such plants as skirret and good king henry because they are perennial edibles. Not all perennial edibles are all that great, however. Martin Crawford in his “Creating a Forest Garden” recommends young lime leaves (lime as in linden tree) in salads, which as much as I respect the really great research Martin has done, are revolting. So here are my selections for a perennial salad that actually taste nice and also can be grown perennially. Read More
I must apologise for the length of time between posts but my garden is in a cool temperate zone in the northern hemisphere and we are in the depths of winter. There is not much time to garden with the reduced daylight hours and nothing is growing much anyway. It is quite entertaining to look at England’s climate through the eyes of my Amrikan friend who is stunned to find he is able to overwinter brassicas, artichokes and such things here. We complain of the weather but really we are very fortunate, especially in the south of England. Read More
I have realised that I am quite conventional in my outlook even though my artistic side longs for shrub height forest gardening. I have realised that I am just basically an organic gardener. I grew rows of shallots and elephant garlic and though I was propagating in a perennial manner I revelled in my yield in exactly the same manner as any other allotmenteer.
After a failed start sowing skirret from seed in the spring some have come up anyway in the summer and are now established plants. Skirret is an old fashioned perennial root crop which used to be everywhere but is now dying out. I have six plants in total and I am into looking at their pretty little white flowers. Read More