With the first sunny day for at least a week, Saturday morning saw me abandoning my studies for a few minutes in the garden. I say a few minutes but . . . you know how it goes.

First on the agenda was to dig up all the parsley and red-veined sorrel planted in the raised beds. I grew these from seed this time last year and they overwintered in the Tiny Greenhouse – an attempt to provide leaves for winter salads, until the slugs found the parsley! They didn’t seem to like the sorrel.

When the weather improved in spring, I planted the remains of the parsley, and the sorrel, first into large pots, where they fared no better. Finally I moved both to the raised beds where they perked up and provided leaves for months. Now I’ve put them back into pots balanced on gravel trays in the Potting Shed where they will have some sun. (The Tiny Greenhouse is still shaded by trees. Grrrr!)

Continue reading “Herbylicious”

Six on Saturday: 28 November 2020

Another grey, dreary, wet Saturday, cold too. I’m thankful that I brushed yet more leaves up from the patio yesterday so I can stay indoors today. I prepared this SoS earlier in the week as I didn’t trust that we would have internet access after to conversion to fibre broadband. As you can see – I was wrong.


Just when you think there is nothing left in the garden to photograph, nature surprises you, as these new strawflower buds show.

Along with this pot marigold which it still going, and with another flower to open.

Continue reading “Six on Saturday: 28 November 2020”

Sowing for a Winter Harvest (4)


Mindful of the time it takes for seeds to germinate and develop into plants large enough to plant into the bags of compost waiting in the wings of the Tiny Greenhouse, I made a start on 22 August.

A point to note is the inclusion of coloured clothespegs to hold the plant labels. This guarantees means that even if the labels fade in the sun or through watering – and provided the clothespeg stays in the pot – I will know that the blue signify Parsley, the purple are American Land Cress, the white are Mizuna, and the pink are coriander.

After just three days – the Mizuna has sprouted.
2nd September – Mizuna growing well and an American Land Cress shoot has appeared.
8 September 2020


I ordered lots of herb and salad seeds.

  • Amaranthus – The leaves turn intense red as they develop – giving added colour in salads. It is more vigorous than the green type. Use the leaves individually or pick as sprigs
  • Cress – plain
  • Misticanza misculglio – Mixed Italian salad of chicories including red radicchio. This mixture contains no lettuce and is ideal as a perennial mixture for cut and come again. Red radicchio can be left over winter to head up or blanched for tender pink leaves. Green varieties can be left to grow on.
  • Mixed oriental leaves – This mixture contains : Mibuna (17%), Mustard Red Giant (16%) , Pak choi shanghai (17%), Komatsuma Tender green (17%), Mizuna (17%) , Chinese Cabbage Wonk Bok (16%)
  • Mixed spicy leaf – This salad leaf mixture contains : Rocket (25%) , Mizuna (25%) , Mustard Giant Red (25%) , Mustard Southern Giant (25%) 
  • Mustard Red Frills – Mustard Red Frills produces superb deep red and green shoots with a mild fiery mustard flavour that is easy to grow and fast growing.
  • Pea Serge (for shoots) – Tender cripsy shoots and tendrils of young pea plants make a wonderful edible garnish and a perfect snack. Ideal replacement for Samish (a variety of spinach).
  • Radish Red Rioja – Radish Red Rioja produces large purple red cotyledons, (first leaves) which will always show a small proportion of green seedlings. This variety is very popular for its colour and makes for a fantastic and colourful addition to salad.
  • Sorrel – red veined – Sorrel is a perennial plant with a sharp lemon flavour, one of the last to die salad leaves to die down for winter and one of the first to appear in spring.
  • Spinach Red Kitten F1 – with its attractive red stem and oriental shaped leaf, this salad leaf is very sweet in flavour.


On 25 August, despite gales and torrential rain, I escaped to the potting shed for more seed sowing.

  • Chinese Kale x 3 pots
  • Chives x 2 pots
  • Radish French Breakfast x 1 pot
  • Radish Spanish Black Round x 1 pot
  • Spring Onion White Lisbon x 2 pots

A week later and both radish were growing well, with the Chinese Kale not far behind.

Chinese Kale 1 September 2020
8 September 2020


8 September

Time for the next round of seed sowing

8 September 2020


In the Tiny Greenhouse, the Claytonia (Winter Purslane/Miner’s Lettuce) I sowed on 9 August, has its first true leaves and will soon be large enough to plant.

12 September

Time to plant up some bags.

Bag #1: Radish Spanish Black x 1, Mizuna Mix x 2
Bag #2: Radish French Breakfast x 1, Mizuna Mix x 2
Bag #3 (bottom right): Claytonia x 2, Parsley x 3. Bag #4 (bottom left): Parsley x 3

I look forward to eating the results in a few weeks. Should there be any sign of slugs and snails, I have a supply of crushed eggshells at the ready.

13 September

This morning, I sowed another pot each of Radish French Breakfast and Black Spanish Round. Then four pots of Mustard Red Frills. It may be that this is something that should be direct sown into the bags to mingle with other leaves, or when I plant the seedlings into a bag, I also sow seeds in the gaps.

As you can see, the pot of spring onions and the two pots of chives sown on 25 August are still quite small. I expect the mustard will be ready to plant before them.