Spring: Horse chestnut bud burst

It seems like spring is truly springing in the UK this week, and we have been watching the fat horse chestnut buds unfurl 🙂 The trees leafing out is good news, as they’ll start using up the water that keeps falling from the skies! Drier soil is a real possibility in the not-to-distant future.

We’ve got a mixed-bag of plant-related internet goodness for this week’s Tendrils. Following on from the recent Easter-themed extravaganza, you may be interested to know that there is a tropical fruit that tastes like chocolate pudding. I can’t imagine why it’s not more well known, it sounds like the perfect reason to have your own heated greenhouse!

Karela, Indian bitter gourd, is not likely to have such widespread appeal – the clue is in its name. Nevertheless, it is a worthy vegetable, and fried karela sounds quite nice 🙂

If you don’t fancy that, perhaps you don’t like eating your greens – would you find them easier to drink? Apparently there’s now a trend to make cocktails with green leafy vegetables, including rocket (arugula) and their flowers. Like a Green Juice, but Boozy explains this latest forager trend, and gives an excitingly green cocktail recipe to try this spring.

Atlas Obscura are exploring how black pepper won Europe from a better pepper, Piper longum, and there’s a round-up of 10 Cretan herbs – the wealth of Cretan nature to continue in the seasonings theme.

Jade Pearls and Alien Eyeballs: Grow Something Different

Next up: a seasonal spring post from the archives on eating hostas, something I really should get round to trying in the garden. There was a moment, a few years ago, when I had seedlings… but I had to move on.

And a gentleman in the Boston Globe insists that No one makes dandelion wine anymore. I want to bring the tradition back.. I wonder how much encouragement he’ll get on that one?

Perhaps more than I imagine, since the Smithosonian magazine is running an article for people wondering What the heck do I do with dandelion greens? Even they don’t mention making dandelion wine, though.

Clearly, though, questions of what to do with dandelions greens and nettles are for amateurs. The next step is apparently Mugwort mochi. I have other plans this weekend, but if you do try it let me know how you get on!

And finally, Michelle Obama has gone a bit spacey for her last season in the White House vegetable garden, and has planted space lettuce – ‘Outredgeous’ Red Romaine Lettuce and ‘Tokyo bekana’ Chinese Cabbage are being sent to the ISS in today’s SpaceX cargo launch, and will be growing at the White House and in space at the same time. You can watch the launch live online starting at 3:30 pm EDT (20:30 BST), with launch scheduled for 4:43 pm (21:43 BST).

Don’t forget to check out my new Facebook group if you’re looking for gardening offers and competitions!

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This blog post was written by Emma Cooper and was published on The Unconventional Gardener website. If you're reading it elsewhere you may want to navigate away from plagiarised content.

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