Back in September I placed an order with Poyntzfield Herb Nursery, which is located in the north of Scotland. Ordering from them is a little bit different from your usual online shop – you have to enquire whether they have what you want in stock, and whether it’s the right time of year for it to be dispatched, before you can place your order. I always find situations like that a bit intimidating – I feel like my enquiry is going to come across as a dumb question.
Still, I persevered and ordered three plants – wasabi, rakkyo onions and Japanese ginger. You can see a bit of a Japanese theme going on there ;). They arrived safely shortly afterwards.
I vaguely remember the day that I potted them up. I was either in a hurry or having a bad day, and squeezing in planting my new babies before they deteriorated. The Japanese ginger (Zingiber mioga) I potted up and kept on the windowsill. When I planted it, it was an unassuming root cutting, and it stayed that way for quite some time. I began to think it was dead. However, last week I spotted it had sprouted, and today it is about 8 inches tall:
Its spindly nature makes it quite hard to photograph at the moment. If I remember correctly it’s the flower buds and shoots that are eaten, rather than the roots.
The rakkyo (Allium chinense) were potted up and nestled into the corner of a larger container. They’re little pearl onions, and currently look like this:
And I planted the wasabi (Wasabia japonica) in one of the containers on the patio.
This morning it occured to me to go and check on the wasabi – and I looked on the patio and was surprised to see it wasn’t there. I struggled to remember what I’d planted it with, and it turned out that I hadn’t taken any photos of it that might have given me some clues. My wasabi was lost – either intentionally moved and forgotten, or unintentionally turfed out.
Eventually I remembered that I planted the wasabi along with some Malva moschata in a trug, without any drainage – all of the plants in it like having wet feet. But then winter came and at some point it rained quite a bit and the plants had very wet feet indeed and so I took pity on them and replanted them in a large container with some drainage holes. I remembered that much, but couldn’t remember whether the wasabi was replanted at the same time, or whether it had been overlooked and properly lost.
Fortunately a close inspection found it nestling underneath the M. moschata, and it has been properly labelled to avoid any doubt in future. It’s still quite diddy, but hopefully will thrive and become large. If I wanted to harvest the roots for wasabi then I would have to wait at least 2 years and sacrifice the whole plant; I would want to propagate it before then as I only have the one. But apparently you can use the leaves as a punch salad ingredient. Whether or not we will like it remains to be seen!