Ornamental alliums

I’m starting Tendrils this week with a link to a citizen science project I discovered via Twitter – the Tea Bag Index. Although it sounds bonkers, you can help them do some real soil science by burying tea bags in your garden for a few months, digging them up, drying them out and returning them. They even send you the tea bags! I have signed up, so expect to see some more blog posts on it in due course.

A slightly different citizen project, the Independent Nursery Guide, is helping to bring together a directory of independent British nurseries, where you can buy locally grown plants and support our incredible growers and nursery-people. If your favourite local nursery isn’t on the list, you can use the contact page to get it added!

In a week when research from the crop trust told us definitively what we already knew, that we rely on ‘foreign’ crops for food, it was interesting to note that a shortage of tomatoes – a crop native to the Americas – in Nigeria is causing a crisis. Can you make stew without tomatoes? It turns out that you can, and the article has some recipe ideas, but they are not universally popular!

It’s also interesting to see an article about the Basque country’s green caviar – a crop so unsuited to mass production and transportation that you won’t even find it in Madrid. Kind of makes you want to try growing your own, doesn’t it?

If your strawberries are starting to ripen then I’ve got a recipe for strawberry jam. It’s going to be a while before I have enough to try that, I think! Maybe next year 🙂

And don’t forget that I have two cracking summer reading offers if you like to lie back and absorb some garden inspiration on your hols!

Toodle pip