European garden: Giant onion

Back in October 2015 I planted some ‘Red Cross’ overwintering onions. I started harvesting them yesterday, and boy how they’ve grown! This was the first I pulled up, and it weighed in at 280g. I wasn’t aiming for giant vegetables, but I’m not complaining 🙂

Summer is here now (not that you can tell from the weather) and the tulips are over, but it’s worth reading Kitchen Counter Culture’s post on Tasty Tulip Ideas in preparation for next spring. My tulips are in containers and I need to dry them out and store them to encourage them to flower again next year; I want to plant them out in the front garden.

Meanwhile we have been enjoying seasonal rhubarb and there’s a lot of chatter about how best to use up a glut. Tin & Thyme explains how to dry rose petals to use with rhubarb, a delightful combination, and Dogwooddays has 8 delicious recipes for surviving a rhubarb glut. I am particularly intrigued by the Rhubarb & Mint jam.

I wanted to include some European garden flavours from the archives, so check out Heidelbeere: delectable cousin of the American blueberry from Berlin Plants, which has some lovely insights into German culture and foraging. My Kitchen in Spain does the same for the Iberian peninsula, going foraging for wild fennel. I Cook Greek introduced me to a new wild plant, Tordylium officinalis, and a delicious recipe for Cretan wild greens kalitsounia pastries.

Jade Pearls and Alien Eyeballs bargain

I’ve written before about my love for parsley, but Behind the French Menu discusses it its place in French cuisine. Meanwhile, Pure Portugal discusses Eating Invisible Flowers: the Delicious Mystery of FIGS: “Nine fossils from the Jordan Valley dating to about 9400 B.C. prove that ficus was one of the earliest plants to be cultivated by man – amazingly, more than 1000 years before wheat or rye.”

Flowers are rarely divisive, you would think (although there is a precedent in the Wars of the Roses!), but in Austria the cornflower is the beautiful flower with an ugly past. So that’s a link from 8 of the countries in the EU (I might do the rest in future editions of Tendrils) and here’s a bonus post from Norway as it keeps coming up in the Brexit discussions: Stephen Barstow’s Solstice sweet and sour soup greens.

Which just leaves me to suggest that botanical bibliophiles might want to contribute to the RHS Lindley Libraries to help preserve our horticultural heritage, and that if you get peckish this weekend you really should try my baked herby feta.


There’s still time to take advantage of the Suttons offer to buy up to 3 of their FloralFusions seed shakers for 1 penny each. There’s several varieties (normally £5.99) to choose from, so you can mix and match or share your bargain with friends! A quick and easy way to add colour and scent to your garden this year, and to attract beneficial insects. Why not add a floral strip to your allotment?