Hello, and welcome to Tendrils! My assertion, earlier in the week, that forget-me-nots have edible flowers has caused some surprised reactions! You don’t have to (and shouldn’t!) take my word for it. I have added two sources to a comment on the original post: Eat the Weeds and Edible Wild Food. I can’t imagine anyone would want to eat a lot of them (too much picking involved!) but I think they would look pretty floating in cocktails or sprinkled into salads or onto desserts. Maybe next year I will be able to try it (but I haven’t sown my seeds yet).
Meanwhile, garden blogger Andrew O’Brien has done a lovey montage on Instagram, showing forget-me-nots alongside green alkanet and also comfrey:
Which makes me wish I was a little more artistically minded!
Easter weekend is traditionally the time when people less horticulturally-minded than me (and you, I hope!) start to think about sorting out their garden for the summer. A survey by Plantlife suggests that they will still all have trouble sourcing peat-free composts. More than 2 million cubic metres of peat was used in composts in 2015, and “while commercial peat extraction from Britain’s bogs has been reduced, our use of peat in gardens is now degrading bogs elsewhere. In 2015, more than half of our peat came from Ireland and around 7% from elsewhere in Europe (primarily the Baltic States) – leaving a third (around 700,000 tonnes) from peatlands in Scotland, England and Northern Ireland.”
If your chosen retailer isn’t stocking a decent brand of peat-free compost, now is the time to complain!
Head over to my FB group for more great Easter weekend gardening offers!
And if you need some inspiration on what to grow in your peat-free compost, then WhatShed? have put together a collection of ‘awesome grow your own blogs’ to flick through. You’re reading one of them now 😉 but there’s plenty more good stuff on offer.
You may have noticed that I’m a big fan of tea, and Gourmet Traveller has a lovely article on herbal tea growing from one of my favourite Antipodean growers/writers: Brewing herbal tea from your garden. I find it fascinating to read gardening articles from the other side of the world – their summer is just waning now, while we’re still waiting for ours to begin. And it’s a much different story than the one where people risked jail for a cup of tea, which is all about smuggling and the high seas!
Two Easter-related links for you now. Foods of England have recipes for tansy pudding, a traditional recipe for Easter time. And when it says ‘pudding’ it doesn’t mean dessert; I wouldn’t want you to be disappointed.
— YorkshireLass (@NorthernMGirl) April 13, 2017
Which is true (at least, it’s mentioned in Wikipedia 😉
It’s not really plant-related, but Oakden have history of the hot cross bun, which are a lot safer to eat (at least in the short term!) than tansy pudding.
And since you might have some time on your hands this weekend, we’ll round out this week’s Tendrils with some citizen science. GROW Observatory are offering you the chance to sign up for a free online course (running next month). Citizen Science: From Soil to Sky aims to teach you how to understand your soil and explore global environmental soil issues by becoming a citizen scientist.
Every Plant Matters are running a global experiment to find out how plants adjust to their environment. Individuals and groups can sign up to take part, which will involve growing thale cress (a tiny plant, beloved of plant scientists everywhere for its rapid lifecycle) and taking some measurements. Sign up by 15th April if you want to take part.
And MYHarvest is an interesting new citizen science experiment, collecting harvest data from kitchen gardeners in the UK, with the aim of estimating their contribution to UK national food production. Yields have never been my primary concern, but I have downloaded the recording sheet, and I’m going to give it a grow! The project is being run by the University of Sheffield.
Happy Easter everybody! Tendrils will return next week 🙂
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.