6 May 2012

On the salad menu...

Blue nasturtium seedlings

Despite the grey skies over the veg patch, close inspection reveals that things are surely happening. A little pootle around the patch yesterday evening revealed a glimpse of the glories to come in the months ahead.

Having grown Tom Thumb (orange) and Milkmaid (creamy white) nasturtiums last year (some of which are already creeping back again), I was very taken with the variety in the photo above called Blue Pepe; the colour combo of blue/purple/green leaves is a favourite and will be jazzed up with bright red flowers in due course. When I can, I love to grow veg that are one step removed from what's expected and these will do nicely! Entirely edible, too - I'm planning some fabulously stylish salads this year!

I've growing purple carrots, rocket, red crisphead lettuce, red orach, pink broad beans and bull's blood beets to add to the salad list - not only will my food be colourful and tasty, I'm giddily excited at the prospect of it all, which is the fun of growing your own! It's a bit late now but I wish I was taking part in VP's salad challenge!

14 comments:

  1. The bright red flowers will work well with those leaves. I've never eaten nasturtiums, I may be missing out of something good but I just can't seem to get my head round eating flowers.

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    1. Jo, my interest was piqued when Waitrose started selling edible flowers in very small bags at quite expensive prices in their salad department. I've now got several books on edible flowers and like the idea that everything in my garden can be eaten. Nasturtiums are quite peppery, the leaves can be eaten young in salads or made into pesto - and I like to think that I'd try anything at least once!

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  2. All the colours of the rainbow eh! It all sounds very healthy. I noticed a few self-seeded nasturtiums this morning I love 'em.

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    1. Me too, Elaine, me too! I just wish they wouldn't self seed so enthusastically; if I didn't scoop up most of the fallen seeds, there wouldn't be room for much else in the garden!

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  3. That all sounds colourful and tasty. Looking forward to some photos of your harvests. I've gone for some purple and yellow carrots too. Hoping for a rainbow of colours on the plate. If the sun will ever shine that is!!!

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    1. Welly, I like to grow some stuff that's a little bit unusual so I hope that there'll be some good photos this summer... especially with the courgettes I've chosen! The sun has shone twice this week and it's made a marked difference to my seedlings, they're suddenly putting on a growth spurt. Summer can't be too far away now!

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  4. I noticed some nasturtium seedlings on the plot, and like the dark leaved, bright red flowered ones.
    I'm not much of a salad eater but have been following VP's challenge with interest. Flighty xx

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    1. Flighty, I love the splash of colour that they give to a veg patch, right up into the autumn - whether they're edible or not! I prefer my salads in the summer rather than winter but also like to extend the visual interest beyond just lettuce and radish (although that's a very nice salad by itself). Caro xx

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  5. Your plates of food are going to be really colourful.Your Blue Pepe nasturtium leaf is beautiful and will be fantastic when the red flowers join in, sunglasses needed!

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    1. Pauline, I can only hope! Some year's have been more successful than others but I'm hoping for the best with these and should have lots of purples, oranges, reds and yellows in the veg patch if the plan comes off!

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  6. What a great rainbow of salad Caro! I had a purple theme going a couple of years ago - purple Moldovan garlic, purple mange tout, purple sprouting broccoli. I've now transferred that particular colour theme to the ornamental front garden so I can introduce a few different coloured veg back into the kitchen garden! Waiting the arrival of another cloche before I sow some peas for pea shoot salad. I'm sure hubby won't notice his precious box of marrowfats disappearing from the cupboard...

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    1. Thanks, Jules - I hope so! Had to chuckle at your hubby's peas going missing ... they're just the job aren't they! I'm loathe to put my peas and mange-tout out just yet, although we had TWO whole days of sunshine and dryness this week, it's fairly blustery and that's how I lost my beans last year. Hope your peas are surviving. :)

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  7. Ooooooooh - I do like that leaf colour Caro. Have not heard of 'Blue Pepe' before - will have to look out for it. I am growing 'Empress of India' this year and another whose name escapes at present. Am sure that you can still join in VP's challenge :)

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    1. Anna, I'm also growing Empress of India which I think will be very similar. Both plants have leaves with purple undersides and red flowers so it will be interesting to compare them. Blue Pepe has been bred specifically for culinary use (or so the blurb said) and I got my seeds from Jungle Seeds. I've got a feeling they have a minimum order level though. Hopefully these will produce seed pods at the end of the season - you'd be very welcome to some seeds then!

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Caro x

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