Birdsong, January sunshine and bright green leaves

Well the sunshine may have been short lived (now turned to drizzle) but the birds are still in good voice outside.  I have just spent a very enjoyable hour in the garden planting out Jerusalem artichokes and Chinese artichokes (no relation to each other or to globe artichokes).

Now I have spent a few years growing perennial veggies I am finding out what works best for me and growing more of them.  I have saved some Jerusalem artichokes from last year (in fact I have not yet dug them all anyway) but wanted more plants than my own saved tubers are likely to produce.  So I have bought another twenty and planted them out this morning.  They are in a sunnier spot that last year, amongst a whole variety of other veggies and pictures of how they get on will no doubt appear later in the year.

Likewise with the Chinese artichokes, I want to grow more and in a sunnier location.  I have dotted them in clumps all over the place; as always happens there were more than I had “room for”.  But room has been made in amongst other things and some have gone into pots and flower beds to see what happens.

I planted both of these sets of tubers by making only very small holes; deep enough, but not wide, quite like the way I plant daffodil bulbs.  In the process I cleared away some things that were in the way.  This included nettles which are my garden’s friend but they need to be kept in place or they become too rampant.

All the while I had the delightful accompaniment of heart lifting birdsong.  In the same spring like vein a number of plants are stirring.  These are mainly in the onion family – garlic, shallots, perennial leeks, three cornered leeks and others – they are all sending out bright green shoots.  There is also lamb’s lettuce which has been growing (self sown) since Christmas and we have been eating the thinnings for weeks, field beans are appearing and the greens especially the kales are looking grateful for the mild cool, damp weather.

Although there have been a few light frosts this winter continues to seem unseasonally mild, but at least it has been raining to replenish the soil water.  The mild weather has encouraged flowers to appear in unusual combinations and today there are winter jasmine, snowdrops, crocus, daffodils, primrose, camellia (!), hellebore and clove pinks all in flower.  I will leave you with a picture of the bright green of the lamb’s lettuce (with a shallot poking through the centre) and a robust nine star perennial broccoli!

About Anni Kelsey

I love forest gardens and forest gardening, nature, reading and everything good about being alive. I have written two books - the garden of equal delights (2020) - about the principles and practice of forest gardening; and Edible Perennial Gardening (2014) - about growing perennial vegetables in polycultures, which is basically forest gardening concentrating on the lower layers.
This entry was posted in Forest Gardening, perennial greens, Perennial Vegetables, Permaculture, Polycultures, roots and tubers, Telford Garden and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Birdsong, January sunshine and bright green leaves

  1. mortaltree says:

    That’s Nine-Star perennial Broccoli!?! Sheesh! Wow! Ghees! It’s Huge! I have read that they don’t live all that long and that they’re flower production isn’t that high, so I thought they were weakly things in general. It’s all leaves! So excited to get it.
    The only place in the States I have found this said they would have it available this fall. Not seeing anything about it on their website I emailed to ask how it was going and they said they are still selecting the most productive seedlings and building up a supply. They said they had some reach 10ft tall, which I figured was either a genetic fluke or they’re selection, one or the other. Either way it surprised me, and this surprises me even more.
    What is your experience with bud production/life length with a plant like that?


    • annisveggies says:

      I have just studied the photo I posted here and to be completely honest I am not totally sure that it was 9 star perennial, it might have been another kale that I misidentified at the time. I have a feeling that the kale in the picture may be Sutherland kale, a Scottish variety and clearly it grew huge!

      However, be that as it may I can definitely recommend 9 star perennial broccoli as it does make a really substantial plant from which you can eat the leaves as well as the mini cauliflower head and the smaller flowering stems. I have found that it can last several years, but it is really dependent on weather conditions and of course these are very unpredictable.

      I wonder if I could send you a pack of one or both of these next spring to try as I can source them here without a problem. I can’t post a picture that I know to be 9 star perennial in this reply, but I will email you one.


      • mortaltree says:

        Thank you for sending me the pictures! It does look like quite a healthy plant. That, and that you have had good experience with it, makes me even more hopeful that it will do well here.
        I am raising Sutherland Kale for the first time this year. It has a much more upright growth and lighter green leaves than the plant in the picture. It might just be that your soil is that good though, which wouldn’t surprise me.
        If you would like to send me a packet of the Nine-Star, I would love the genetic diversity, and would try and pass it on to as many interested people as I could and maybe do a little selection myself. I’m just patiently waiting for the Company in the US I mentioned to finally get an inventory of the plant and make it available. I’m thinking they will have it by this next fall. Still, if you want to, I of course can’t say no. Thanks for offering.


  2. annisveggies says:

    What would you like sent?


  3. Launa Perry says:

    do you send to canada?


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