In October I found a handful of broad bean seeds in my seed collection that I didn’t even know I had and so, on a bit of a gamble, I chucked a few down. Then the frost came and then the snow came and then MORE SNOW came and I had pretty well forgotten about them until last weekend when I went out into my garden for a spot of (pre)spring cleaning and discovered a small army of baby bean plants shooting out of the ground.
They’re so cheerful and proud, the way they stand. I’m utterly enamoured with them. I have about eight right now, but there are a couple of wee shoots that look like they might be late-comers, so I might have still more!
Although less of a surprise, I also have four Brussel sprout plants that are ace! The stalks are too close together for them to have really flourished (noted for next year) — the wee heads are far more like mini-spring cabbage than tight January Kings, but they’ve still done pretty well. I think I’m going to have to harvest them in the next week, otherwise they’ll begin to falter. I’m very excited about this. One of my favourite sprout pairings is with gnocchi and a tight drizzle of truffle oil — nom! At least one dinner next week is planned!
Amazingly, I’ve three heads of chard that have begun to rejuvenate. I really thought these would die a pitiful and frost-covered death, but they seem to be back with a vengeance! This year what I need to do is remember to eat it. Most of my chard last year wilted into mulch because I’d forget it was even there. I shall have to make more of an effort to find recipes that call for it. Or just pick it when it’s young and throw it into salad.
Apparently strawberries are way more invasive than I ever knew — those little tendril-rootlings that sproing out and up landed in three of the surrounding pots around my initial strawberry container — not that I’m complaining. If a strawberry invasion wants to take place in my garden, I’m all for it! I’m particularly pleased with these, too, because I grew them from seed and I’d always rather thought of strawberries as something only a ‘real’ gardener could manage. I’m not sure if this makes me a ‘real’ gardener, but it definitely sets me up for a delicious July.
Lastly, and possibly even more exciting than the strawberry resurgence: broccoli! I can’t even tell you how awesome this is. I have freaking BROCCOLI growing in my garden! Like the Brussels, I planted them far too close together for them to really flourish, but all four heads have developed into nice little florets and one has even started little splinter florets. It blows my mind that something like broccoli can be grow in a pot like this.
The purple sprouting broccoli really weathered through the winter. It’s looking a little thin just now, but it’s already showing signs of proliferation. Give it some sun and in a couple of weeks I think it will burst forth.