Little Witch Gardening Mistake solved.


I’d forgotten all about them.  Finding a nice large pot, filled with compost, just as I was looking for somewhere to sow some ‘Cima di Rapa’ seed, it seemed the perfect place.  High enough to fool early season slugs, a blank space, rather a rarity in this heavily cropped piece of ground.  In went the seed, and seedlings were soon showing.  Tasty, too.  The variety is Italian, sort of turnip really, but grown for its young flower shoots, usually harvested just as the flowers show yellow.  Fast growing too, the succulent, jagged edged leaves, making a great filler for early salads.  So I began cropping, slightly mystified when long narrow leaves started showing through the young brassicas.  Then pale, elongated, flower buds…  And then, to my delight, clusters of tiny palest yellow ‘daffodil’ flowers.  Hmmm…  I eventually found last autumn’s bulb order.  Listed, and I’d forgotten all about them, 50 Narcissus cyclamineus ‘Little Witch’.  I must have not thought of anywhere suitable to put the blasted things, and dumped them in the first available pot.  Anyway, the resulting combo I rather like.  The narcissus has a slight, fruity perfume, and looks well against the glossy turnip foliage.  I’m sure I’ve read somewhere that all narcissi are poisonous, so I do harvest the cima di rapa with care.  These are now beginning to bolt, so the whole lot will no doubt be harvested soon.  Delicious steamed, or roughly chopped and stirred into a risotto…  Once the narcissi are lifted too… whoopeee… more planting space.

Anyway, more yellows – not quite matching as well as I’d hoped…  Must do some geum breeding.

Yellow geums (G. ‘Farmer John Cross’) for yellow chairs.

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About david stuart

garden writer and journalist, and occasionally a designer, with a garden in the Scottish borders, and his pal's gardens in Edinburgh, London, and Lincolnshire. They keep both of us very, very busy. Books I've written listed on my website, and dozens of articles and garden and plant pictures. Currently working on several new projects. One of these was to return to painting - see the blog - and which is proving exciting! www.david-stuart.co.uk
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