How can you imagine that the endives, so pale with their leaves barely edged with yellow, have one day become as green as lettuce? And yet, in a first life, they looked like big dandelions, growing in broad daylight in spring and summer. The chlorophyll gave them their green and crunchy appearance like any salad. This is also the only period of their life when the sun is necessary for them. Then it’s the other way around. The less light, the better the endives. Continue reading “From garden to cellar”
Who remembers the date on which ingenious gardeners from Saint Gilles, near Brussels, obtained this new cabbage hybrid ? Small, of course, but very tough. They offer the advantage of not fearing frost and can withstand minus fifteen degrees Celsius. They even gain in flavor in the heart of winter, because their taste is all the sweeter. Continue reading “The sturdy little ones of Brussels”
How could the Romans have imagined how centuries of horticulture transformed ugly little pears, hard and dry as pebbles, into fragrant sweet fruits? They wouldn’t have believed their taste buds! And yet, it is thanks to their work of selection and grafting, that the pear, as we know it, appeared in Europe. Continue reading “The royal fruit”
The gardeners’ reward when autumn is rearing its head, is the harvest of squash, in other words, the cucurbits, the pumpkin family. It adorns our vegetable gardens and reminds us of the tales of our childhood. In the garden running stems of the cucurbits play hide and seek and reserve a real surprise during the last mow of our lawns. They came from America in Europe in the luggage of the explorers. Continue reading “Squash or pumpkin ?”
What an unforgettable pleasure to discover their red fruit under the green of their generous foliage! Rather expensive on the market, raspberries are quite easy to grow, so why not grow them yourself ? Not really predestined for our vegetable gardens in cities, they grow spontaneously in all mountainous regions of Europe, such as in the Alpine or Vosges mountains in France.
Aromatic plants? We could not do without them in our gardens, as they help the gardener, not only by attracting pollinating bees, but also by confusing the pests of his crops. This is called scent scrambling. Among these beautiful scents, reign the superb angelica that dominates, by its tall stature, all the others.
Everybody knows the typical form of leeks but who knows them in full bloom? If you would like to transform your vegetable patch into a remarkable garden, why not plant them among tulips and daffodils? With their splendid globe-shaped umbels, they would very well liven up spring flowerbeds. On the top of that, the leeks’ blossoms, which appear in the second year of cultivation, as they are biennnials, will produce seeds for the next vegetable generation. Continue reading “The beauty of leeks in fool bloom”
When nice weather is back, one loves the round and pink (rose) faces of the radishes.
Because during this transitional period between vegetables for winter storage, and the first outdoor shoots, they are a delight just as spring itself.No needs to be patriotic to enjoy the freshness of our so called “national” radish, which is picked up early morning like aromatic herbs. Continue reading “New radishes to enjoy – “ la vie en rose “ !”
While waiting for spring, what a pleasure for a gardener to dream by flicking through a seed catalog, promises of beautiful vegetable! but where to begin with? Do we have to search forgotten vegetable seeds in seed producer’s conservatory, or even in those listed at INRAE*? Continue reading “The seeds of discord”
While turnips have not always had a good reputation among gourmets, they have often stolen the show from other winter vegetables in children’s fairytales. Do you know, for example, the story of the giant turnip – a turnip so monstrous – that it became impossible to uproot! Continue reading “The turnip and the good friends”