The beginnings of the perennial garden

Today is an incredibly exciting day for me. Yesterday I received my order from Poyntzfield Herb Nursery which signals the beginning of my perennial garden.

Poyntzfield Herb Nursery have an incredible range of plants and seeds available at incredibly competitive prices. I was hard pressed to choose only the few(ish) plants that I did!

The plants arrived spot on the day that the Nursery had agreed with me when I phoned them some weeks ago – I wasn’t able to receive the plants till now. -The cardboard box they arrived in was stuffed with shredded paper, and the plants had clearly been inserted with care to keep them protected on their journey. Each plant is individually wrapped in moss and black plastic, tied with an elastic band and labeled with a handwritten cocktail stick which adds a lovely personal touch.

I thought that my seed order had been forgotten initially, along with my Jerusalem artichokes; however a quick email to the Nursery illicited a very prompt response informing me that the seeds were in an envelope in the box along with a note that the Jeruselam artichokes would be sent in November. I dashed to the box and sure enough I’d overlooked the seeds and order summery with the note. Doofus.

The seeds are in cute little brown envelopes, again handwritten and although they don’t come with growing instructions there is a growing code on the back from which I assume I can find instructions on the Nursery website.
So, onto the good bit, what did I get? (Man, I have been looking forward to this delivery for so long!)

  • Dwarf Lemon Balm – I am a sucker for anything lemon flavoured and Mark Diacono finally convinced me to try lemon balm for teas and lemon syrup. With limited space this dwarfing variety seemed the perfect choice.
  • Wild Garlic – Another fantastic flavour, garlic! With the building of the pizza oven in full swing I wanted a perennial garlic flavour that could easily be added last minute, strait from the garden, to pizza and this shade loving plant kills two of our biggest birds with one plant!
  • Red Tree Onion – The perfect marriage of my love for the unusual and my need for Onions’ oft underrated ‘base’ flavour.

  • Udo – Whilst I distinctly recall reading about this plant on Martin Crawfords website and in Mark Diacono’s New Kitchen Garden book, I can’t remember much about it. I shall research it and dedicate a whole post to it once I know what it is! (I must have bought it for some reason…)
  • Sweet Cicily – Another plant that I have been convinced into growing by Mark Diacono and Martin Crawford. Slightly anise in flavour, shade loving and allegedly excellent in crumble; I’m sold.
  • Profusion Sorrel – This is one that Emma from the Alternative Kitchen Garden put me onto I think. (Either that or it was Backyard Larder, I forget.) I’ve been interested in Sorrel for some time, but could never find one that sounded quite right for me. Profusion Sorrel with its less frequent flowering tendencies seemed to fit the bill for me. Another plant which can take some shade.
  • African Blue Basil – The Boyfriend and I are incredibly excited to see how this perennial Basil fares indoors in winter and outdoors during the warmer months! Pesto for everyone!!

  • Babington Leek – Another staple flavour perennialised. This may take time to establish and crop in any great quantity, but it’s a small price to pay if it proves successful and tasty.
  • Kiwi Tree Onion – I couldn’t find a single scrap of information about this particular tree onion outside of Poyntzfield Nursery’s website; naturally this means I bought it…
  • Potato Onion – Otherwise known as multiplier onion. These babies divide into sets much like shallots and can be grown as a replant perennial. I’m intrigued to see how these babies do.
  • Chinese Artichokes – James Wongs Homegrown Revolution put me onto these bad boys. I’m a water chestnut fanatic and these allegedly have a very similar texture (and seem way less hassle).

So, exciting times ahead, and Jeruselam Artichokes to follow in November!

I would highly recommend Poyntzfield Herb Nursery to anyone in the UK; their customer service and depth of knowledge are equally excellent.
Hope you’re having a good day wherever you are,
The Girlfriend Gardener

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