Perennial vegetables, permaculture and more...

If growing your own food is printing money, (said Ron Finley whose Ted talk is inspirational) planting perennials must be like owning a very fun and reliable printer.

Here are some of my collection of perennial plants, planted this year. They hopefully will keep growing back year after year with minimal fuss.

  • Jerusalem artichokes

  • Purple tree collards

  • Sea kale

  • Taunton Deane Perennial Kale

  • Dwarf apple tree (grown in a 50 litre bucket)

  • Earth chestnut

  • Babington's leek

  • Wild garlic

  • Sweet potato orca 

  • Nine-star perennial broccoli

  • Chinese artichokes

I used to grow plants on my little balcony in a London flat. Now I have more space, there are plants everywhere especially my home office and kitchen. Worm towers, composting, zero waste as much as possible and feeling so connected to nature. There are many invisible helpers in my garden to encourage too: Earthworms, a toad, insects, beetles and centipedes that eat slugs, butterflies, everyone enjoys the party and there’s enough to go around. 

I found the Backyard Larder’s blog very helpful and bought some plants from them. Backyard Larder sends their plants beautifully packaged in recycled shoe boxes which I so appreciated. I also bought some plants from Otter Farm and want to support the great work they do for the Earth.

A small celebration-my nectarine tree has fruit this summer, less than two years after planting it from a bare root plant in the winter. My neighbour said it would be impossible in our UK weather — which makes me worry about global warming. If you don’t have space, you can still sprout seeds, a great source of lovely nutritious goodness… My favourites are mung beans… Easy, peasy… Jar and water required… That is all. Pea shoots are also lovely and look great on a dinner plate; they taste like peas with all the fresh, green goodness. Pea shoots do need compost and a sunny windowsill, read a blog by Vertical Gardener, Mark Riddill Smith here.

My husband is protesting about eating so much Kale — which is the only downside (for him) of my having ‘green fingers’. I can live with that.

Coriander, the frugality of growing your own herbs.

Growing coriander is such fun. A beautiful herb in salads and to garnish that Indian curry I make often. A seed packet has 250 seeds, 2,500 in a bigger packet.. :) and costs so little in comparison to the end product.

Buying the herb in a market also takes time, the stuff travels... So it's not fresh and has some food miles.

For me though, it's a little kid excitement and exploding heart joy I feel when I see seedlings break through.

It's all mysterious. Like hair growth or breathing. How does it all happen? I do nothing other than combine dirt, seeds and water. And some genuine goodwill for the seeds to grow. The seeds know what to do... There is an intelligence in the universe beyond what our minds can comprehend.

Grow your own if you can. At least in the summer it's easy. And get good organic compost. Give those seeds a good start, they know what to do after.

It's not about saving money. It's the joy of observing nature's magnificent possibilities in your own kitchen. And play... Play, play, play.

What do you like growing? Or what gave you a heart full of exploding joy as a child? Worth connecting with that.