Summer in the Perennial Vegetable Garden 2014

Here are the summer photos of the perennial vegetables I showed in April. They were a bit harder to photograph than in spring being less compact and tidy now but hopefully the photos reveal how the garden grows.

The cardoon dwarfs everything else on the plot now, even the fruit trees - it must be at least nine feet high. Since April the wild cabbage has flowered profusely. I've been constantly removing its flowers and it has just about stopped flowering now and is beginning to produce larger leaves again. You'll see the alliums have mostly died back and some are sprouting anew, perhaps a bit earlier in this dry weather than in other years (I was pleased to harvest some topsets from the tree onions). The patience dock is still small as it has been repeatedly feasted upon by some unknown creature but has protection around it now (when not having its photo taken). The mallow is just sick, however. It's replacement, Mystic Merlin, one of the Malva sylvestris cultivars, is already growing nearby.

(Spring and autumn photos and winter update. Photos from 2013/4 here.)

Cardoon (not - see below!)
Scorzonera (foreground)
Solomon's Seal (hiding)
Tree onion
Welsh onion
Potato onion
Everlasting onion
Elephant garlic
Common mallow
Globe artichoke
Wild cabbage
Patience dock
Salad burnet
Dwarf golden hop
Wild rocket
Buck's horn plantain

Postscript 7/8/14: Alan Carter from Of Plums and Pignuts visited my plot today and commented that my 'cardoons' looked quite different to his which were much more like globe artichokes. After further enquiries I've discovered that even wild cardoons don't usually grow to nine feet, at least not in the UK. I think what I have there is a cotton or Scotch thistle Onopordum acanthium. Although it is a 'cardoon substitute' with edible flowers, leaves and stem, it is extremely thorny and I'd need fully body armour to harvest it. Or to fell it at the base, come to that - which is the new plan before it self-seeds everywhere!

N.B. I sell a range of perennial vegetable plants on my website.