An edible wander around the garden (it’s not as bare as it looks)

by | Mar 22, 2024 | Gardening bore | 4 comments

Come and take a little tour of the garden as it stands at the end of March. In my last post I shared a picture of the garden in its full summer glory (taken last year), and one of the commenters (hello Bobby) said they’d rather see how the garden looks now. Since I’m such an agreeable, giving soul (*cough* bullshit *cough*), here you go: the garden as it is right now. (As with all the pics below, click to enlarge or view as a slideshow.)

I’ve not cleared the dregs of last year’s plants so it could definitely be neater. And some of our trellises and climbing structures need fixing (as they do after every winter). But it’s not a total disaster zone. A weekend of clearing and adding fresh compost and she’ll be good to go for another gardening season.

What I find really interesting about this time of year is how much there is to eat if you really go looking. Because, in this seemingly bare veg garden, there’s a surprising number of edible goodies – some from last year that are still clinging to life, and some that come up at this time every year.

Let’s take a little photographic wander around, shall we? First up, we’ve got some chard from last summer/autumn that is, amazingly, still hanging on after the snow and frosts.

Next up, our wild garlic patch is springing into life. (We also forage for it locally, so as not to deplete our little patch.)

And next we have a mish-mash bed with chives, garlic chives, sorrel and a few Welsh onions. It’s always exciting to see this bed come to life – having fresh herbs is a delight after winter. (By the way, I also have another patch of Welsh onions nearer the greenhouse but didn’t take a picture of those. If you can get your hands on any, Welsh onions are wonderful things to grow. They’re perennial, clumping-forming onions, kind of like a big spring onion. Zero trouble. They just happily do their thing.)

Next, rhubarb emerging from its winter snooze. Gutted to see that only two of our three plants have come up this spring. I wonder why the third one died? It was well-established but not ancient.

And then, moving into the greenhouse, we have some lettuce doing brilliantly. (Which, considering lettuce is my nemesis, I’m very proud of.) I sowed most of these in the autumn (maybe early October, can’t remember) and planted the baby plants into the greenhouse in December. We’ve also sown some extra seeds direct in the ground to see us through the rest of spring.

Next up we have this lovely mystery cabbage/kale that popped up all by itself in the greenhouse. I didn’t sow it and have no idea what it is, but it’s tasty.

Still in the greenhouse, this next pic is spring cabbage that I sowed last year, and some winter purslane growing underneath. Regular purslane is a bugger of a weed in our garden, and even though I know it’s edible, we don’t eat it. But I love eating this winter version – the leaves are much nicer and more like a ‘normal’ leafy green (as opposed to the succulent-type leaf of the regular purslane).

So, it just goes to show that even in a fairly bare-looking garden, there are still plenty of edible treats to pep up spring meals. It makes me so happy to pick a fresh bowl of greens at this time of year – you know, when things can still feel a bit brown and meh, and we’re all gagging for ‘proper’ spring to arrive.

These greens will add extra interest and goodness to today’s potato and chickpea curry. Speaking of which, I’m hungry and will leave you here. Hope you enjoyed this little slice of ‘real’ life from our early-spring garden. What else would you like to see from me this year?


  1. Katt

    one of my neighbours had asked permission to harvest what looks like dock leaves from my garden. I said yes but I know that they must eat them here in Bulgaria but heaven knows how.

    • Auntie Bulgaria

      That’s interesting. I wonder if they are dock leaves. If you find out, you’ll have to let us know…

      • Katt

        they’re called something like loptad or loppy . I’ve read that sometimes banitsas have a mixture of them stuffed inside them . People harvest them like they do nettles I used to harvest nettles in the UK to make soup and rosehips to make syrup .

        • Auntie Bulgaria

          Looks like ‘lapad’ is the name, but maybe with a slight difference for your region’s dialect. How interesting. I’ve never eaten dock leaves but we do grow sorrel (kiselets), which is in the same family. And we also forage for nettles sometimes. Really excited for this nettle and wild garlic season! Enjoy x


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