This morning my watercress seed arrived ... I love watercress, the peppery tang of it, especially in an orange salad, but haven't been able to buy it for ages, because it's flown here from America, and it's nearly two years since I bought any veggies with jet lag. When I was a child, we ate watercress from the beds at Ewelme, a village less than 10 miles from here. Now the beds are banned from commercial use, even though they have been recently restored. No wonder we have global warming!
So, the plan is to grow it. I got the idea from the Cottage Smallholder, who gives detailed instructions for growing it, and who makes it sound easy. It never occurred to me before that I might be able to grow it, so I sent off for the seed straight away, as it's never on display in garden centre seed racks. It says on the back of the packet that if you cloche it when the weather is cold, it will keep on growing until Christmas. This is the first sowing of my campaign to grow fresh green salad throughout the winter. I'll keep you posted.
I'm entering this for weekend herb blogging, hosted this week by Haalo at Cook (almost) Anything at Least Once. I find that once something's growing in my garden (and this one is going into pots, so you don't even NEED a garden), I'm more likely to eat more of it.
Watercress is one of those easy plants that like to be constantly pruned: the more you pick, the more you get. Make sure you pick the stem just above a pair of buds, so that the plant bushes out to make more and more buds for you to pick.
So long as the cottage smallholder is right in saying that the seed germinates freely, then this is easy, easy gardening. I hope that this post inspires someone else to give it a go.
Friday flowers - Jonquils and silver, J.D. Fergusson, 1905. The Fergusson exhibition in the Scottish National Galleries' Scottish Colourist Series opens in Edinburgh tomorrow...
1 day ago