Saturday 12 April 2008
Things we dig up in the garden - Part two
I found this screwtop bottletop thingy while I was planting my Mr Little's Yetholm Gypsy potatoes. It's plastic, but it's an old, dense, heavy type of plastic, probably bakelite or something of that ilk. I love the smell of bakelite, but to be honest this just smells of earth at the moment. I love the smell of earth too though, so that's OK. It was buried in a part of the garden which hasn't been dug over for years, possibly decades. There's a logo and inscription stamped on it, scratched and damaged but still legible, a capital B and the words "Bartholomew" and "Cheltenham". I've no idea what kind of company Bartholomew was or what products it sold, but it's a little piece of social history dredged up from the soil.
Now, one thing I'm certain of is that ever since the dawn of civilisation, when mankind first tilled the soil and sowed seeds and invented agriculture, people have delighted in finding misshapen vegetables which look ... well, rude. So it's my great pleasure to share with you these lewdly bulbous Jerusalem artichokes which I dug up yesterday while clearing the space for the greenhouse. Fnarr fnarr.
If you have a slightly less puerile sense of humour than me you might prefer this artichoke elephant.
The chokies will have to find a new home elsewhere in the garden, but I'm sure they won't mind.
Just after I'd posted about Sugar Magnolia peas and how they have these unusually long touchy-feely tendrils I went and had another look at the description of it on Dr Kapuler's website and saw something I hadn't noticed before, a reference to hypertendrils. Now I must confess my ignorance and say I had no idea what hypertendrils are. Though it does seem like a good name for them, they are pretty hyper. When I googled it I only got three hits, all of which referred to Dr Kapuler's peas, so now I don't feel quite so ignorant. It seems (according to this inspiring article) that hypertendrils are the result of his breeding experiments using parsley peas interbred with other lines.
And funnily enough, I just came across a wonderful picture of a parsley pea on Miss Fuggles' blog the other day. They're not very common and I'd never seen one before ... they have long leafy 'fingers' growing out of them and are very unusual and distinctive. I can highly recommend Miss Fuggles' blog. She's only recently started blogging but she has a lot of interesting stuff to share with the world and it's a great read.