Marigolds Still Blooming At The Allotment


January can be a dreary time up at the allotment: cold claggy soil, weedy peripheries, bare trees and a general sense of neglect and of plots too long abandoned. And yet…and yet…when I slip-slide around my raised beds I find there is still plenty to harvest: leeks, parsnips, Tuscan kale, Swiss chard. The slugs have even left us some carrots (the voracious little gastropods are especially fond of the sweet and stubby rooted Paris Market variety), but I manage to find a bunch that have not been too gobbled.

There are also some golden beetroot to pluck, some as big as turnips. From the outside they do not look too promising – over-weathered and their skins suggesting woodiness within. But to my surprise, they are still good – delicious chopped  into cubes and roasted till they start to caramelize, and even better with added quartered onions (Sturon still going strong from the summer cropping) and cloves of garlic kept in their papery jackets (so they can be popped out later, if squidgily, and accompanied by much finger licking).

Down by the raspberry bed, the purple sprouting plants, long nurtured through the summer drought and now wrapped in netting against pigeon attack, are looking stout and lush-leaved. I see that they are beginning to yield, and manage to find half a dozen fat florets. Hopefully, the plants will keep cropping now into the spring.

And then as I make for home with my muddy bag filled with veggies, I spot the marigolds (Calendula officinalis). There they are, back in flower after their December lull, and making their own sunshine on a dull and chilly day. I feel a bit guilty about picking them, but then I think some sunshine on the kitchen table would be a cheering sight for He Who Is Presently Coughing His Socks Off. And of course a scatter of petals, therapeutic little entities that they are, would be just the garnish for a dish of roasted golden beetroot.

copyright 2019 Tish Farrell

Six Word Saturday

49 thoughts on “Marigolds Still Blooming At The Allotment

      1. Well maybe and mybe not. some think we are headed to a mini ice age . This is a troubling thought for me. In my age, as I get older,I’m not so much in favor of cold.

  1. We are finally over our Presently Coughing our Socks Off, caught on our Spanish trip. Took 6 weeks but done!
    Love the new header too.

  2. Always super envious of your veggie abundance.
    I am having to have a major rethink now the hens have free reign as well as free range.
    The pesky feathered dinosaurs ate all my perishing cabbages!
    I shall have to plant them in raised beds – about 2 metres high, I think!

    As for the marigolds …. they self seed at our spot but the continual scratching has seen a definite lack of marigold along the side of the house where they normally grow.

    *Sigh*- Sunny side eggs are not always so sunny!

  3. Calendula are amazing, aren’t they? Do you grow purple-sprouting as a perennial, Tish? I only realised that it could be a perennial recently.

  4. What a lot of lovely goodies you still have in the allotment. Golden beetroot with a garnish of calendula sounds like just the ticket for a delicious nourishing meal. And I am all for picking a few bright flowers to enhance well being in the home.

  5. New year, new header, Tish, and looking good, hon! Unlike the coughing one, I suspect. It’s not every day that someone can have me lusting after beetroot 🙂 🙂 Onwards and upwards!

  6. How does your garden grow? Clearly very well in this month of usual drabness:) Your garden is an excellent way of measuring what’s happening with climate change. Thank you, Janet 🙂

      1. Many thanks. Here’s the rest of the rhyme:
        ‘Mary, Mary, quite contrary, How does your garden grow? With silver bells, and cockle shells, And pretty maids all in a row’ 🙂

      2. ‘Marry Mary quite contrary
        How does your garden grow?
        With cockle shells and silver bells
        and pretty maids all in a row……….’

        It seems so long ago that it was part of my childhood along with many other lovely and charming nursery rhymes. Have a lovely weekend. Janet 🙂

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