D, E and F – I think Promenade Plantings is morphing into Sesame Street !

Fancy continuing the alphabetical tour of the allotment, garden and kitchen……

D is for Dill pickles and Dwarf French beans, we’ve already seen the Dahlias

D is oops I forgot to sow Dill this year, but I am making Dill Pickles. I’ll post the pickle recipes soon, I have a couple that I’m road testing, a classic French Cornichon recipe and what I’d consider an all-American Dill Pickle recipe, but in truth it probably came via Europe and settled in nicely into N America, snuggled inside some bread and keeping a burger company.

The Dwarf French beans,  you may know them as Filet Beans, or Green Beans, except that this variety is yellow and is a French variety called Roqencourt. It doesn’t seem to have a big beany flavour if you see what I mean, very pretty but the taste jury is still out on this one, let’s call it delicate. And the photo, yes those beans are stuck in hand-thrown glasses, just so I could take a photo that didn’t involve yet another bowl. I borrowed the idea from many a fabulous cooking blogger who pops sweet treats into cups and mugs. Basically I was getting very bored of bowls!

E for Egyptian onions and Elephant garlic

Egyptian Onions, what’s so Egyptian about onions? Well I don’t know the exact answer either, but just to prove I’ve not invented a vegetable there is this link and while I was searching I found a site called all about onions .  Why I thought there wouldn’t be a site called All About Onions I don’t know either. They are also known as Walking Onions as they split and self-divide, hence the walking moniker. I’ve found them both useful and easy to grow. I can ignore them for months on end which suits a busy gardener and when I remember them I dig a bunch up, divide them in half, take half home with me and re-plant the rest. Use them like you would a Spring (Green) Onion – fresh in salads or quickly saute in a stir fry. And just a quick question – are you now singing “Walk Like An Egyptian” 😉

The Elephant Garlic is drying well, and I need to update you on a silly caption competition I had here. I had some rather bendy elephant garlic growing at home in the garden, I have no idea why it was bendy, it’s a whimsical garlic. Anyway I couldn’t think of anything witty or clever to say about it so I asked you for suggestion, and of course you didn’t fail me ! But as I plan to write up a recipe for the elephant garlic, a real summery number which I’ve been waiting to try as and when the tomatoes are ripe, I’ll ask you to wait just a little bit longer.

F for Fruity Fennel salad and Fabulous Flowery Flowers

The Fennel is fattening up – perfect when thinly sliced and mixed in a salad of pink grapefruit and black olives or as a naughty treat fried. Frying the breaded Fennel keeps it’s texture and taste, but gently cooks it and is perfect dipped into homemade Aioli. See I said it was naughty but nice!

F is for Flowers on the allotment, there are always flowers on the allotment. Borage is an allotment trooper if ever there was.  Self seeds (a bit too wildly, but any you don’t want you just yank out of the ground), is the most stunning bright blue and attracts the bees by the busload. A perfect planting companion with Winter Squash which need all the pollinating help they can get.

And I realise now that I started on this Sesame Street Alphabet style of the garden and kitchen I might have to get a bit imaginative with I, I have Q and Z covered……  I think …….  🙂


Related posts – ABC of August


  • yes i am singing along, sesame street style! pretty beans, and great walking onions (sounds of jealousy over here as we lost ours!) and our giant garlic was also bendy, almost as if it is too tall to stay upright! your fennel looks perfect, succulent, and borage is the most beautiful blue …all so inspiring claire 😀

    • Maybe that’s it Christine, too heavy so it bends! We ate the first one last night and POW what a hit of garlic, still green, we ate wit stuffed in tomatoes with breadcrumbs, parsley and prawns. Totally delicious! Adn thanks for the encouragement, you know your garden will keep me supplied in visuals and inspiration during my winter 🙂

      • Good thing we have house sitter who will get some seedlings started for us while we are away 🙂 rather wish we had fresh garlic but just finished the last form summer!

  • So, what would it take to get you here to my garden for some personal lessons… I also want to harvest such beauty. I promise to keep you sufficiently fed and wined while here – it could be loads of fun!
    🙂 Mandy

    • Now that is a TEMPTING offer !! You have no idea how tempting, particularly when I’m meant to be writing a startegy right now and instead have decided to play on my blog !! And you do realise it’s the keeping me sufficiently fed and wined that is the icing on the cake don’t you Mandy 🙂

  • The Egyptian ‘Walking’ Onions would be ideal for my plot as I tend to forget about stuff a lot. I planted Fennel for the first time this year and am delighted to see it doing well.

    • Hi Val, I think we need fruit and veggies that we can forget about, particularly when we are busy !
      the Fennel is always a bit ht and miss fo rme, sometimes I get great results other times (read quite frequently) it simply bolts. I think I need to go back to my books and have a re-think, as I love it, it’s expensive in the shops, and well I love it !!

    • Maybe K could be for Kale 😉 And thank you Sharyn, I sometimes look at my photos and think what not another bowl, and how on earth do I take a vaguely interesting and good shot of a veggie? It certainly is a challenge !

  • Oh wow, you’ve got me craving dill pickles now – can’t wait for the recipe! Love the beans in the glasses also, prettiest beans I’ve ever seen! 😉

    • Hi Andrew, I them from a fellow plot holde. If you can’t find any near you give me a shout, I’d be happy to send you a few in an envelope – easy ! And you have reminded me I should put something together for the seedy pen pals 😉

  • You could do worse than be like Sesame Street. I used to like watching it with my kids when they were small. My favorite caracters were Oscar the Grouch and Cookie Monster. Rather not consider what that says about me. And my favorite episode was La Via Sesamia, which was performed as an opera.

    I really like that borage. I’ve thought about planting it for a while, maybe next year I’ll really do it.

    • Sesame street was a class programme wasn’t it, so clever and funny!
      The borage is very pretty but does self seed A LOT, but it’s easy enough to pull up the unwanted ones.

  • I can’t wait, Claire, to read your dill pickle recipe. Is it preserved or refrigerator? My refrigerator dills never were as flavorful as I would have liked. Yours look terrific, though, as do the beans. They’d make a good looking salad!
    And, no, I wasn’t singing “Walk like an Egyptian” — until you mentioned it. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to thank you enough. 🙂

    • “And, no, I wasn’t singing “Walk like an Egyptian” — until you mentioned it. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to thank you enough” my pleasure John 😉
      It’s the lab coat that does it, makes me laugh in an evil way, like I’m out to take the world over with my evil invention 🙂
      And maybe I had better revise my plans for the song I had in mind for the pickles……. I So far they have been preserved kinds, variations on French recipes

  • Not a fan of pickels of any kind but I’ll happily chime in with D for Dill Bread. 🙂

    That mass of (elephant garlic?) flowers is just amazing.

  • Hand-thrown glasses, Claire? Did you mean hand-blown? Or is there a clever glass making technique that I don’t know of? Lovely post – I’ve never grown fennel, but probably should, as we quite like it on pizza and I like it raw. And the onions and garlic look fabulous!

    • Ha ha, you spotte dmy oh so not deliberate mistake ! Funny what the fingers type, the eyes see and the brain thinks!!
      And oooo I’ve never had fennel on pizza

  • Great post/ photos…we like the Egyptian “walking” onions…will look into planting these (we get lazy about garlic and onions). And your fennel looks great!

    • I think every garden and gardener needs plants that will do the walking for them 🙂 I also grow Welsh Onions, which are similar but thicker and you can’t eat the stems as you can with these walking onions.

  • I could almost smell the freshness of the fennel, onions, dill, … of your photos! Great photo shots!

  • Enjoying the alphabet and a summer tour through your garden! I rather like yellow beans. They are bit milder and creamy in texture. Delicate in color and flavor.

    • Hi Deb, it’s the first year I’ve managed to grow enough of them to really get to enjoy them ! As you say delicatein flavour and pretty in colour

    • Thank you Shimon, sometimes getting bored of looking at the same things pushes you to try new things, and sometimes they work out for the better

    • Thank you Tandy, that’s the word I was grasping for but couldn’t reach – styling ! And I like the idea of radish and feenel in a salad, thank you again

  • How fantastic, your harvest is spectacular.. so much of mine bolted in that heat that I am reduced to collecting seeds.. i have piles of fennel and parsley seeds!! c

    • Oh I have plenty that is bolting Celi, in fact I have a huge bunch of fennel fronds sitting in a jug of water in the kitchen, waiting for some fish !

  • I’m liking this alphabet soup of posts!
    Does your borage try and take over your entire plot of earth? Or is that just my borage? 😉

    • 🙂 Did you ever have alphabet spaghetti as a kid? I’m not sure I could stomach that now, but I loved it then !
      No, I think we have the same Borage !! Fortunately it’s quite easy to pull out

      • I did! And don’t believe I could now either…

        DH is a fan of mowing it over with the lawnmower. It is a fan of thwarting his efforts by re-growing between mowings.

    • Thank you BAM.
      I now have a great image in my head of cookie monster sitting down at the kitchen table saying “oooo what do we have here, oh dis is a bean, a green bean, and how many beans have I got?…..” 🙂

  • WOW! Your photographs are so beautiful dear Claire and also I loved your cat photos too 🙂 You are amazing lady, Thanks and Love, nia

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