Archive for the 'KITCHEN GARDENING' Category

Smulgubbe – a cross between strawberries and wild strawberries

Sunday, March 11th, 2012

Photo from last year.

Spring is slowly approaching and I can’t wait for all garden plants to wake up after the winter. My favourite berry, smulgubbe (Fragaria × vescana), is a cross between strawberries (Fragaria ×ananassa) and wild/woodland strawberries (Fragaria vesca). The Swedish name for strawberry is jordgubbe and the name for wild strawberry is smultron, hence the name smulgubbe. The flavour, imagine eating a strawberry and a wild strawberry at the same time, is absolutely fantastic and I can’t imagine a summer without them. The variety that I have, Rebecka, produce berries through out the whole summer season. I grow them in containers hanging on the trellis so that I can easily access them everytime I go out on my deck. During winter I half bury the whole containers so they’ll survive the cold. The plants produce a few runners, but not as many as strawberry plants usually do, so you’ll eventually get more plants. If you live in Stockholm, you can find Rebecka plants during late spring at the garden center Zetas and probably also the one called Slottsträdgården Ulriksdal, two of my favourite places in Stockholm.

My chili plants are covered in snow

Monday, October 25th, 2010

Winter came early this year.

A very purple radish

Sunday, June 13th, 2010

Today I harvested this year’s very first radish. Very purple and very pretty! The variety is called Plum purple and the colour is just amazing.

Homegrown watermelons

Monday, February 15th, 2010

As a contrast to last time’s snow post I thought it would be fun to show you my watermelons that I planted and grew last year. The plants were planted in large pots on the terrace and I pollinated the flowers with a small brush. Both varieties seen on the photos, Sweet Sibirian and Cream of Saskatchewan were supposed to have a final weight of 4.5 kg but ended up very small yet still extremely tasty. It’s quite unusual to grow watermelons in Sweden, especially if you don’t have any greenhouse. It’s hard to say if it was worth the effort since the harvest only resulted in 4-5 tiny watermelons but it was indeed a treat to eat them.

Purple is a fruit*

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

Potatoes, carrots (purple, white and yellow), red onion, thyme, beets (Chioggia, also called candy striped). All from the garden. Add salt, pepper, olive oil and roast in the oven! Delicious!

One of many tomato batches from the garden. Orange banana, wild tomatoes, Hundreds and Thousands, Yellow Pear shaped tomatoes, Black cherry and Tumbling Tom.

*Quote from the Simpsons on why it’s OK to eat candy when you’re on diet. It has nothing to do with the above pictures. But that was what my husband said when he saw all the purple.

Home grown peaches

Monday, August 31st, 2009

I have a baby in the garden, that is if you could call a peach tree a baby. I have never cared so much for a tree or a plant before as for my beloved peach tree. Peaches you think, in Sweden? The secret is a Lattvian variety called Riga that was planted early spring this year in a big pot on my terrace facing south. It starts flowering early in the season before the bees are awake which means you need to hand pollinate the pretty pink flowers with a brush. You need to cover and protect the tree from frost and cold nights during blossom so it won’t freeze and drop all flowers. And you need to uncover it so it won’t get too warm during warmer days. So that is why I call it a baby, it needs a lot of care. But the reward is so worth it. Succulent, sweet and wonderful peaches far away from store bought. Too tasty to use in baking so we just ate them directly from the tree. This first year we only got 15 peaches, but hopefully there will be more next year. Below are some photos from April when the tree flowered til early August when the peaches were ripe.

Peach tree flowering in April.


Early June.

Early June.

Late July.

Early August. Time to indulge!

Update on the kitchen garden

Sunday, May 17th, 2009

Yesterday I harvested the first radishes!

Last weekend I went to Poland with mum and this week I’ve been in Denmark, Germany and Switzerland for work so it was wonderful to decrease my stress levels doing some gardening this weekend. It’s still cold during nights so most of my vegetable plants that I planted in early spring are still indoors. I’ve gone crazy with the planting and my husband counted all pots and plants to just below 100!! He actually did the counting after I came home and saw that one of the plants had died as he had missed to water it :-) The only plants outside so far are different kinds of carrots, radishes, red onion, spring onion, potatoes and sugar peas. And of course assorted perennial plants such as rhubarb, gooseberries, strawberries and white, red and black currant. Below you’ll see some of the vegetables that I’ve grown from seeds; missing on photo are corn (Ashworth), jungle cucumber, normal cucumber, pumpkin and probably something more. I’ve also included a photo of the rhubarb and some strawberry flowers.

The melon plants already have mini melons, probably thanks to the fact that I pollinated them myself with a small brush. I’ve planted Sweet Sibirian, Jenny Lind and cream of Saskatchewan melon.

Chilis! I’ve planted Anaheim, Early Jalapeno, Espelette, Hungarian yellow hot wax and Aji blanco cristal.

Tomato flowers. I’ve planted wild tomatoes, Black Krim, yellow pear shaped, Tumbling Tom, Hundreds and Thousands, Black cherry and Green Zebra.

Outdoors. The Rebecka strawberries, a mix between strawberries and wild strawberries are flowering.

The rhubarb is growing like crazy. It’s time to start making jam and pies.

Potatoes, potatoes, potatoes!

Sunday, May 3rd, 2009

Seed potatoes with blue sprouts.

Some month ago I bought seed potatoes at Zetas, my favourite plant store. I was looking for some early potatoes and the only left were Ulster Chieftain. I haven’t tried them before so I don’t really know if I’ll like them. When I came home I placed the potatoes in a cardboard egg box and left it on a windowsill for a few weeks. After some time the potatoes started to sprout and today I finally planted the potatoes in a double pallet collar, which is the way I grow vegetables in my rocky garden. In 10-12 weeks I expect a lot of tasty potatoes!
Have you grown potatoes? Do you have any prefered variety?