The Backyard Larder

A place to explore and buy perennial vegetables and other food plants.

The Backyard Larder Blog

Exploring the possibilities of the perennial vegetable garden.

Buck’s Horn Plantain

Buck's horn plantain

Yesterday I made a salad with buck’s horn plantain (Plantago coronopus, also know in Italy as ‘minutina’ or ‘erba stella’ (the latter seems to translate as star herb or star grass, and I’ve also seen it named ‘star-of-the-earth’). It has sweetish, nutty flavour and is quite mild. I mixed it here with spicy wild rocket leaves, […]


Chives – a perennial vegetable? When I first started selling perennial vegetables I pondered whether I could count chives as one. (I know ‘edibles’ is a handier term really, as it avoids not very meaningful distinctions between vegetables and herbs  – and dafter ones about whether to categorize tomatoes as vegetables or fruit! But I’ve stuck […]

Nine Star Perennial Broccoli

Nine Star perennial broccoli is a plant that has been on the perennial vegetable scene for many years, less well-known than asparagus and globe artichokes, but, like Good King Henry, appearing from time to time in general vegetable gardening books such as Hessayon’s The Vegetable and Herb Expert. It looks like this… This is my plant, […]

Hop Shoots for Lunch

When did that happen! – the hop shoots have been racing up the wall of our backyard. I decided to sample some before they got tougher and hop shoots for lunch escaped me for another year. There seem to be shoots of all different lengths. The shoots tips are tender – I cut mine about […]

Review 2017

It’s almost the end of March, the perennial vegetables and herbs are leafing up in the garden and it’s time for The Backyard Larder Blog’s fourth review. I’m feeling more like a seasoned perennial vegetable gardener now. Not that there isn’t a long way to go – lots to learn to keep all my plants in […]

Wild Cabbage Update 3

Wild cabbage plant

Just a quick update on the wild cabbage story. (You can take a look at the previous posts here.) After the last of my first lot of wild cabbages died (after only just making it as perennial plants) I grew some more from seed. Most of the resulting plants were sold, but this one (photographed […]

Pink Purslane Pancakes

Claytonia sibirica

These were pancakes from pink purslane not pink pancakes! Pink purslane is Claytonia sibirica, also known as Siberian purslane, Siberian spring beauty, Siberian miner’s lettuce or candy flower. It flowers later in the spring (from about April) but the leaves are out now as Claytonia sibirica is an evergreen perennial. Here it is growing around the […]

The Guild of Oca Breeders seeks new members!

Oca Flowers

Towards the end of 2014 I received an email from Rhizowen inviting me to be part of an oca breeding club. I know Rhizowen from ‘gardening Twitter’ as the source of knowledge on all things botanical, plus sender – to my delight – of rare edible plants. In fact his tweets have probably influenced my […]

Winter Harvest

Winter harvest of perennial vegetables

Harvested from the allotment today! In the box:   (Top row from left) Patience dock Three-cornered leek Daubenton kale Sea beet (Middle row from left) Wild cabbage Garden sorrel Variegated wintercress Chicory Perennial leeks (Bottom row from left) Watercress (In the pot) Jerusalem artichokes (In the pot) Caucasian spinach shoots Salad burnet Alexanders Portuguese kale […]

Evergreen Christmas Salad

Kale, hazelnut and apple salad

Here’s an easy salad using perennial Daubenton kale….. ….plus a little vinaigrette, some chopped sorrel leaves, a handful of toasted hazelnuts and a couple of chopped sweet apples. I made it by the scrunching method where chopped kale is sprinkled with a little sea salt and then squeezed and massaged with the hands for a couple […]