Saturday, 28 April 2012

Keen as mustard

Along the base of our garden hedge there's been a surge of growth as garlic mustard  has shot up and it's now flowering. I spent a bit of time looking at the flowers today and taking a few photos - the new leaves looked beautiful in the morning sun.
Garlic mustard is a plant with plenty of folk names like Jack-by-the-hedge, sauce alone and penny hedge. Looking it up on the Postcode Plants Database on the National History Museum's website (which tells you about plants that are native to where you are) I was surprised to find it dismissed as "not gardenworthy". 
That seemed a bit harsh, but then I'm at the extreme end of relaxed when it comes to gardenworthiness. I'm more than happy to give garlic mustard garden room if only because bullfinches come looking for its little black seeds in early winter.
But it also serves another purpose. It's a food plant for four of the white butterflies - the orange tip, the small, the large and the green-veined.
What I didn't know until this morning's Googling is that I can eat garlic mustard too apparently. I'll have to give it a try.


  1. I don't think I've seen any round here but used to notice it in the hedgerows of Oxfordshire. I did eat some there but more for the sake of it than because it is specially interesting. I'm wary, though of low growing plants. One only has to say the word 'dogs' . . .

  2. I had some in a salad last night and I can't say that it was very interesting, but it was a worth a go.
    I take your point about low-growing plants, but we have a Jack Russell :)