There are some plants that are just desperate to spread themselves as far and wide as possible, producing seed and scattering it all over the garden. Most of them are weeds but, given that I’m fighting a losing battle with the dandelions, groundsel and chickweed, I’m going to ignore them for now. Some plants are deliberately allowed to run to seed because they are just so beautiful, I want them to spread. Like this marigold providing a splash of yellow across the garden – beautiful and edible.
And the purple poppy – probably my favourite self-seeder and a big hit with the hoverflies too. I save some of the seed for baking with, some to sow next spring and leave the rest to sow itself.
Coriander is another plant that just wants to flower and produce seed at the moment. Ideally it would concentrate its energy on leaf production, but when the weather is warm and dry it just can’t help itself.
Putting a positive spin on it though – the unripe, green coriander seed has a fabulous flavour, and if you want to use it the best way to get hold of some is to grow your own. This year there’s hasn’t been as much seed produced as usual (can I blame the weather for that too?), but this morning I picked enough to make a bowl of coriander and crème fraîche dip.
It’s so easy to make, and is fab scooped up with salty corn chips or as a dressing on a warm jacket potato. There are probably 101 other things you could use it for – we had it with bean and herb flatbread wraps for lunch.
Sometimes allowing plants to self seed has its advantages. What are your favourite self-seeders?
Coriander & Crème Fraîche Dip
1 tbsp green coriander seed
3 heaped tbsp crème fraîche
a squeeze of lime juice
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Wash and gently crush the coriander seeds to release their flavour. Put the seeds and the crème fraîche into a bowl, and stir to mix. Add lime juice to taste and season with salt and pepper. Use straight away, or chill until needed.
I have never seen so many hoverflies on a poppy before they certainly seem to be enjoying themselves. My best self-seeder is sweet rocket, it took over the garden this year, trouble is, is looks a bit bare once they have gone over.
Sweet rocket is another great flower – I love the scent in the evenings!
PJ Girl said:
Poppies thrive here too – and they’re so pretty! I love coriander but my hubby can’t stand it as he says it tastes like perfume. Your dip looks lovely 🙂
I’ve met people who won’t eat lavender on the grounds that it smells like bath oil, but never heard the taste of coriander being compared to perfume!
Ridiculously I’ve never tried the seeds green, only dried. I shouldn’t have long to wait – I’m sure mine will bolt soon enough.
There is a silver lining to coriander plants bolting! I still haven’t found a use for the bolted lettuces though – except as food for the hens.
I nibble at garden flower seeds all the time! This sounds delicious – will definitely try it! (Coriander seed is great with cream cheese too!)
The cream cheese with coriander sounds good – would make great crostini. What other seeds do you grow?
Nigella damascena, fennel, chives (in spring), dill, garlic mustard… and I’ve sown some cumin for the first time, so hope that comes along well!
I am addicted to corn wraps at the moment so this is definitely going on my list. I think spices and herbs are the best on earth, I am envious, your garden seem thriving ours is being overpowered by selfish neighbourgs huge tree.
I love using herbs and spices in cooking too. Sorry to hear about your neighbours tree, unreasonable neighbours are just so frustrating.