So stunned were we by those first warm spring breezes this year, that we’ve been slow to plant our customary kitchen gardens.
If you are feeling at all like us when it comes to playing in the dirt, take this as a neighborly nudge to get going. Below, our recommendations on under-appreciated, nutritional powerhouse plants that deserve a spot in your garden this year:
1. Alpine Strawberries
No mammoth grocery store strawberries that taste like Styrofoam packaging peanuts for us this year. Instead, we are planting the alpine strawberry, a petite but intensely flavorful cousin of the modern strawberry hybrid. As a bonus, these little guys aren’t overly fussy about what kind of soil they are grown in, and they are high in vitamin C.
2. Lemon Verbena
Make like Chez Pannise and keep these skinny green leaves on hand, along with fresh mint, for the makings of an easy after-dinner pot of herbal tea that will help with digestion. Lemon verbena is also said to help with high blood pressure and anxiety, but for what it’s worth, that could just be the calming effects of a good cuppa.
3. Wild Arugula
With serrated leaves and a peppery wallop, arugula is one little salad green with a big personality. It’s also perfect for the impatient among us: you can be harvesting leaves packed with iron and vitamins A, K and C within 21 days of planting. Also, impress neighbors by calling arugula by its cooler-sounding British name: rocket.