Sunday, 21 September 2008

An unexpected squash

A pleasant surprise greeted me in the garden this morning - the flowering of my very first patty pan fruit, definitely a case of better late than never. I decided to grow patty pans this year for K (they are far more common in South Africa than here), but with sadly limited success. The plants themselves absolutely thrived in their pot, and in fact in many ways seemed well suited to container growing - the plants are both smaller than courgettes and distinctly more handsome - but the seed packet only promised a bumper harvest 'in a sunny year', hardly a description that could be applied to this wet and miserable summer. A couple of female flowers have emerged before only to shrivel up and die. I didn't really hold out much hope for this one, but it hung on despite everything and this morning bloomed into a beautiful (and quickly hand-fertilised) orange flower. Fingers crossed for a few more days of sunshine to allow it to ripen!

1 comment:

Magic Cochin said...

Even if you don't get mature fruits you could eat some of the male flowers (I like them chopped and cooked in scrambled egg).
I've recently learnt that shoots and young leaves and buds are edible too - cut off the end (6in to a foot) and cook as you would any tender greens. If you do this early in the season then more side shoots grow - something I'll try next year.

Celia