Nursery

About us:

We are an Oxfordshire-based nursery, specializing in edible plants, including perennial  and hard to find varieties of fruits, vegetables, and herbs. We  do not use synthetic pesticides or fertilisers and grow a wide variety of plants for all garden types. Please see below for plant availability and ordering instructions.

Why edible perennials?

Perennials require less maintenance than annuals as you only have to plant once and reap the rewards year after year.

Why heritage varieties?

Heritage and older varieties of annual vegetables often have superior flavour and nutritional content than the varieties at the supermarket, and  planting them helps maintain the genetic diversity of edible plants.

Get in touch!

Our stock is always changing, so if you have any queries please feel free to send us an email: nursery@edibleoxford.com

 

Plants available in April

Basil (Sweet Genovese) (available from approximately mid-April) – £3 each

This variety of sweet basil is the one preferred for making pesto, the classic pasta sauce from Genoa, Italy. It has a superior flavour and is less likely to bolt than many other varieties. Basil enjoys warmth and lots of sun. At the first sign of flowers, pick them off to keep the plant from going to seed. It is the perfect plant for a sunny windowsill or glass house. Each order comes with a recipe for classic Genovese Pesto sauce.

Basil (Neapolitan) (available from approximately mid-April) – £3 each

This variety of sweet basil originates from Naples, Italy. A much larger plant, leaves can grow up to five inches long.  Perfect on pizzas or in caprese salad, it has a slightly stronger anise flavour than other basil varieties, but also makes a wonderful pesto sauce. One plant produces enough basil to meet the needs of most kitchens. Basil enjoys warmth and lots of sun. At the first sign of flowers, pick them off to keep the plant from going to seed. It’s the perfect plant for a sunny windowsill or glass house. Each order comes with a recipe for classic Genovese Pesto sauce.

Chard (Rainbow) (available from approximately early April) – £1.50 each

Chard is a member of the beet family, grown for its large, green leaves. Even with large stems and ribs, chard is not a tough green and cooks quickly.  Perfect in soups or sautéed in olive oil, chard is a versatile green with a lovely mild taste, which is sweeter than kale or spinach. Chard prefers well drained soil and full sun or partial shade. Each order comes with a recipe for chard quiche.

Chicory (Spadano da Taglio, Sword) – (available from approximately early April) – £2 each

This variety produces smooth, sword-shaped green leaves.  The pleasantly bitter taste makes it a wonderful addition to salad mixes, but it is also delicious sautéed or in soups, stews, quiches, and pasta. Chicory prefers well drained soil and full sun but will tolerate partial shade. Each order comes with a recipe for chick pea and chicory soup.

Coriander (Coriandrum sativum) (available from approximately mid-April) – £3 each

A staple of Mexican and Indian cuisine, the range of dishes coriander can be used in is practically limitless. From curries and marinades to salads and garnishes, this culinary herb brightens up a variety of dishes with its bright, citrus flavour.  Coriander prefers partial shade. Each order comes with a recipe for coriander and mango salad.

Courgette (Romanesco) (available from approximately mid-April) – £2 each

This attractive light green, ribbed variety is a favourite of cooks and chefs for its superior flavour, which is richer and nuttier than other varieties.  It is best to harvest them at the peak of their flavour when they are six to eight inches long.  Each order comes with a recipe for pasta with courgette and cream sauce. Prefers a sheltered sunny position in the garden.

Courgette (tondo di piacenza) (available from approximately mid-April) – £2 each

This round Northern Italian variety with smooth dark green skin, is both prolific and tasty. Like other courgettes it can be fried or grilled, but the round shape make this variety particularly good for stuffing and baking. It prefers a sheltered sunny spot in the garden and the fruits should be harvested at the height of their flavour, when they are around four inches.  Each order comes with a recipe for stuffed baked round courgettes.

Cucumber (Parisian Pickling) (available from approximately early April) – £3 each

This French variety is the classic cucumber for making cornichons, the tiny French pickled sour cucumbers due to its crisp and firm texture and pleasing flavour. This variety produces fruit over a long season. The cucumbers are dark green, small-spined, and seedless. For maximum flavour, harvest cucumbers when they are around three inches long. Cucumbers prefer full sun. Each order comes with a recipe for French cornichon refrigerator pickles.

Cucumber (Chicago Pickling) (available from approximately mid-April) – £3 each

This pickling variety originated in Chicago and was released in US seed catalogues in the late 1800s. It has a delicious sweet flavour and can grow up to seven inches without turning bitter, which makes it a great slicing cucumber, but is often harvested smaller for pickling. Resistant to a scab and cucumber mosaic virus, this heavy producing variety is stout with small, black spines. Cucumbers prefer full sun. Each order comes with a recipe for refrigerator pickles.

Cucumber (Tokiwa Tokyo Green)  – (available from approximately mid-April) – £3 each

Dating back to the Meiji era, this high-yielding Japanese variety lacks any hint of bitterness, even when left to grow large, and has a particularly smooth, sweet flavour, with thin skin and few seeds. The vines grow twice the length of many cucumber varieties and do well on fences and trellises.  An ideal slicing cucumber, the fruits can also be harvested when small for pickling. Each order comes with a recipe for refrigerator pickles.

Kale (Nero di Toscana) (available from approximately early April) – £2 each

This Italian heirloom dating back to the 18th century is among the most attractive kale varieties, with long dark blue-green crinkled leaves. Its pleasing taste and texture make it a culinary favourite. It can be blanched then sautéed, added to soups, stews or pasta dishes, or served raw in salads. This cold-hardy green prefers full sun to partial shade. Each order comes with a recipe for blanched and sautéed kale.

Mitsuba (Cryptotaenia japonica) (available from approximately early April) – £3 each

Similar in appearance to Japanese parsley, this warm weather perennial herb is a favourite in Japanese kitchens for its flavour, which is best described as a combination of parsley and celery, although it is not botanically related to either. Often used fresh as a garnish in much the same way as parsley, it is also a perfect way to freshen up soups and stews, but like parsley and coriander it should be added at the very end of cooking to preserve its flavour. Mistsuba prefers some shade as the leaves turn yellow and bitter in full sun. Each order will come with recipes for beansprouts and mitsuba and steamed rice with ginger and mitsuba.

Parsley (Italian flat leaf) (available from approximately early-April) – £3 each

This variety of parsley has a superior flavour and texture to other varieties and can be added at the end of cooking soups, stews, meat, and especially fish.  Parsley prefers partial shade.

Tomato (Piennnolo del Vesuvio, indeterminate) (available from approximately early April) – £3 each

This variety is rare to find outside the slopes of Mt. Vesuvius near Naples, where it originates. These small plum tomatoes have an intense sweet, tangy flavour with many Neapolitan recipes calling specifically for this variety. It is perfect for eating raw in salads or cooked in a variety of dishes, and its low moisture content means that it can be stored for long periods of time.  In the Naples region, locals weave the tomatoes while they are still on the vine into bunches to make a ‘piennolo’, (meaning pendulum in the Neapolitan dialect), which (as seen in the photo above) are then hung in a dry place where they can last for up to nine months. Tomatoes prefer warmth, full sun, and well-drained soil. Each order comes with a recipe for passata (canned tomato purée) and instructions for hanging and storing.

Tomato (San Marzano, indeterminate) (available from approximately early April) – £2 each

This is the classic canning tomato also originating from San Marzano sul Sarno near Naples, Italy.  These elongated plum tomatoes are excellent for both cooking and slicing as their flavour is intense and sweet, and their low moisture content gives them a meaty texture. Tomatoes prefer warmth, full sun, and well-drained soil. Each order comes with instructions for making passata (canned tomato purée).

Tomato (yellow pear, indeterminate) (available from approximately mid-April) – £3 each

This is an attractive, prolific variety, originating in Europe in the 18th century.  With its mild and sweet flavour and yellow colour, it is perfect for brightening up salads, although they also make excellent cooking tomatoes. Tomatoes prefer warmth, full sun, and well-drained soil.

Tomato (Green Zebra, indeterminate) (available from approximately mid-April) – £3 each

This variety produces tomatoes with green and yellow stripes, making it a particularly striking tomato, which is mirrored in its sweet, tangy flavour with peppery undertones. An ideal slicing tomato, it will add zest to your summer salads. Tomatoes prefer warmth, full sun, and well-drained soil.

Tomato (Black cherry, indeterminate) (available from approximately late April) – £2 each

A vigorous grower, which produces beautiful purple and maroon fruits with a rich, sweet flavour, this is the perfect tomato to add to salads or pick and eat fresh. Tomatoes prefer warmth, full sun and well-drained soil.

Winter squash (Marina di Chioggia) (available from approximately late April) – £3 each

Originating from the fishing village of Chioggia near Venice Italy, this beautiful greyish blue-green winter squash is reminiscent of the sea. The dark orange flesh has a rich and sweet flavour and is perfect in risotto and soups, for baking, or as a filling in ravioli. The heavily-warted rind is an indication of sweetness. These squashes are particularly large, weighing almost five kilograms each and can be stored for up to six months. Winter squash prefers full sun and well-drained soil. Each order comes with a recipe for squash risotto.

Winter squash (Yokohama) (available from approximately late April)  – £3 each

An old Japanese variety that after having become popular in the United States went extinct in both Japan and the US, only to be recently reintroduced in both countries by Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, an American heritage seed company,  with the help of a French seed saver. This attractive black squash with dark orange flesh, has a smooth texture and a rich, complex flavour.  Perfect for grilling, baking, or adding to soups. Winter squash prefers full sun and well-drained soil. Each order comes with a recipe for honey baked squash.

Coming soon!

We will have a larger collection of vegetables and herbs later in the season, including the following perennial vegetables and herbs: Wall rocket, Sweet cicely, Sorrel, Wild garlic, Alexanders Good King Henry, Lovage, Minutina “Erba stella” (Plantago coronopus), Globe artichoke, Siberian pea tree, Cardoon, Siberian purslane, three-cornered leek, Chives, Apple mint, Columbine, Thyme, Oregano, Sage, Rosemary, Echinacea.

In the fall we will have Blackcurrant, Redcurrant, Worcesterberry, Japanese wineberry, Honeyberry and Jostaberry fruit bushes available, along with local varieties of Apple, Pear, Quince, Cherry, and Damson trees.

 

Order instructions and pick up:

All order must be picked up in person at a centrally located address in Didcot, which is a five-minute walk from the train station.

Please fill out the order form here.  You will then receive a confirmation email with payment instructions, along with the address of the location where the plants can be picked up.

For any queries email us at: nursery@edibleoxford.org