No, I’m not branching out into religious garden ornaments.
A plant that thrills me is the one above, Angelica Archangelica or kvan as it has been called in Scandinavia and the North-Atlantic islands for over a thousand years. I sowed some seeds in pots in the courtyard last spring and this year I decided they deserved to be released into the wild, so they have been transplanted to the bank by the stream where they will blend in nicely with the rather wild area of grasses, reeds, irises and a single rhubarb that was relocated there when I needed to make room for the horse radish in the cement circle that still houses another two rhubarb crowns.
I first saw kvan in Nuuk, Greenland, where it grows in the wild as well as in the few gardens that exist in the old colonial part of the town. It is a beautifully light and airy plant, growing up to 2 meters here in Denmark, though in Greenland it only reached half that height due to the much shorter growing season and of course the shallow layer of soil on top of the bedrock. And it’s tasty as anything; at one of the top restaurants in Nuuk I had it served as a compote with some local reindeer venison (as part of a rather extravagant 10-course dinner made primarily from locally grown/raised/caught ingredients…) so I really hope for some nice big plants so I can enjoy both the flowers and the flavour!
(I imagine a kvan and rhubarb jam would be rather nice with a home-baked roll and a cuppa! Or perhaps the candied orange peal in my grandmother’s Christmas cookie recipe could be replaced with candied angelica? Oh, the options!)