Thursday, 15 July 2010

The Biggest Lollo Rosso in the World!

After my whiny last post I felt I had to redress the balance somewhat with the astonishing Lollo Rosso I felled this week.

Lollo Rosso is a firm favourite in my back garden veg patch. I can usually buy a tray of about dozen plug plants for a pound or so from a car boot sale in the spring and this is mostly enough to satisfy my salad needs for the whole summer season. They're really easy to grow, fortunately slugs and snails don't seem to like them, they will doze happily among the stems but don't seem to be tempted to actually take a bite.

My harvesting technique is a tad unusual in that I don't chop the whole plant, I leave them to shoot up like a rocket til they nearly touch the sky and then pluck the biggest individual leaves from the bottom. I've always done it this way because I usually need just one or two leaves at a time for sandwiches and this method keeps the remaining leaves in good condition on the plant rather than languishing at the back of the salad draw.

A rather pleasing side effect is that the plants are allowed to grow into these amazing giants. The plant in the photo is just over a metre, we couldn't see the top of it, it got so blooming high. What you can't quite see is how the leaves grow in a very regular spiral around the stem, giving it a geometric, sculptural look. Adam can regularly be found in his bear skin, playing Tarzan of the apes in the back yard Lollo forest.

I took the unusual step of toppling an intact specimen as I promised a few veggies to Debbie who kindly donated a small mountain of horse manure to my allotment enterprise. I stripped this one of it's leaves and gave her a bag of Lollo Rosso along with some broad beans and courgettes.

Now, a handful of QI points to anyone who figures out the musical classic I've been alluding to throughout this post .....


  1. As a veg gardener, I'm not really sure what an aspidistra should look like, but I'm fairly sure it's not like that...

  2. Did you water it with 'alf a pint of Guinness ev'ry day' by any chance, Gracie?

  3. I won't mention the unfathomable attraction to the local dog population! I'm impressed, have points, lots of them. (Adam didn't get it!)

  4. that's a great looking lettuce...I have never grown this one but shall be giving it a go next year with your harvesting methods...glad that not everything is a wash!!

    So what were you listening to???

  5. It's Gracie Fields, The Biggest Aspidistra in the World. Not exactly current I know, but my Nan was a fan and while I was chopping the Lollo Rosso down it was going round in my head.

  6. Well Tracey you know what your Dad says " If your going to have one, have a big un.

  7. Hm, not exactly sure of what to make that Mother!