Salad Days: a cautionary tale

As all intrepid gardeners know, there are many varieties of lettuce and I am certainly a sucker for a new variety.  Imagine my delight when DT Brown decided to send me a free trial packet of lettuce seeds 🙂  At this point, please note that DTB does not provide a helpful picture on the front of any of the seed packets they want to tempt you with.

Over the last few days, I’ve had a guest staying and obviously I wanted to impress with my prowess in the kitchen, particularly garnishing all meals with all suitable homegrown produce.  Mixed salad is a simple accompaniment to any lunch. Here are some mixed types of lettuce I’ve being growing.

Mixed lettuce

Mixed lettuce


Here is me just starting lunch.


Looks lovely!

Looks lovely!


And here I am again shortly after.

Not nice to eat!

Not nice to eat!


If you go back to the real lettuce photo, you’ll see two types, but on this particular salad day, there were three.  I’ve since done a silvicultural thinning of the raised bed.  I thought one of the salad types was a bit odd but there were 4 plants and I assumed the leaves I’d snipped off were the trial sort. Do you recognise this?


Of course you do!  It’s Dipsacus fullonum; otherwise known as teasel!!  Yes, it seems it self-seeded in said raised bed and do you know, it blends in beautifully with lettuce.  I can assure you it’s very bitter indeed and anyone growing teasel would be wise to keep it away from the lettuce bed!  How did I find out what it was?  In this area of the garden, I also have several pots that contain summer pretties and low and behold… well, three have been replanted in more suitable ground…

By the way, my guest went home today 😉


21 Responses

  1. cilla says:

    Love it Jane, shall give it to OH tomorrow 😆

  2. NorthernTeacher says:

    Ha, I dare you 😆

  3. VegVamp says:

    Sooooo funny Jane, think a lot of us may well have done this. :whistle:

  4. Beanstew says:

    For an awful minute Jane, I thought you were blaming the saintly DT Brown Ltd for purveying poisonous salad leaves – and I felt aghast. But I understand now, that you could have excluded the culprits, if only you had known what the trial salad looked like. Really this is a warning to us all – you might easily have eaten something even more abnoxious, like an aconite seedling…and in a garden like mine, fighting to go back to nature, this is a real possibility.

    • NorthernTeacher says:

      I was all ready to send the packet back and demand compensation, Sheila; that is until I discovered more of the darn things in the flower pots B-)

  5. NorthernTeacher says:

    What’s so funny is that I’d been looking for seedlings as I wanted more teasels :wacko: 😆

  6. gertie says:

    Oh that’s priceless Jane 😆 …I hope, [if you want them to that is :rake: ,] that your guests do come back soon :rose:

  7. Hayleyagora says:

    Teasel is a fabulous plant to have in your garden but not to eat maybe, have never tried, but I believe you!
    I’ve been nurturing a seedling I thought was Meconopsis betonicifolia, the blue poppy, from seed, but now think it’s a Teasel too. You’re not alone Jane. 😉 🙂

  8. cilla says:

    A while ago I found seedlings of something in lots of pots I had sown, using a fresh bag of compost. I was ready to email the compost manufacturers but when I identified the seedlings as Nicandra, I remembered that I had spilt some home collected seeds on to the potting tray :wacko:

    • NorthernTeacher says:

      Bet your life (or maybe something not quite so important) that they wouldn’t have germinated in the specific place you wanted them to 😆

      • cilla says:

        He he. Have you ever grown them? Very pretty and I have got quite a few in tubs this year………..plenty of seeds if you want any.

        • NorthernTeacher says:

          Have you got any photos, Cilla? ‘The computer’ says they grow to a metre tall :wacko: Am wondering where I would put them! Also, for inf, the RHS says: it can pop unexpectedly, particularly around bird feeders because it can be found in commercial bird-seed mixtures. 😆

  9. shedsue says:

    LOL LOL LOL..What a good way of getting rid of unwanted guests..or having a sickie 😆

  10. karenp says:

    Hilarious :rake: sorry but could,nt stop laughing as its the sort of thing that any of us could do when home growing veg and salads :wacko: as I,’ve said on here before I,d planted statice in the brassica bed but thankfully did,nt try eating some of the leaves 🙂

  11. gertie says:

    everlasting flowers Jane….it grows like Topsy I believe :yahoo:

  12. cilla says:

    I used to grow staicce when I was making dried flower arrangements. It is isn’t invasive.

  13. karenp says:

    i grow it just for that, i love to dry it out in bunches then i line them up on my dresser in the dining room, my Mum always used to do this ad it does keep its colour for at least 2 years 🙂

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