Year of Grace, Day 199. Exotica in the garden

I’ve been looking forward to having myoga flower buds from my plant that I had bought at the Bonn Botanical Garden spring sale last year. Myoga, Zingiber mioga, is a relative of the ginger, and is highly esteemed in Japanese cuisine. Its pinky purple buds are sliced very very finely and used to accompany and adorn all kinds of dishes, from soups to salads and sashimi, and as well on its own as tempura. It is crisp and tastes more flower-like and citrusy than ginger and not sharp at all.

Since the spring when I almost lost the entire plant to ravenous slugs, I’ve been keeping a watchful eye on it. It’s also been confined to a large pot, all the better to keep it away from the marauding moles and voles. Despite the initial damage to the leaves and a few chewed up stems, the remaining stalks of my myoga have romped away, and their tender green leaves have filled the pot. I believe they loved being close to the blue hydrangeas, sheltered by the yew branches overhead from the sun.

I’ve gotten into the habit of peering inside the pot, wondering when I was going to witness the emergence of myoga no ko (myoga children). But in all these months since spring, there has been nothing.

Imagine then my surprise when not really expecting to see anything this afternoon, I detected several pointy shoots sticking out of the soil.  The straw is there to deter slugs and keep the surface of the soil cool, by the way.

Here are my first ever harvest of myoga. I am so thrilled!

They are actually flower buds, and I might let the others bloom, just to see what they look like, as I’ve never seen a myoga flower before.