Yes, the garden is in a sorry state. The last red pepper is ready to pluck before it rots. I’ve brought my last small chilli pepper in its container into the courtyard where it will chug along during winter. With the cost of chillies a dollar a pop, this is not a silly idea. My cavolo nero (black cabbage) is struggling, as is my native spinach, after all the rain. What else is left? Fennel. Fennel is indestructible once you get it going. Let the plant go to flower then seed, then wait for little bubby ‘fennelettes’ to sprout around the side. Tender-stemmed picking broccoli is also good during winter. The more you pick, the more it grows.
Then, herbs. Thank goodness they don’t all die off. Pineapple sage is a riot of colour and is a great plant to fill a hole in a hard-to-get-to spot in the garden. The leaves can be used in a herbal tea, but add just a few or the tea will be too sweet. The leaves can be scattered through salad – even one made with nothing more than iceberg lettuce looks a picture with a handful of pineapple sage leaves on top. And, yes, the leaves and flowers are heavily scented with pineapple! Sprinkle them on fruit salad, too, or fruity or creamy desserts.
Mint and parsley are staples and flourish in winter, so use them liberally. And marjoram should be enjoying an autumnal flush, just try to prevent the roots from becoming soggy, so it can make it through to spring.
Rosemary and sage if well-established should cope with a moderate winter. Sorrel will boom, providing more than you can consume most likely.
If you have a sheltered area that gets some sun, or a courtyard, you can grow all manner of things in boxes or containers, including baby or native spinach, so good for picking for salads, soft fleshy herbs like chives, and all types of salad leaves. Having the boxes or containers on wheels makes it easy to move them outside in spring and indoors in winter.