We had a disaster with our Florence fennel at the allotment this year. Bar a couple of plants, it all bolted, and once that happens the bulbs are too tough to eat. I think lack of watering at a crucial stage may have been to blame.
But every cloud has a silver lining and this weekend the bolted plants looked fantastic – about 6ft high and the kind of fresh, bright green that you only see in spring. They looked positively other-worldly amid a sea of decaying, brown plants.
Next year I’d like to actually eat some fennel so will make a bit more of an effort to look after the plants. But I’ll definitely neglect a row so I can enjoy the flowers too.