It may seem entirely strange to nongardeners that we gardeners would bother growing things we don’t like to eat. You don’t buy things you won’t eat at the supermarket, that logic goes. But gardeners are not necessarily slaves to logic.
There are very few things from the garden I will not eat. Horseradish is one; I am also not overly fond of turnips. Others of my ken like these things, so I spare precious soil space to their cultivation. There are other things I have gladly given up space to, if only because of a plant’s botanical beauty. Amaranth fell into this latter category last year. There are other things I grow that I could eat, but do not. These things usually serve some other noble purpose, like borage (a bee magnet) and cardoon (wild taste and heartbreaking statuesque beauty).
But lovage. I hear some kind of whiny voice in my ear that tells me, El, if this stuff was so good, EVERYONE would be growing it and eating it. YES it tastes like celery. Its stalks purportedly make lovely stirrers for Bloody Marys (I’ll take mine with gin thanks), and it is a lovely thing to behold, breaking the soil so early like the most anticipated fall-planted bulb. But its taste? I can discern the tiniest snip in a monster bowl of salad, the headiest cup of minestrone. And I don’t love lovage.
It does have an upside. It gets so tall so early that I can safely grow poky potted seedlings in its shade.