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Creating an Edible Garden - Fennel

Fennel is amazing to grow.  I love its yellow flowers that transform every year from barely anything visible at ground level to a magnificent show of head height stems. 

I use fennel stems with fish and potatoes, and the greenery is great in salads.  You can also use the stems as a base for barbecuing fish.  Medicinally, fennel has long been used for relieving indigestion, most of us have heard of gripe water for helping colic. The seeds can be made into a tea, or the seeds can be eaten after a rich meal to help prevent indigestion. In beauty, fennel essential oil is used an an anti-inflammatory for sensitive skin conditions and can be very healing, in perfumery and aromatherapy it is said to be mildly stimulating and energising. 

The plant is really good for the edible garden, as it attracts hoverflies and ladybirds which can keep down garden pests,and it's really easy to grow, self seeding it pretty much looks after itself!