Crop a load of this harvest

The latest update from the garden comes from me peering out at a dank and dismal day, but on the up side, the weather for the carnival was splendid, and the patch is getting a good old drenching.

This week I’m delighted to announce that we’ve had our first real harvest from the vegetable plot. After the broccoli heads bolted and turned to flowers earlier in the season, I chopped off the non-edible stems, but left the plants in situ. It appears this was the right thing to do, as they are now throwing up small heads on a regular basis, and we’re picking these as cut and come again vegetables. With any luck we’ll be harvesting for a good time to come.

I’ve also done a bit of digging around in the history of the house, and it seems a farmhouse stood on the plot in the mid 1800s. This could explain the rich crumbly soil, (an absolute joy after 20-odd years of gardening on clay) and why after a somewhat slow start, once established, the plants appear to go a bit bonkers.

The runner beans – looking decidedly dodgy just a few weeks back have now flourished and sprinted up the canes. In no time at all, they bushed out, flowered profusely and are now giving us a steady supply of lovely succulent beans.

I’m also thrilled to report that the other slow starter – the courgette plant – has now picked up and is pushing out fruits left, right and centre.

My peas are also looking lush and healthy, and it won’t be long now until we’re picking stuff that’s ‘as sweet as the moment when the pod went pop’.

Whilst this is all excellent news, the star performers in the garden have to be the pumpkin plant and the French beans. The pumpkin has snaked its way towards the bottom of the garden, and is now fanning itself up the fence panel; with two decent-sized fruits forming already.

The French beans have foliage now so thick, and so dense that I have to do a fair bit of rootling around in there to uncover the beans. But what a treat when I do. They are so sweet, that many just get chomped raw in the garden, and don’t even make it to the dinner table! And if the amount of flowers on the plants is any indication of the potential harvest, we’ll surely be bi-lingual by the end of the season.

So, this weekend, after removing a couple of stray caterpillars, we enjoyed laughter-filled feast of beans, courgettes and broccoli to slap by the side of the Sunday roast*.

Although I’m biased, the flavours were out of this world.

*the ‘ahem’ company may have had a lot to do with that 😉

Harvest from the garden

Harvest from the garden

 

Spring has finally sprung

Pottering around in the garden today, I noticed a couple of things that were worthy of a photo, and signify that spring most definitely has sprung. The sightings of frogs ‘doing their thing’ all around the garden must be coming to an end – we now have frogspawn. The clever things have hidden it in the most sheltered part of the pond, so hopefully it won’t become an easy lunch for the fish.

A live sex show, courtesy of Mr and Mr Frog...

A live sex show, courtesy of Mr and Mrs Frog...

And it’s not just the wildlife that’s springing into action. The Viburnum is flowering…

So is the Berberis:

And the Acer is starting to bud

Acer

And last, but not least, the purple sprouting broccolli looks like it will be ready to start picking very soon – I hope we like it, as there appears to be loads of sprouts on their way…

Hurray for spring!

Waging war on the cabbage white

I don’t know how to say this… my purple sprouting broccoli (PSB to those in the know) have been violated in their own homes.

War on the cabbage white

I’d started them off in the little greenhouse so they could get good spurt on before they left the nest and got transferred off down the garden.

Checked at the weekend, and a cheeky little cabbage white has sneaked in – ignoring the complete patch of cabbages down the garden – and laid its eggs all over my little seedlings. The daily routine has now extended to catapillar watch – and some of the little critters are brilliant at the art of camoflauge and blending in.

I will now take no prisoners. War on the cabbage white. I will crush you and your sons and daughters with my bare hands if that’s what it takes… My PSB will again sleep soundly!