Category: vegetables

Progress in the Potager

potager
It’s been quite a summer here in my new potager – remember those images back in mid-February of the tangled space which I set out to convert into a square-metre plot of four raised beds to grow vegetables, herbs, salads and edible flowers – and all surrounded by a wildlife friendly shrubbery? Click here if you would like to remind yourself of the task I faced exactly five months ago. It’s come a long way since then and has proved to be the most enjoyable and productive of all the six potagers I have created over the last 20 years – the others all still exist in one form or another, but this has become my favourite, and the most easily managed.

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June Miscellany: pest control, begonias and vegetables

village scarecrow competition

Our village held a fun ‘look alike’ scarecrow competition for the village fete – I dare not show the photo of me holding my ‘creation’; you might not know which was the scarecrow!

Scarecrows, begonias and an update on our allotment and new potager all feature in this first June posting. As the days lengthen towards mid-summer, there still does not seem to be time enough for us to accomplish all we seek to do out-of-doors.

Scarecrows always make me smile, but they serve a useful purpose in the garden – so long as you keep moving them around! Once a customary sight in farm fields (where clothing past human wearing could be recycled), traditional scarecrows as bird-deterrents are now less common. Farmers – and gardeners – employ all manner of objects to protect their crops: foil discs and strips; plastic fertiliser and compost bags hung from poles; bottles on sticks; humming lines; fake birds of prey; spinning mini-windmills; flags, kites and balloons; guns and other exploding devices; cat-shaped standalones with flashing eyes; fleece, netting, cages … one’s garden or allotment could begin to take on the appearance of a shanty town!

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‘Doing the Continental’

Twelve - a Tuscan Cookbook

‘Twelve – a Tuscan Cookbook’

My mention in last week’s e-newsletter of ‘Twelve – a Tuscan Cookbook’ – had me thinking of food, and reorganizing my potager plan to include ‘Continentals’. Some, already ordered (potatoes), are now planted; or sown in the greenhouse (peas). Others are awaiting their turn to be sown in my raised beds, as yet to be assembled – when I’ve finished preparing the 8ft x 8ft (2.5metre-squared) patch where they are to be installed. I’ve ordered seeds: french beans, sugar pod peas, courgette, pumpkin, corn salad, rocket, artichoke and edible flowers; and plants of fennel, squash, climbing french beans, aubergine and asparagus crowns, to regain time lost over my belated start.

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Rooting Around – in and out of the garden

hazel catkins

Spring is surely on its way when the sun shines!

I’ve been outside today, walking around the whole of our plot, delighting in the sunshine. It’s relatively warm and gone for the moment at least are the grey skies. How good it feels; for what with all the rain and earlier heavy frosts and snow covering, I’ve been working indoors for almost two months now. At least it’s given me time to catch up on reading and also allowed me to play around in the kitchen, trialing recipes and ways of preparing those vegetables we managed to store last Autumn. So this post offers some basic ideas for using roots: carrots, swedes, turnips, parsnips – if you have none stored, at least they are cheap to buy.

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Planning the Perfect Potager

discussing garden design plans

Discussing a secluded area in our Cotswold garden sorely in need of reclamation; almost a total makeover – but I have such plans (though bringing them to fruition will take time, and hours of work).

Rain in the wind, and falling from the sky – and I wonder when I will ever get back to the joys of plunging my hands in the warm soil, and actually sowing and planting anything, let alone harvesting young and succulent salads and vegetables. I return to my series of photographs taken around the garden in early January, and the plans that I was trying to formulate in my head for this year; always more than I can ever accomplish! Last week I blogged about my passion for herbs – but that is as nothing when compared to my PASSION for POTAGERS. Potagers? Best described perhaps as productive yet ornamental kitchen gardens. Not just food, but glorious colour, and the ongoing delights of watching edible plants grow, whilst also accommodating beneficial wildlife, no matter how small the space.

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