TOP MARKS FOR EFFORT
Some things have required an enormous amount of effort, in the garden; where as other things have required no effort at all. Except to stop, look and smell. My biggest effort was to get all the veggies that were raised at home into the ground at the allotment. This meant the arduous task of clearing matted couch grass from about nine square metres of ground. It was the area destined for pumpkins and sweet corn and needed a lot of preparation.
I had previously divided the area up with a path that led directly to the communal water butts. So there is always a queue of watering cans ready-filled to save time on quick evening visits. But now, at last the pumpkins, courgettes and squash are planted on one side with climbing French beans and sweet corn on the other. Digging and planting has gone on for six days including the last raised bed. This now houses Brussels sprouts, purple sprouting broccoli, red cabbage, tomatoes, and bell peppers.
After all that effort and bang on cue, is my first proper trug of veg. Broad beans that were sown late autumn are now ready. Not a huge fan, until I took their outer tough skins off after they’d been boiled for a few minutes, then dressed the soft bright green hearts with olive oil and mint. Delicious! Cauliflower is ready too, as this wet spring with bursts of sunny weather has given me an earlier abundant crop.
Purple sprouting broccoli is already showing signs of flowering after only a week. But the most amusing effort goes to the cucumber. For a bit of fun I measured its development over a twenty-four hour period and it put on 12mm in length. There are other fruits developing too so I’m hoping for regular pickings all through summer.
Not much effort was needed for a quick refresh of the herb rack. The herbs have developed beautifully and I’ve added some annual basil. I was very lucky to find a pelargonium with multi-coloured foliage. It has splashes of orange that match the orange pots beautifully. All these textures, fragrances and varieties are a visual and culinary feast.
So what was the no-effort at all culprits? The beautiful cascading peach rose with a purple clematis and honeysuckle backdrop.