Thursday, 5 July 2012

Vegetable Patch Update

Oh how the garden doth not grow. If you partake in any form of gardening and live in the UK you'll know how I feel. I took these pictures about a week ago so they're slightly old now but it's not much improved from then due to the persistent, relentless, miserable rain. Normally rain doesn't bother me because it means my vegetables are happy but June and July have been the worst I've ever gardened in. Still, it's not all bad...
My apple tree had a pretty feeble blossom this year and I wasn't sure it was going to fruit but there are quite a few of these little apples adorning the tree so I'm hopeful for a few apple pies.
My herbs are doing well but the sage is trying to take over the whole herb patch so I think I'll need to be a little more ferocious with the cutters than I have been. The rosemary seems to have grown almost a foot so it must be a thirsty plant.
I'm not sure you can see it too well but I think that little dark fluffy thing is a potential quince. Let's hope so anyway, even if I had just one I'd be very, very happy.
My golden gages are doing exceptionally well, I planted the tree last Autumn. I thought the frosts and early blossom would have left me gagging for gages but I have a pretty healthy amount considering the size of the tree. I didn't realise they were russeted but I think that makes them even more charming. With the lack of warm weather I'm not sure when they'll be ripe for picking.
My rhubarb seems to be happily sucking up all the rain and has grown massively considering it's in the shadier part of the garden. It's overshadowing my other rhubarb plant though so come Autumn I'll have to move it.
My broad beans are happily growing although there are a few with unwanted blackfly. I love growing broad beans just for the flowers let alone the magnificent and plentiful pods that come afterwards.
My tomatoes seem pretty miserable. Normally very thirsty when the weather's hot they seem depressed at the lack of sunlight. Here's hoping they'll perk up and deliver some delicious fruit.
My courgette patch is the largest it has ever been with 12 plants gone in and growing well. They do seem almost as upset as the tomatoes so I'm not hopeful of getting any fruit. It's a shame because these were all heritage varieties; baby blue, flying saucer shapes and knobbly yellow ones. Fingers crossed.
I ate the above peas straight off the plant and out of the pod. People say that the peas you grow yourself will be the sweetest. I've always thought it's probably true but would you really notice? It turns out that yes, it is so noticeable it almost smacks you in the face. Not only are they like little drops of nectar but they are so fresh it's hard to explain. Until you've had a pea as fresh as that, you haven't had a pea.
My peas are what I'm most proud of; the reason being that this is the first time I have ever grown them and they are doing magnificently. Well, as far as I'm concerned one pod is a triumph but I'm inundated with them and am waiting for the peas to form.

If you're thinking about growing your own I have a few tips for you:
  1. Follow the instructions on the back of the seed packet and don't get all bogged down with hundreds of sources of information.
  2. Start with broad beans and peas, they're so good when fresh that they are worth the effort.
  3. You don't need lots of equipment. A spade, a trowel, some bamboo and some twine will bring you no end of possibilities.
It's a marvellous thing to be able to be this close to your food but if you don't have a garden or allotment I reckon you could get a good amount of peas in a tub in the corner of the lounge.


  1. Tell me about the weather. I can't take it no more!
    Anyway I love your little and tender peas! You are growing quite a few vegs.
    My salad seems to be the only thing I managed to enjoy this year!

  2. I love all the photos. That's quite the garden.

  3. we don't have a garden so we can only do container gardening - i'm wondering if i could do the peas in one. you have me all wanting to try those fresh peas, they sound so delicious!

  4. I agree with your views about keeping it simple. There is no need to make things complicated. Gardening is possible at lots of different levels, and the beginner can quite easily produce acceptable results with very straightforward equipment. The time to experiment is when you have gained confidence and mastered the basics.

  5. The peas look so scrummy, i'd love to try and grow some!

  6. Hi Caroline, your garden is beautiful. Wish I could one of those where I live. We really don't have that luxury here.

  7. Caroline, I feel like you. I have a vegetable plot and the only thing growing is lettuce (like Alida). I have got 3 tomatoes trying desperately to ripe. Do you have a tip for basil?? I have tried growing from seeds in a pot, soil, inside, outside. No luck

  8. I love seeing other people's gardens and yours has so many exciting things! It's been beastly hot here. I've not tended to my garden letting the automatic sprinkling and Mother Nature do what they will. It looks like a haunted house garden now completely overgrown. I must go thin things out to give the tomatoes some room. Another tip for beginning gardeners is growing radishes I think. They germinate so quickly it's a great 'instant gratification' veg.

  9. I am envious of your garden, despite the lousy weather. I hope things get a little warmer/drier soon!

  10. I do hope that you get some sunny days soon for the sake of your tomatoes.

  11. Right then! I'm off to buy some pea seeds!

  12. My tomato plants are not doing well either. They produce flowers instead of fruit!

  13. It's nice to have a garden and get things that freah. It's simply lovely. Yes, this year it's been hard for the garden so far. Some things just seem to work out. But, it's over when it's over and we are not yet there!

  14. We have had an extremely dry/hot year in Colorado, and I have almost given up. The apple tree dropped all of its fruit. Not the best year, but always worth a go.

  15. Your garden seems to be coming along beautifully my friend - any setbacks are minor and there is so much overall freshness :D
    So happy for you!

    Choc Chip Uru


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