purple podded peas

Despite my annual vow never to grow peas again, (fighting the predations of mice before germination and pigeons when growing is a wearisome process – especially as they are so cheap and easy to buy frozen), yet again I succumbed to the notion and this year I’m pleased I did. The purple podded peas, especially, are looking lovely and healthy.


And harvesting has started in earnest, today with courgettes (varieties romanesco and soleil), golden sweet mange tout, radishes, baby broad beans and red cos lettuce as well as daily sweet peas and roses (these are James Galway, chosen for the heavenly colour growing against the blue of the shed).


While at home the garden is blooming, the lilies particularly splendid this year with a happy absence of lily beetles.



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early morning visitor

Arriving at the huerto at 06.30 this morning, the light was magical. As was this beautiful visitor; I was heading for a raspberry snack so had quite a surprise!


Flowers now in abundance, the roses especially beautiful in their velvety morning dew:


Everything growing on happily in the warmth of midsummer…


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midsummer day’s dream

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… and the perfect ingredients for a primavera risotto

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pesky visitors

Some dismal surprises today on a flying visit to the huerto; pigeons have demolished my beautiful Golden Sweet mange tout, along with most of the chard, lettuces and much of the spinach. Asparagus beetles have been beetling away, and a swarm of blackfly taken up residence in the tender tops of the broad beans. Booooo!

However, a bit of fast squishing, pinching out, cloching and netting before the heavens opened has, I trust, provided some respite. And just time for a photo of the standard rose ‘Boscobel’ coming into flower, along with peony Sarah Bernhardt still holding onto bud but blooming imminent.



… and a quick pick of coriander ‘Cruiser’ and spinach from the little bed that is also home to surprisingly easily germinated salsoli, catch crop radishes and some bolthardy beetroot.


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spinach and radishes


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May progress


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warmth at last

The quince tree is appreciating the extra light afforded by the tree felling early in the year, with a more symmetrical form and healthy blossom which I hope will not be blighted by frost as they were last year. IMG_5101


Grown from seed, I am proud of the heartsease, happy little faces which smile from their dappled basket, with the ‘insect hotel’ behind. If I were a bee, I would like to live here.


And the plot is starting to come to life, late compared to previous years, but promising;  overseen by the majestic copper beech, colour delicious in the early summer sun. I may be fanciful, but biodynamic preparation 500 does seem to make it all shine more….


‘Golden Sweet’ mange tout peas on the far right above- hope the pigeons don’t get them!



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crosnes invasion

How naive I was, taking so much care when planting and nurturing those first little  stachys affinis rhizomes! Now I find that it is in fact a thug of a plant, a member of the mint family and ferociously invasive. So yesterday I spent several hours grovelling on my knees forking out the spreading plague. I plan to replant some of them in a container as they can create a nice gastronomic flourish, although very fiddly to prepare. I guess some of the little devils will have escaped, but the bed is now looking clear and the elephant garlic it was suffocating now free to grow on unimpeded.


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for the rain it raineth


This photo from inside the greenhouse says it all … I was drenched from planting out leeks and spinach. But there were some friendly faces inside:

And a nice view of the apple starting to show life. Note my car keys hanging on the shed door getting very wet! I love those hooks; trowel and fork kitch from Wilco 🙂


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spring clearing

Grappling painfully to put together a new steel potting bench (of course I didn’t have the correct size of spanner), I found myself drawn into a frenzy of displacement activity; clearing the back of the shed area. It had become a sort of general dumping ground and looked thoroughly disreputable, not helped by all the old autumn leaves lying about and debris left from the tree work some weeks ago.

I tend to go at such things like a bull at a gate. Some hours later I emerged, filthy and exhausted, but it was worth it!


I have also finally completed the new big plot, the final touch being to top the paths with beautiful beech leaf mould from the garden at home.


I’ve also managed to get the onion sets planted: Rose de Roscoff and Snowball. The Faulds parsley seems to be coming back but not growing on so I suspect Mr Pigeon has been enjoying a treat. Not any more, thanks to my lovely glass cloches, washed today.


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