Summer potager photo round up

A heatwave, an absence. But I thought I might do a quick summary of the summer so far.  In a word; marvellous.  Early rain in spring and getting all the automatic watering right has meant the vegetable garden is a happy place.

We have our own water supply up in the forest, and it generally gets a bit low by now. Some years it slows to a trickle by August and we are forced to switch over to town water and actually pay for what comes out of the taps (fancy having to do that).

But this year the underground springs have been flowing and that meant that my watering regime has been lavish.

The raspberries have been productive in great waves. There is a glut on now as I type. But being on the other side of the planet has meant that everyone else is picking and feasting for me.

The strawberries have slowed, but there are plenty of runners to tend to and make new plants for next year.

The aubergines (eggplants) are just coming into absurd glutdom.  We have barbecued quite a few already, but the crop is definitely a later season beast for me.

IMG_1983As are the tomatoes, a daily picking chore. But what a treat.  Although next year I might think about staking them a bit more securely.

I’m dead pleased with my bean crop as cover for the shade loving lettuce. You get structure. And you get to eat it too.  The runner beans are never my favourite veg, but the French climbing beans which are good ones for drying and eating over winter have been fun.

And their growth is prodigious.  I’m definitely using this system again next season – it may mean I can eat lettuce in August rather than just watching it all bolt in July.IMG_1981

And under these canopies of green are some perpetual spinach which shows no sign of bolting and baby lettuce seedlings which might leap into growth by the time I get back.

The dahlias in the cutting garden show no letting up. I’m making bouquets of flowers every day (well, I would be were I there, but you get the idea).

They survived being kept in pots all winter and just heavily mulched.  But I will haul them out this autumn once they are utterly exhausted and pot them up a size. They deserve that after pumping out flowers endlessly for months.

kaleBut my biggest success has to be in the upper potager where the cabbage patch lies.  Fabulous quantities of greens.

I had hoped to get my friends to pick them while I’m away but the sight of a giant kale plant has defeated them. And then multiplied by about 30 and they are scratching their heads.  ‘How on earth do you cook with them?’ Has been the common refrain.

And the answer – a quick stir fry, a pinch of chilli and a squeeze of lemon doesn’t help.

potager summerI hope I weeded very carefully and removed all the nasties.  I would hate to return and find this giant bed of vegetables shredded to stalks. T’would be a culinary disaster.

And now I must leave off and attend to this keyboard. You haven’t noticed but the ‘o’ key has stuck all morning. I keep having to bash and thump just to get it to make a mark on the screen. And believe me, yu dn’t want t have t read a p st withut any (press as hard as I can) ‘o’s.

potager summer 1