Mangetout munching

I couldn’t decide which picture to post first: the cherries or the sweet peas. And I decided that the cherries are a much more stunning sight. So purple I actually thought they were over and inedible when I looked up into the tree. But no, they are absolutely perfect. Oozing with juice and flavour. So instead of continuing on my lap around the garden I found myself up a tree and gorging.

There will be Consequences I’m sure, but that’s what a glut is. Gluttony.

So perhaps I ought to turn to the more inedible delights of the sweet peas. In just a week I have a crop worthy of Sarah Raven. The little vase is for the office and the big one for the living room. And the honey scent pervades throughout.

It’s such a relief to come back and find that nothing has been eaten by deer. My corn is almost knee high. What is that phrase? Knee high by the fourth of July? Well I’m on my way. And I will have to sort out that almost useless netting this weekend. It is doing nothing to protect the corn and just looks like a blousy bit of torn fish net stocking cluttering the garden. Not very photogenic. But you get these pictures warts (or should I say nets) and all.

Other successes in the vegetable garden are the peas which are up and podding along, the salads which are going to be my staple for the next week judging by the growth they have put on; and the tomatoes. They are almost doing justice to those enormous stakes I put in when they were pups.

I picked a few of the purples just to see if the peas inside really are green (yes) and think it’s such a delight to actually see the crop on the plant. But I have been a munching away on mangetout all late afternoon and early evening. They are quite irrisistable. And as I had some serious sorting of the broad beans to do just behind them, I ate well.

Now these broad beans: good thing I don’t have the zoom button on. From here you can’t see the black fly. It’s a thicket. And I wonder what I am growing here, black fly platforms, or veg. I pinched out all the tops as a start. And should have done it weeks ago I think. And then it was on with the destruction. I started on the mighty squishing, but realised that the hose would do this dread deed a lot faster. And it feels so great hosing down the blighters. It reminded me of the time I went with Karen J to Warm Springs Spa in West Virginia of all places and we were put in the position of humble black flies as a hearty attendant hosed us down with the same ferocity. Refreshing for us, death for the black fly.

I hope. Actually they just seem to drop onto the black weed proof plastic below and create a rather sticky carpet of carapaces.

I made that up, no idea if they have carapaces as bodies. In fact they are soft beasts, so a carpet of cadavers would have been better. You can see I’m writing this without the advantages of a good night’s sleep. The five thirty am start for the morning train always addles one’s brain.

So as a quick finish here are the pictures of the flowers around the gardens: the verbena bonariensis plants are up and starting to do their hedge thing. Quite a nice combination with all the nepeta six hills giant in the stipa flower bed beside it.

The deutsia shrub has finally decided to grace our presence with flowers. No scent so you can admire it as much as we do. On screen or in real life, it’s a bit flat. rAnd a bit big. I see the loppers getting a work out when the flowering is over.

And yet more roses. This time all the New Dawn roses that I planted against the wall in the herb garden. Pretty flowers, but strangely no scent. Or is it me and my hay fever? I will monitor the perfume power. But actually it’s so lovely to see them out and blooming that I mind less their scentlessness. And you can’t exactly stick your nose into the petals anyway. You would have to climb over the thyme, sage, salvias, artichokes and random weeds just to reach them.

And speaking of new dawn: time for me to head towards bed. Lots to do this short week in the garden, and I need some sleep.