The potager in Spring

I’m just in from squishing caterpillars, a spot of watering and even better – harvesting.

Goodness things are burgeoning out there in the main potager.

I have almost said farewell to the top potager in terms of Spring production.

The asparagus season has closed and now the whole bed can be a comfortable coriander jungle as it is each year.

I’ll go up later for the potatoes, leeks and to pick jostaberries.

I can’t believe the hares and deer haven’t got in and eaten all the Swiss chard. They are certainly about the mountain at the moment.

But I guess they are spoilt with so much vegetation everywhere.

It’s the same in the permaculture beds.

I love to leave things to self seed – looking at you sweet peas. But right now I can’t even see the brassicas as there is such a sweet pea jungle.

Or a triffid farm.

I’m trying not to visit that particular netted bed too often in case a cabbage moth butterfly launches in.

But I do like to pick the sweet peas every few days.

The slugs can have a feast in the undergrowth and I would barely notice.

Not so the strawberry bed.

It has had the best season of gentle and not so gentle rain since March. And I have actually weeded it ahead of the growth spurt.

How about this for an every two day harvest?

And we don’t count the number that is being scoffed as one picks. Gardener’s privilege.

I’m trying to cut as much Swiss chard as I can – it is bolting everywhere. Some of the red varieties (Rainbow chard) I will leave to self seed. And the rest will get yanked out once the huge dahlia shrubs get into full mad production.

And isn’t this just the best time of year?

The slug fest anxiety is almost over for the dahlia leaves.

I can now just smile when I see the leaves full of holes and spot the occasional snail or valiant slug. They aren’t going to win this battle.

I have lost heaps of other things. Dwarf French beans and zinnias seem to be the main casualties this wet spring.

But everywhere else seems to be taking off. The raspberries I can’t eradicate are poised to fruit.

And yes, the black fly are feasting on the broad beans.

(Every stake ruining the composition of the shot has a cucumber at its base.)

But at least they have moved away from the decorative peas.

I have trouble capturing the purple podded peas and crimson broad beans.

You just get annoying shots of my badly secured horizontal poles.

Oh, and don’t be fooled – the yield on this crimson broad beans is tiny. Style and glamour but very few veg.

What is that pink profusion you spy in the background?

Yep, Gertrude Jekyll roses all over the boundary fence.

It’s a heady perfume and a fabulous affront for the eyes.

I can’t step past them to reach the end bed. So that’s a shame. That’s where I planted the zinnias and they really do need checking daily for the pesky tiny slugs.

At the back of the potager I have the kiwi fruit almost covering the four metre high stone wall. And flowers. Flowers again. I even saw bees on the pollen.

Does that mean…. dare one hope?

That’s the season. Hope the thunderstorms miss us. Hope the slugs don’t get all the zinnias. Hope the cabbage moth caterpillars leave me some kale…

It’s all wonderful, really.