Category Archives: Vegetables & fruit

Allotment month 20: it’s in the flavour – new potatoes, carrots, Florence fennel, beetroot and more

Monty Don always says it’s important to pick only what you’re about to eat to reduce the time between plot and plate. James Wong often tweets and writes in the Guardian about the way sugars in vegetables quickly turn to starch – often in surprisingly short spaces of time.  Continue reading Allotment month 20: it’s in the flavour – new potatoes, carrots, Florence fennel, beetroot and more

7 easy pickings for grow your own keenos

I’m being thrown head first heading into my second season on the allotment and this year, my mind has turned to my stomach. Quite a different mindset to last year’s “must grow everything possible! Yay!” approach. I’ve actually come up with the below formula to decide what to grow, which I thought would be helpful to share: Continue reading 7 easy pickings for grow your own keenos

Designer Edibles 1: Peas (Pisum sativum ‘Meteor’)

I’m on a mission to grow as many different species and varieties of plants as possible to help with my RHS Level 2 studies. While I am drawn to plants that look good for a designer look, I also want to grow some vegetables, but to fit into our garden, that means they need to have style. So I’m going to start this ‘Designer edibles’ series to highlight veg I’ve grown that is also ornamental, fitting in with a beautiful design. Continue reading Designer Edibles 1: Peas (Pisum sativum ‘Meteor’)

Pot’s Growing on in March 2015? Keeping seedlings alive and watching the world come to life

With the spring equinox (and a non-existent cloud hidden solar eclipse) done and dusted, Clapham is noticeably exploding into growth right now. The little propagation station we have set up in the front, south west facing bay window is working wonders…

Ricinus communis 'Carmenchita' growing strong
Ricinus communis ‘Carmenchita’ growing strong

Ricinus communis ‘Carmenchita’ from Sarah Raven not only have beautiful big (but poisonous) seeds, their germination is a wonderful thing to behold. Slow and primeval, a red stalk slowly drags the large cotyledons out of the soil, like an umbilical cord / crane over the course of two weeks.

The Rudbeckia hirta ‘Cherry Brandy’ seems to be doing well with most now growing their second or third true leaves. Both the grasses, Briza media and Lagurus ovatus are doing well. Unfortunately, the second batch of Solenostemon scuttelarioides after seemingly escaping damping off, after being pricked out, some have developed what looks like the start of the disease and growth slowed 🙁 I’m suspecting a dodgy batch of seeds as I sterilised the growing media to kingdom come! I’ll try again in the summer.

Vicia faba 'Aquadulce Claudia' flowers
Vicia faba ‘Aquadulce Claudia’ flowers

Down in my raised bed at the local community garden, even though my broad beans and peas were early cropping varieties, I was surprised to find them this week completely covered in flowers. I’ve been advised to pollinate them as there might not be enough bees around yet. Though I’m not sure how really… eek.

My raised bed has suddenly sprung into action in the growing warmth and light. It has been very dry recently here though.
My raised bed has suddenly sprung into action in the growing warmth and light. It has been very dry recently here though.

Around the area, signs of spring are everywhere, with local Magnolia buds bursting, daffodils here, there and everywhere, and the leaf buds on trees and shrubs all splitting with green shining through.

It all feels like a long time coming, but suddenly, all planned planting needs to happen right now! I’m so excited. Last year at this time I knew nothing. I had no ‘favourite’ plants. Now, in my second proper gardening year, I know quite a bit more yet there’s so much still to find out, learn and explore.