Yesterday was a glorious day, not least for having the colour back in my cheeks. The garden also seemed to be reflecting my revived spirit… it’s positively glowing and vibrant. Enjoying the garden again really made me thankful to be healthy and able. I’ve also got my appetite back, and my cooking seem to have gone kale-idoscopic!
Colour, it seems, is as much in the eye of the beholder as it is a physical reality. Is it just me, or do these hues seem to be clearer, brighter and more alive than they were last week?
I’m loving all the edible reds in the garden at the moment.
I only grow red Swiss chard, as I find it more appetising than the yellow and white. Together with multi-coloured beetroot, red spring onions, garlic, coriander and chilli peppers (all from the garden), it made a spicy compliment to a sunny fried-egg and purple mash.
Get down low, and this bed of mixed brassicas and the Swiss chard looks like a miniature tropical forest. (In my opinion, those Cavolo Neros are crying out to be climbed by a small boy with an Action Man)…
…as are these Amazonian purple-stemmed Petit Posy cabbages (their edible flower sprouts will form later). I’ve not seen a white butterfly for a week now, so I’ve taken a gamble and removed the nets to let them grow unrestricted. I haven’t had a problem with pigeons here… yet! Otherwise it would be wise to leave the nets on.
Another colourful quick supper, this time using some delicious blackberry & apple chutney (a gift from a friend) stirred into the last of my red onions. The pickled Crystal Lemon cucumbers were a great compliment to the smoked salmon. And the lettuce so fresh and tasty…
…I’m finding this an easier crop to harvest than the ‘cut and come again’ varieties, which can get a bit limp and lanky when under-picked.
I’ve been tidying up the beds, weeding and removing any lingering vegetables that look like they’re not doing much. These carrots, beetroots and onions are all going into a hearty soup today. But minus that sleepy wasp!
In their place I’ve been adding a layer of compost over any bare patches and in between the remaining plants where possible. I’ll leave the worms to dig that in over the coming weeks. I’ve topped it off with a layer of Strulch, which will help protect the soil, stop weeds and, to a certain extent, keeps the slugs off. Copper Slugrings have been put around any small plants that are looking like they’re being unfairly picked on. Now that the evenings are getting chilly, I’ve dusted off the cloches and popped them over the vulnerable basil, coriander and parsley.
The red mizuna, lambs ears lettuce and leeks look almost ready to start using. Now that I’ve run out of my own onions, those leeks will be welcome.
And that’s pretty much it… I’ve covered some undeveloped areas (that still need some hard graft) with fresh cardboard to keep the weeds at bay… but that’s enough for the time-being. I’m now taking the weekend to potter and enjoy the season…
I hope your’s is a colourful one too!