Monday, 13 January 2014
the new growing season …
“No finical separation between flower and kitchen garden there; no monotony of enjoyment for one sense to the exclusion of another; but a charming paradisical mingling of all that was pleasant to the eye and good for food. The rich flower border running along every walk, with its endless succession of spring flowers, anemones, auriculas, wallflowers, sweet williams, campanulas, snapdragons and tiger lilies, had its taller beauties, such as moss and Provence roses, varied with espalier apple trees; the crimson of a carnation was carried out in the lurking crimson of the neighbouring strawberry beds; you gathered a moss rose one moment and a bunch of carrots the next; you were in a delicious fluctuation between the scent of jasmine and the juice of gooseberries.” (George Eliot – Scenes of Clerical Life 1858).
Yes, in only a few weeks time the growing season will begin again. Out will come the pots and trays, the greenhouse swept clean and seed packets ruminated over, checking that everything will be ready for the seed sowing hiatus. Visions of how the garden will come to life over the next few months full of colour, scent and delicious things to eat. There is a sense of anticipation in every gardener, to begin anew, full of ideas and planting schemes and praying that it will be a successful year without too much interference from the weather, pests or disease.
Courgettes, tomatoes, onions, rhubarb, eating apples, summer squash, plums, chillies, cooking apples, strawberries and redcurrants, peas, potatoes, curly kale, purple sprouting broccoli, rainbow chard, blackcurrants, gooseberries, broccoli, beetroot, carrots, cucumbers, parsnips, salad leaves, strawberries and runner beans plus a few more that I haven’t got space to show.
My own garden is run loosely along the lines of a cottage garden, with fruit trees, currant bushes, vegetables, herbs and flowers ~ some would say, a bit of a jumble. But my ‘bit of a jumble’ produces plenty of vegetables for the table, fruit for desserts and flowers to fill all the vases. The collage above shows a small selection of the produce that was harvested.
This year will prove more of a challenge as I no longer have the extra growing space of my allotment but, I have had all winter to make plans, and hopefully will maximise the use of every bit of space I have. I look forward to sharing my progress with you throughout the coming year. Fingers crossed it’s going to be a good one.