I don’t grow a great deal of veg at the Priory (given the size of the place) and I don’t post much about it either.
|Courgette plants with sweetcorn behind|
There are so many really good veg blogs out there such as Karen’s and Trevor’s – that I tend to leave to them, and others, the intricacies and how-to’s of vegetable growing. Perhaps next year I’ll write more about it.
|Leeks front, then onions and chard at the back|
I used to work one day a week in a garden where pretty much my sole duties were looking after the large vegetable gardens.
|Runner beans scrambling up my rustic beanpoles (harvested from Margaret’s wood)|
And it was incredibly rewarding and very, very productive. I’d like to grow more food at the Priory (it’s not like we haven’t got the space) but even with just the current six raised beds we’ve got potatoes, sweetcorn, onions, leeks, garlic, courgettes and chilli peppers.
|Part of the garlic crop – a good year!|
In the past I’ve grown sweetpeas and sunflowers in the vegetable garden. I haven’t this year and regret it. (The sweetpeas I decided against growing and have really missed them. My sunflower seedlings got slug munched). I think veg and flowers work brilliantly together. I have planted a few of my Harlequin marigolds in amongst the beans though.
Meanwhile, in the greenhouse the tomato plants have had their growing tips pinched out now that they’ve reached the roof. (Compare them with how they looked when they went in, back in April).
They managed to shrug off the aphid attacks they suffered as small seedlings and are heavy with fruit.
That little charmer, Tumbling Red, is a star performer and I can’t resist necking the small, sweet and warm cherry tomatoes at any given opportunity.
Sweet peppers are filling out and a couple are pretty much ready for harvesting.
Cucumbers are also producing. This is an all female variety with the rather bizarre name, Femspot – sounds like something altogether different. Growing a variety that only produces girly flowers means you don’t need to take off the male ones. If you fail to do that you end up with bitter cucumbers. Which, one year, I did. Not good – loads of cucumbers which were perfectly horrid! And nobody wanted.
The aubergines will be a while yet …
|Just a few of my semps. I ought to really release them into the wild|
Outside, basking in the sun, is my far too large collection of semps. What am I to do with them all?
|Some more. Too many do you think?|
I used to sell plants on a little table outside our old cottage. Easy money. I’d produce loads of plants from seed, cuttings, offsets or divisions and pop them on the little table. And then, remarkably, customers would post coins through our letter box. Always hugely exciting to scramble around on the floor looking for pound coins and, occasionally, notes. Used to make quite a bit of pocket-money actually. Kept me in Beanos, fizzy pop and sherbet fountains.
|My favourite, Sempervivum ‘Calcareum’|
Semps always sold very well but my new house hasn’t got the passing traffic that our old house had.
So my collection of semps and rhodohypoxis and other alpines just sit outside the Priory greenhouse enjoying the sun. Not a bad life.