garden photography: kentish fruit

garden photography: kentish fruit

July is about growing plants to eat.

(This month I’m looking at edible gardens – an allotment, herb gardens, a potager or even a single tomato plant. If you want to go bigger then why not a rice terrace in China, a field of corn in the prairies or lavender in Provence; you decide )

As summer comes to an end you see the fruits appearing in the orchards all over the country. Kent is known as the ‘Garden of England’ and where better to show you fat, juicy, purple plums

and fresh crisp pears.

If you would like to join in with Garden Photography then please take a look at my Garden Photography Page. No complicated rules 🙂

  • Create your own post and title it JulyThe Edible Garden
  • Include a link to this page in your post so others can find it too
  • Add the tag “GardenChallenge” so everyone can find the posts easily in the WP Reader
  • Get your post in by the end of the month, as the new theme comes out on the first Sunday in August.
  • Please visit the sites in the comments to see what others are posting.

This is the last week for showcasing your edible gardens. Next Sunday I shall be looking out for photos from a Garden or Flower Show – local flower shows or country fetes, national garden shows (has anyone been to Chelsea or the Hampton Court show?) or a small local garden open for charity. Once again I will leave it up to you what you post.  And thank you to everyone who has joined in with the challenge so far. Some of those edible posts have made me quite envious, not to mention hungry.

garden photography: summer squash

garden photography: summer squash

July is about growing plants to eat.

(This month I’m looking at edible gardens – an allotment, herb gardens, a potager or even a single tomato plant. If you want to go bigger then why not a rice terrace in China, a field of corn in the prairies or lavender in Provence; you decide )

Where did courgettes come from? As a child of the fifties they weren’t around. All we had to eat were those large tasteless marrows, sometimes stuffed with minced meat and sliced. I didn’t eat them along with turnips and swede and parsnips. The only vegetables that passed my lips were potatoes, carrots, beans, peas and brassicas – my favourite meal was a jacket potato and cabbage and I even loved that much maligned vegetable the sprout (still do). But fast-forward several decades and not only are courgettes popular in recipes, they also come in different colours. Even the flowers can be stuffed and dipped in batter and deep-fried. Or added to salads. Edible flowers. Didn’t have those in the fifties either.

courgette-(3)

Best to pick this vegetable whilst it is young and tender. Don’t boil it as it goes mushy, rather use in a stir fry or grill it or lightly sauté in butter or olive oil or thinly sliced and eaten raw. A glut can be used to make chutney, soups, or even added to a cake mix.

courgette-(2)

Known as zucchini  in the USA, Germany and Australia from the Italian word zucchina or simply squash or baby marrows in other parts of the world. The word courgette comes from France. Although considered a vegetable in the culinary sense, botanically it is actually a fruit.

courgette-(1)

My first encounter with courgettes was as a young au pair in Switzerland where I worked for an Anglo-Italian family. Courgette/zucchini is a key ingredient in ratatouille, and this was the first dish I ever made using them.

If you would like to join in with Garden Photography then please take a look at my Garden Photography Page. No complicated rules 🙂

  • Create your own post and title it JulyThe Edible Garden
  • Include a link to this page in your post so others can find it too
  • Add the tag “GardenChallenge” so everyone can find the posts easily in the WP Reader
  • Get your post in by the end of the month, as the new theme comes out on the first Sunday in August.
  • Please visit the sites in the comments to see what others are posting.

garden photography: pottering around the potager

garden photography: pottering around the potager

July is about growing plants to eat.

(This month I’m looking at edible gardens – an allotment, herb gardens, a potager or even a single tomato plant. If you want to go bigger then why not a rice terrace in China, a field of corn in the prairies or lavender in Provence; you decide )

potager-(7)

A week or so ago I was lucky enough to spot an open garden for the Cornwall Wildlife Trust which featured a herb garden and a patchwork potager. Given the theme this month it seemed like a good opportunity to find some fresh photos of an edible garden.  I will write more about the actual garden (Trevoole Farm) on my Cornish blog, but for now we’ll have a potter around the patchwork potager.

potager-(8)

A potager is really a combination of a traditional English kitchen garden (which always used to be consigned to the back of the garden) and the style and elegance of a French garden. Plants are chosen for their edible and ornamental nature and put together in such a way to look beautiful whilst providing food for the table.

A potager can be any design, from traditional knot gardens to informal cottage garden style. Even vegetables can be ornamental, think of artichokes. Consider each variety on its own merit. Use purple cauliflowers instead of the usual white ones, heritage varieties of beans and peas, colourful heirloom tomatoes which range from white to almost black; consider the shape and structure of a plant and remember trailing plants can be trained to grow vertically. Plant companion flowers to encourage pollinators (bees and hoverflies) on to the plot or to attract nature’s invaders such as aphids and blackfly away from the edible plants. Marigolds, dwarf French marigolds (tagetes), poached-egg plants (Limnanthes Douglasii), nasturtiums, borage and daisies not only look good, but some of them taste good too.

potager-(9)

If you would like to join in with Garden Photography then please take a look at my Garden Photography Page. No complicated rules 🙂

  • Create your own post and title it JulyThe Edible Garden
  • Include a link to this page in your post so others can find it too
  • Add the tag “GardenChallenge” so everyone can find the posts easily in the WP Reader
  • Get your post in by the end of the month, as the new theme comes out on the first Sunday in August.
  • Please visit the sites in the comments to see what others are posting.

garden photography: ode to an allotment

garden photography: ode to an allotment

July is about growing plants to eat.

(This month I’m looking at edible gardens – an allotment, herb gardens, a potager or even a single tomato plant. If you want to go bigger then why not a rice terrace in China, a field of corn in the prairies or lavender in Provence; you decide )

I’m going to start with my daughter’s allotment. She no longer has time for it so had to give it up, but for several years she managed a plot a few hundred yards from her home where she learned how to grow her own produce for the table. Beans, carrots, onions, squash, courgettes, sweetcorn, garlic, peas, radishes, beetroot, strawberries, rhubarb and even Cape gooseberries (I wonder what happened to those?) An allotment is a lot of hard work – preparing the soil, digging in lots of compost and manure (where she lives it is all clay), weeding, sowing, watering, keeping bugs at bay – but the rewards are immense. Not only the flavours of freshly picked produce, but also the ability to grow unusual varieties not found in the supermarket, the knowledge that no air miles are involved, the sense of achievement in growing your own and the enjoyment of sheer hard work keeping you fit and healthy and outdoors.

And with a swing suspended from the branch of an old oak tree, it was a fun place for my grandchildren to spend time in too.

allotment (2)

If you would like to join in with Garden Photography then please take a look at my Garden Photography Page. No complicated rules 🙂

  • Create your own post and title it JulyThe Edible Garden
  • Include a link to this page in your post so others can find it too
  • Add the tag “GardenChallenge” so everyone can find the posts easily in the WP Reader
  • Get your post in by the end of the month, as the new theme comes out on the first Sunday in August.
  • Please visit the sites in the comments to see what others are posting.

Festival of Leaves: End of Summer

It’s time for another year of Festival of Leaves. This is the place to share your love for autumn and rain, for dark evenings and cups of tea, of books and all that you love during this time of the year.

~ Verena Cave

End of Summer
Flower, berry and turning leaves all on one plant

“Do you remember the Shire, Mr. Frodo? It’ll be spring soon. And the orchards will be in blossom. And the birds will be nesting in the hazel thicket. And they’ll be sowing the summer barley in the lower fields… and eating the first of the strawberries with cream. Do you remember the taste of strawberries?”
― Sam Gamgee from “The Return of the King” Peter Jackson (from J R R Tolkien)

For those of us in the northern hemisphere it will be a long time until spring, but just remember the taste of strawberries to get you through the winter months and if you have some autumn leaves to share, then please visit Verena’s site and join in. She’ll be very happy to see you.