Friday, 21 June 2013

the promise of things to come

A little warmth, a little moisture, and the gardens are bursting into action.  You turn your back for what seems like just five minutes, and come back to find things have grown a foot.  I live in a world of sticks and brown string at this time of year - moving from one garden to another making sure that everything is getting the support it needs to hold the weight of the crop as it develops.

Crimson flowered broad beans
pea tendrils reaching for support

It's a time of promise - the first of the salad leaves that I sowed directly into the ground are nearly ready to start harvesting.

Spotted Bloody Cos lettuce
The cucumbers in the hotbed and my pumpkin patch babies are starting to rev up. They throw out their tendrils at such a speed, that it seems like you could hear them squeaking as they grow if you stood still for long enough. 

baby cucumber (with aphids - c'mon you ladybirds!)
The first tiny fruits are setting on the cucumbers - my dreams of making my own brine fermented pickles were fuelled by a visit to the Wisley bookstore, where I treated myself to Alys Fowler's lovely new book Abundance. (The fact that we're about to rip our kitchen out and fill the house with brick dust seems like a mere detail).


In the orchard the fruitlets are swelling and changing colour...

Cornish Gillyflower apples

..and in the fruit gardens the gooseberries hang like jewels - still rock hard, eye wateringly sour and guarded by the most ferocious prickles. I'll be wearing full body armour when it's time to pick them - and even then I'll end up covered in the kind of lacerations that look like they might be a cry for help.

Soon I should be harvesting plenty of produce to show you...
..things are looking promising!

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