Celia Hart's blog about what's going on in and around her studio.
Art, printmaking, inspirations, gardening, vegetables, hens, landscapes, wild flowers, East Anglia, adventure, travel.

Friday, 22 May 2009

The promise of rich pickings

The Vegetable Garden in May

I've not posted about the garden for a while – there's so much going on but I'm always gardening whether I write about here or not ;-)

Our garden always looks at it's best at the end of May, verdant and colourful in the sunshine. Yesterday I took lots of photos, far too many to show you all at once, so I'm spreading them over a few posts about different parts of the garden.

I've been busy working in the vegetable garden (leaving the senior under-gardeners and the Spice Girls to their own UGPs* in the flower/ground elder borders). Gardening is all about hope and I'm determined that this year will be a good one!

In the greenhouse there is now a queue of plants waiting to be potted on; here are some of the tomatoes, squash and blood-veined sorrel.

The broad beans are in full flower, their heady scent filling air. This year I've decided that I'm only growing the historic Crimson-flowered variety from my own saved seeds and the colour of the flowers seems particularly rich and beautiful. It's great to see a bumble bee enjoying them too.

Here you can see the patch of broad beans at the end of one of the raised beds, in the foreground is the strawberry patch. The taller plants are Gariguette, a wonderful early French variety the fruit has a sharp burst of intense strawberry flavour – I can't wait! This weekend we'll protect the plants from mud splashes with a mulch of straw and net them to stop the birds scoffing the lot.

At the end of the beds I've constructed an arcade of five rustic arches for the peas – 10 varieties this year: Purple Podded, Victorian Purple Podded, Clarke's Beltony Blue, Curruther's Purple Podded, Reuzensuiker, Carouby de Mausanne, Tutankamun, Carlin, Golden Sweet and Salmon Flowered. I'm dreaming of a pea adorned gothic arches in a vegetable cloister.

* UGP = unauthorised gardening project

more to follow soon :-)


  1. The broad beans you gave me are flowering gorgeously and are the talk of the allotments - thank you!

    And you've reminded me to buy some netting for the strawberries too ...

  2. Aren't those broad beans just gorgeous? I have them in my garden - I grow other types at the allotment so as to save clean seed for the crimsons.

  3. Isn't it wonderful to see everything growing. My broad beans are covered in beautiful crimson flowers too and I got very excited this morning as the first of my radishes started to peep out of the soil!

  4. dribbling enviously! (not good for the keyboard, I know!). Love the pea supports, and the bumble bee on your bean flower.

  5. Oh yes, you are a fellow seed junkie! Love the crimson favas, I'm growing them too. Mine seemed to take a long time to set pods. They grew and grew and bloomed like crazy and didn't set any pods until they were half done blooming.

    And I love your assortment of peas. I'm growing the Golden Snow pea, Magnolia Blossom Snap, and Green Beauty snow right now. I've got a few other varieties to plant later since I can grow them to over winter.

    Love your blog. Thanks for finding mine!


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