Start of the preserving season

The jam making season has started here at Reclaiming Paradise. I’ve got a glut of green tomatoes, plums, runner beans, courgettes, a couple of marrows, apples on their way and one giant cucumber Where to to start? Some of the tomatoes are ripening but a few of the others have blight so I reckoned I need to pick some and start the preserving season. Whether to make plum jam and green tomato chutney, or green tomato marmalade and plum chutney? I decided on the marmalade first – it’s simmering away as I write: See here for the recipe – green … Continue reading Start of the preserving season

In praise of peas

It’s time for the annual pea admiration festival. For this week’s #SixonSaturday I’ll tell you about my six (so far) favourite peas. This undervalued vegetable is nice enough though a little boring when it comes out of packet in the freezer. When you grow your own in the garden though, it grows fast, climbs quickly, produces magnificent flowers and tastes devine – almost a different vegetable. I discovered growing peas almost by accident. I had always grown mange tout and thought they were pretty ok – usually I grow ‘Norli’ which provides a sturdy if unexciting little pea Until I … Continue reading In praise of peas

Welcome harvest

I’ve been away for a little while, catching up with family, swimming in lakes and stretching my legs rather more than I intended. It was nice to get away from some of the everyday stresses but it was also nice to get home to see what was happening in the garden. Here are some of the joys I came back to: peas – green and purple, broad beans, raspberries and a few strawberries, lettuce and the last of the redcurrants. Quite a feast. The red currants have been a bit of a disappointment this year as the best of them … Continue reading Welcome harvest

July garden: foxes and thunderstorms

Falling behind with blogging again but here’s some of what’s been going on in the garden: Lots of flowers all coming out just now. Strawberries and raspberries at their best – and good enough to make some rather yummy strawberry scones to share with my sons who managed to be here at the same time for the first time in many months. Vegetables coming along slowly. Here are some of the peas and the first cucumber: We had an impressive thunderstorm and extensive flooding at the weekend. All fine in my garden but the roads round about turned into rivers. … Continue reading July garden: foxes and thunderstorms

Six foxgloves, six peas and a lettuce glut

Once again I failed to do a #SixonSaturday post but I did submit these rather lovely foxgloves via twitter. These are all growing along the back hedge and the new fence at the side of the garden, some transplanted from the raspberry bed during a weeding session back in January – for more see here – they have come out rather well, I think. I had wondered about doing a six for my six varieties of peas, but didn’t quite get round to it. So here they are for you, rather late on Sunday instead: I’ve already forgotten which one … Continue reading Six foxgloves, six peas and a lettuce glut

Yet more peas

I’ve been sorting out my saved pea seeds, hoping this year to not get them mixed up. I’m storing them in separate containers. In the picture above, bottom left, Duke of Albany, bottom right, Blue Prussian, top, Salmon Pink. Duke of Albany in full growth here: Blue Prussian here (with some photobombing soft fruit): And the slightly crazy Salmon Pink: These were all heritage peas which I acquired at seed swaps over the last few years so I’ll be delighted if they all grow again next year. The saved peas have been sitting on a sunny windowsill for a few … Continue reading Yet more peas

Seed saving

It’s been a great pea season again this year. Despite a slight mix up with varieties – see here – the Prussian Blues, the Salmon Pinks, the Norli and the Dukes of Albany have been very productive, providing us mainly with pea salad but also a couple of soups and some pea and broad bean guacamole. I used to grow just mange tout peas because I couldn’t see the point of growing whole peas. Now I know that the peas straight from the pod are so delicious they are almost like a different vegetable to the ones that come in … Continue reading Seed saving

Late summer promise

It poured with rain in the night and I wandered round the garden this morning to see what was happening in the vegetable beds, accompanied by my furry assistant. I had a sense that the season was turning. The potatoes and soft fruit are nearly finished and I was beginning to worry if anything would take their place. A closer look showed the promise of late summer joys. So here’s what I found for today’s #SixOnSaturday. First, in my runner bean bed, where the sweet peas have been blooming for a few weeks, the runner beans are beginning to form … Continue reading Late summer promise

Just like two peas in a pod

My love for growing peas crept up on me slowly. It was the flowers that caught me first and then the possibilities of pea soup, pea salad and pea and bean guacamole Last year I saved a whole lot of pea seeds to grow again I sowed them in egg boxes to avoid the mice and planted them carefully in different raise beds, with more than usually meticulous labelling to make sure I knew which was which, and prickly sticks to keep the cats off They’re all growing beautifully now. Here are the ‘Salmon Pink’ with their strange flowers, growing … Continue reading Just like two peas in a pod

Support systems

For today’s #SixOnSaturday theme I took a closer look at the pea tendrils, clinging to a variety of rustic poles in my vegetable plot: As you know, I love pea plants, for their flowers and, of course for their peas, but it’s always worth taking a closer look at their clever support systems: beautiful tendrils clinging to the nearest twig. I use rather rustic poles to hold my peas up, cuttings from other parts of the garden mainly. and the peas wind their way round these as they reach for the sky. Note the bottom right picture though, where a … Continue reading Support systems