Green Fingers (2006w31)

Just taken another 3lb of runner beans, a dozen fat white onions (know now to take them after the leaves have toppled, and to remove the flower heads as they arrive) and a few small red onions. The garlic looks to be about ready but how do you know? And the beetroot is fat and probably overdue. The spinach has bolted and we forgot to harvest it, but the sweetcorn is terrific – architectually it stands in the centre of the right hand plot, eight feet tall and filled with juvenile cobs.

The extremely dry weather has meant that some crops have been less than inspiring. Apart from the ethical matter of pouring drinking quality water onto the ground, we’re on a water meter and I’m conscious of the cost of constant watering. The grass is of course yellow, dead and dying, and it’s relevant to consider how the gardens of the future might look; more geraniums and moorish paved and covered fountain areas with far less grass methinks – perhaps a happy time for hayfever sufferers… The various lettuce are doing well and are harvested as required – with the different types we no longer need to buy in salad leaf, which is great!

Anyhow, the drought has meant the French Beans are almost beanless and the strawberries (though lovely) haven’t set a second crop. On the other hand, the greenhouse, which has reached temperatures normally only seen in ovens, has a splendid crop of Chilli Peppers (perhaps twenty plants each carrying at least a dozen peppers all going from green to yellow and some already to red. I had the first one for tea the other night and my word they’re hot hot hot!) The tomato plants are full of fruit, small and large though for the life of me I can’t remember which are the Alisa Craig and which are the Ildi… The yellow and purple peppers are bearing several peppers each, and the cucumbers have been fine, if not my favourite vegetable (or are they a fruit? Hmm, must be a fruit; never thought about it before.)

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