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Elma Family Garden Kitty Pip

In the growing garden: 4 August


If I had hoped that my sugar snap pea stalks would yield enough peas to serve up with supper one night, I was sadly mistaken. Not, I should stress, because the pea plants are in any way lacking, or making empty their seed packet promises, or in fact doing anything other than hurtling out peas in a never ending stream of green.

Space for the Butterflies - grow your own veg

The peas are growing, and in doing so appear to have become the main source of small additional snacks for the chief assistant gardener and his big sisters. And there was me thinking I’d get to eat them all because the first time I picked one and handed it to them they Pip took one bite and with an expression of deep confusion handed it straight back with a, “No like it Mama!” that might have we’ll have said “what are you doing giving me that Mama!”

Space for the Butterflies - grow your own veg

but then the girls discovered that if you split the pod inside you find the sweetest peas and from that point onwards it’s been all we can do to keep them on the stalks long enough to get big and juicy.

And while there is a nice completeness about growing food that actually makes it to the dinner table, I could never mind a little bit of garden snaffling; there’s just nothing quite as tasty as very freshly picked fruit and veg.

Space for the Butterflies - grow your own veg

In the rest of the garden we’re in the gathering in stage of the year. All the hard work of planting and weeding and thinning and all the rest is gone now, it’s more just a case of keeping an eye on everything and watching it grow.

Space for the Butterflies - purple beans

The other current harvest is the purple beans. They look magnificent and I keep meaning to pick a few and steam them for supper in the hopes of keeping their purple colour during cooking; I can still remember being very disappointed in a purple cauliflower that leached all its colour in the pot and presented as a very unappetising greyish blue and my beans have fought so hard for survival that I’d hate to spoil them now.

Space for the Butterflies - purple beans

The carrots and parsnips will be a while yet I suspect; they’re all flourishing and I rather suspect that any collapsing of foliage is more to do with the small tiger we found lurking in the vicinity mewling wildly.

Space for the Butterflies - small tiger

“Bob!” said Pip (my aunt’s cat).
“No, not Bob sweetie, just a cat”
“Where Bob Mummy? Where Bob?”

Sorry little furry interloper but my son’s affections belong to another.

Space for the Butterflies - messy carrots

I haven’t cleared and replanted the onion and garlic bed, nor have I cleared the spinach, which didn’t really survive my scissor based attack, and what with trying to go easy on my hand, and not wanting to start something new and then leave it as and if and when we get to go travelling, I suspect they will stay that way until it’s time for the big Autumn clear up and time to get ready to replant the onions for next year.

Space for the Butterflies - chief assistant gardener

But for now, may the peas be ever plentiful!