Sweet Peas for Summer

This week I have been reading Sweet Peas for Summer by Laetitia Maklouf.  Laetitia trained at the Chelsea Physic Garden and has subsequently worked as a presenter on Love Your Garden alongside Alan Titchmarsh. It is the story of how, after buying her house, she created a garden in a year and how you might do the same.  I first thought it would make a lovely gift for someone who had just bought their first home and indeed it would, but the more I read I also realised that there were some beautiful ideas for more established gardens as well, so actually I think anyone looking for some ideas and inspiration would appreciate it.

Anyway today I decided to grow some peas shoots after reading this.

Fortuitously I found four half used packets of peas in the greenhouse; Early Onward, Kelvedon Wonder and two of Meteor. Interesting to know if the shoots will taste different from one another.

This should be the finished result.

Admittedly mine didn’t look as ‘sexy’ as the title of the project or as the pictures in the book….

…..but I’m hoping the net result will be the same.

I bought the book from Amazon but it is only just published so most bookshops should have it in stock. Laetitia also has a very good blog here.

On Sunday we decided to visit the  RHS Grow Your Own Weekend event. Aiming to make the best of the weather, miss the crowds AND get some time on the plot we planned to get to Wisley for the 9.00am opening time. What we didn’t factor in was the clocks ‘springing forward’ by an hour or an extremely enjoyable dinner with our fellow allotmenteers, this ended with the appearance of a bottle of Remy Martin which led to a very late and bleary bedtime. A mere six hours and one sore head later we set off.

Here’s Derek stood outside as it opened. It may have looked sunny, hence the shorts, but was actually freezing.

Edulis and Hooksgreen Herbs were as marvellous as ever for unsual plants and we came away with Dwarf Comfrey, Sweet Cicely, varigated Lemon Balm, St Johns Wort,  Japanese ginger and Schezuan pepper which will form the basis of a revamped herb bed. We also joined the National Vegetable Society  a non profit organisation that provides help and advice to all kitchen gardeners and managed to pick up some back editions of Allotment and Leisure Gardener from The National Society of Allotment and Leisure Gardeners.

Then it was back to Southbourne Gardens in time for mid day coffee; all in all a perfect morning.

Muck and Brass

Our site is lucky enough to have manure delivered on a regular basis.  Although we are fortunate enough to have two sets of gates, one at either end of the site, the lane leading up to what is known as the ‘Ruislip End’ is very narrow; too narrow for the truck that delivers.  Surprisingly heavy when loaded into the wheelbarrow, the task of transporting the manure can be exhausting.  One of the commitments from our secretary at the recent AGM was that a way would be found to supply the manure to both ends of the site. With this in mind this is what happened on Saturday.

Ok, that was the ‘how many allotmenteers does it take to shift some manure’ joke, here’s the action shot.


Seven truck loads later this is the result.

That was the muck bit; the brass refers to the change in system. Rather than pay by the barrow load, a £10 charge is now made for as much as you need in the course of a year. A good result all round.