Evenings amid the veg: A summer solstice update June 21, 2017 19:08

How to create a potager garden - Denys & FieldingWhat a wonderful few sunny week's we've had. While mother nature had added the sunshine each day, every evening, I've been bringing out the watering can. New life, in all its richness and abundance, has been our reward. 

When I last wrote about our veg patch, which we created in January 2016, I was worried about planting too early, in case frost caused a problem (what was I thinking?!@); thrilled at the sight of nasturtiums that had seeded and reappeared from the year before; and just a teensy, weansy but excited about promise of the gooseberries, which had survived a move from another part of the garden. 

Well, it is incredible what a few week's can bring. The nasturtiums that were so tentative and shy in their reemergence? Now dominating the beds and little shingle pathways all around. I love their free spirited growth and wild abandon. Just brilliant. They are also fantastic at keeping bugs and beasties off the crops. Beautiful and useful in equal measure.

The beans that I fretted over are now zooming up the bean poles and look set to create a few flowers, and therefore beans, in the next few weeks. The onions will be ready in around four weeks. But the showstoppers, the absolute divas of the veg patch, have to be the red cabbages. These girls have survived 'over wintering', when they looked extremely dicey at times, and are now in full glory, ready to harvest. I'm not sure if veg should look joyful, but these do. They are beautiful and they know it. I love them. Grow your own veg - Denys & Fielding

The gooseberries will soon be picked and then head off to demi johns to make what I hope will be the most delicious, crisp, dry white wine. Exactly the kind my Dad used to make for myself and my housemates when we were at uni. Other students would be dutifully dropped off with a baking tray of lasagne or a bag of shopping for the week. Me? Two sacks of homegrown potatoes and a box (a BOX!) of home-brewed, white wine. Result. Trust me, these kind of rations could keep you going an entire term. Well, at the very least, the potatoes lasted a good few weeks :) 

At a time when we are incredibly grateful to be as busy as we are with Denys & Fielding, our newly established little veg patch offers a wonderful retreat and a reminder of what started this business - a love of life outdoors.