I had a lovely two weeks away, when I was improving on my garden photography and visiting wonderful gardens for inspiration, but truly this is the last time I shall go away in August! Too much is happening in the vegetable garden, and I missed so much in these few short weeks.
First of all the cauliflower had burst into bloom and produced the most enormous heads. This year I grew a variety called Neckarperle that is supposed to have pearly white heads growing folded into the leaves so it stays prettily pale. Well, mine did not grow covered by leaves and as a consequence are a tad yellow but truly gorgeous and even in shape. I am so pleased, as they were so slow to grow in the beginning of the season that I despaired them ever amounting to anything. I have, as always, a terrible time with caterpillars loving the plants but this time of year I just let them be and resign myself to their overpowering force. I use no pesticides and luckily for me it seems that they actually prefer the leaves to the heads!
This year I'm trying out late summer companion planting potager style with two rows of carnations in between the carrots and the beetroots. I'm not quite sure about the supposed benefits, but at least the bees are happy and I get to enjoy some cut flowers in my home.
The glorious beetroots keep coming. Such joy! We eat the small ones raw as carpaccio marinated in olive oil and lemon, or gently cooked for half an hour in salted water. I boil the bigger ones with the peel on, as it falls away when they are done and less of the fantastic red colour leaches into the water. Best thing on earth is boiled beetroot with freshly made bearnaise...
The last of my peas have been harvested. Blauwschokker was a trooper and I shall definitely grow more next year! And continuing on the purple streak, I keep harvesting my Violet Queens... They are doing so well and have hardly at all been bothered by the potato scab that seems to haunt my vegetable garden. Then again, where you win some you loose some and my leaf celery is still spindly and thin... Perhaps it will buckle up before frost arrives?
Next week you will get a report on my fantastic multicoloured carrots - I hope! It looks like a jungle and I am so looking forwards to starting to harvest them too! Have a lovely late summer week!