The Beauty of Production

Production to me has a certain air of beauty about it. To me, the burgeoning growth of a row of potatoes rivals a well-kept flower bed, and certainly surpasses the look of a manicured lawn.  The riotous colours of swiss chard wonderfully assails my vision, and apple blossom, whilst unarguably endowed with good looks, also speaks of the crisp home-grown fruit to come. The present beauty of the garden is even more, because it comes with the promise of the future  harvest. Not that I don't like flowers for the sake of flowers, for I grow these too.

This months blog is a simple collection of photos, taken in the evening's fading light. Enjoy, and hopefully be inspired.

Self-sown calendula that has been flowering all winter. We use the petals for a splash of edible colour in our winter and spring salads. 

Eat your colours. Swiss chard (silverbeet), again self-sown and left to grow where it won't get in the way. Delicious wrapped in tinfoil and steamed on the barbeque with sea salt, lemon juice, and olive oil.

Borage flowers. This easy to grow herb attracts bees to the garden (needed to pollinate the apples) and the flowers are a great edible addition to salads. What other foods are naturally light blue?  

Apple blossom, with a delicate beauty at odds with our cold and blustery spring weather.

The beauty of brown. Here my daughter, Annabelle, is applying the fertiliser in preparation for potato planting in mid-September. This area was lawn until March 2012. The following photograph is the same bed one month later. 

Potatoes planted in a trench, then progressively mounded with alternating layers of soil and hay. We are trying five varieties (Jersey Benne, Cliff Kidney, Heather, Ilam Hardy, and Agria) so we can spread the production over several months. 

The last of the freesias. Grown in a planter box I inherited from my grandmother, they erupt in a riot of colour and fragrance each October. 

No lack of colour in this home-grown spring salad. Lettuce, corn salad, carrots, alfalfa, and borage flowers.

The happiness of green.  Bok choi, mesclun, coriander, and lettuces.

And for those of you who request more gardening advice:
  • Plant potatoes now for harvest in February-March
  • Sow cucumbers, tomatoes, courgettes, and peanuts inside for later transplant.
  • Prepare ground for planting beans in early November (dig in compost and lime)
  • Direct sow first crops of mesclun and radishes.
  • Plant punnets of spring onion, broccoli, and beetroot.
  • Get a head start on your tomato crop  by purchasing and planting a couple of well-established tomato plants.