Saturday, 11 June 2011

Patchwork

I have always loved patchwork, ever since I paper pieced and hand stitched patchwork cushions in tones of brown and orange back in my teens. I think even at the time I felt that the colour scheme was not ideal, but I was constrained by the very limited choice of prints available in the local fabric shop in those far-off days long gone, before we had the wonders of the Interweb and Mr Google to do our shopping for us.

This love of patchwork extends to our garden where I have a penchant for lettuce patchwork as you will see.

Random patchwork


Unfortunately, the Head Chef planted this bed out, and thus the patchwork takes on a random air, which is quite alien to my innate sense of order. The Head Chef has a randomizing nature and I have an ordering one, and thus we get along famously, especially when he spends the day slaving over a hot shovel and I go gadding off to the Great Wen for a bloggy meet-up and spend the day sitting in the V&A cafe chatting to Floss, SerenataAngela, Lisa, Sue and Sarah.

But when I arrived back I very magnanimously inspected the Head Chef's labours and congratulated him on his efforts (although sadly I failed to notice the full extent of the mowing (or was it strimming?) that he had done in the orchard), my appreciation thus ensuring me a rather nice supper.

Aubergines looking happy

And the garden is bursting with suppers to come: the polytunnel promises tomatoes of all sorts, aubergines, peppers and basil (and please congratulate the Head Chef on the excellence of his tomato stringing - he would be so pleased if you noticed and patted him on the back).

An example of highly skilled stringing
We are hosting a two-week residential permaculture course very shortly, so we are very keen for those little green tomatoes to get their acts together and turn red, but whereas we had sunny June weather in April, it seems that the April showers have caught up with us and made their appearance in June, with a drop in temperature as well, just as we need a bit of warmth to make all these Mediterranean vegetables feel happy.


But at least a bit of rain has cheered the peas up - and here I have edging rather than out and out patchwork, with marigolds (calendula) to pretty up the peas. They are not just for ornament - the petals are good in salads, and if you infuse them in olive or sunflower oil it makes a nice skin oil.

And rather than fill our pots with annuals, we have prettied up the paved area with useful, tasty plants: chives, parsley, mint, lemon balm and coriander - handily situated mere footsteps from the kitchen.

Tea leaves in chimney pots

So there is a lot of cheer to be had from the garden this week, but preferably viewed from through the window - summer has gone, the holiday sofa is still eagerly waiting in the kitchen for it to be warm enough for such a tender chap to go outside, and I am still taking two hotties to bed with me at night.

You may laugh at the thought of two hotties in June, but then you don't have to suffer the chill factor of a Head Chef masquerading as a gigantic ice block getting into your bed in the small hours after having to pick up a General who had been celebrating the affirmation of his genius by his examiners at a time when anyone over 40 would be snug in bed asleep.

Just to warn you, this is your last chance to enter the giveaway - tomorrow I plan to accost a passing stranger to draw the winner as Naughty Dog seems unwilling, and Teddy-Face has had her turn.

And for more garden excellence, please visit the other gardens in the Bloggers Garden Tour organized by Amy, and pat them on the back, too - or you could join in yourself and get your own little pat, or maybe even a big hug.

28 comments:

Jooles said...

ooooh your garden looks stunning and WOW you run courses, that is truly impressive!
j x

marigold jam said...

Lovely post - prose is great as always! We had lots of marigolds round the veggie plot last year and I swear it was whay we had no black fly on anything so useful as well as pretty and even edible eh? Can't be bad.

greenrabbitdesigns said...

Your garden looks wonderful and I love the lettuce quilt!!
Well done too to the Head Chef on excellent tomato stringing. :)
Vivienne x

Nicky said...

You continue to make me smile Pomona but isn't it a tad challenging doing the veggie patchwork due to the slim range of colours? - no blue, orange among the lettuce...textures I grant there are a-plenty!

janie said...

Your garden is gorgeous. Someday I hope to be in Faversham again and stroll up and knock on you door!

Indigo Blue said...

Everything looks lush and green! Both of you have worked very hard on your veggies and there are many many lovely dinners to come.
Our cabbages have grown much better than we thought and we have just planed our second batch of salad items. It is going better than last year with a wider range of plants. I think that we have a way to go yet but more is surving than going in the compost so we must be doing something right.
x

andrea creates said...

oh you have such a wonderful looking garden!
ours is so small but it's one of my favorite parts of having a yard now :)

GardenofDaisies said...

Your veggie and herb "quilt"/garden is just beautiful! I wish I lived near so I could attend your class! I just look a look at the cottage B&B on your sidepost... Ah, I so want to be there!

Isisjem said...

Your garden looks fab. I love those chimney pots!

Frances said...

Pomona, your garden's patchworking definitely shows a good eye for design, and I imagine that as the UK weather eventually warms up, the results will be amazing.

Hoping that you will get that camera out again and show us the proof!

Here in New York, we are zigging and zagging between too hot for comfort days and misty, windy, drizzly damp ones, like today.

Roses around town are trying to keep up with the beat that Mother Nature is setting.

xo

**Anne** said...

What a beautiful garden full of yummy things to eat. Thanks for sharing.
Anne xx

The Beetle Shack said...

oooh those gardens!!!

Amy said...

I just LOVE your chimney pots. I am going to have to look into getting some of those. I'm about to drag my husband over to see the pictures. The linky is up now so come on over :)

taylorsoutback said...

Please give the Head Chef a hardy congratulations on the tomatoes...I am fascinated to see his methods in place as this is the first year we have done our own that way. I have 22 plants in 2 rows - very cozy together instead of isolated in previous cages. The lettuces look equally wondrous! We love our raised beds too - with solid clay soil, it was the only way to go!
Thank you for sharing this terrific post!

KC'sCourt! said...

Lovely Garden
Julie xxxxxxx

Lisa said...

Many congrats to all who make your garden so lush and productive. Hope you enjoyed your get together in London.
Lisa x

ted and bunny said...

just came over to say that Tracey at the Vintage Bothy has a patchwork giveaway that you might just like

http://vintagebothy.blogspot.com/2011/06/103-followers-giveaway.html

xx

Annalisa said...

It's nice to catch up all your recent posts, I have missed them out;

And your garden looks wonderful!

Annalisa

Menopausalmusing said...

Ah yes, the "stringing"........

I always have to comment on the onion stringing at this end........
The reason for the two hotties made me laugh! :O))))))))

carrad said...

I love your blog and will be following - I keep seeing your name pop up on other blogs I follow. A fabulous garden! xxx

Helen Philipps said...

I so enjoyed seeing your wonderful productive garden! The remark you made about doing patchwork when you were young, and the colours of fabric available seemed very familiar to me! I love the patchwork lettuce raised bed - random or ordered I love how they look!
Helen x

Mommy en France said...

Your garden is gorgeous! I love the veggie quilt idea.

Evelene S said...

Oh that vege garden is wonderful. Tell the Head Chef he did a wonderful job. I love that the marigolds play double duty in the vegetable patch. You are one lucky and hardworking lady.

Sandi said...

The best of both worlds in your garden, you can admire, sniff and eat. One day when I have my own home again I will have a big veggie patch out the back with some chickens like I used to have. And a lovely cottage garden again, how I miss both.
x Sandi

DM said...

I am impressed !!!!! This is gardening ! growing your own suppers !!!! Here I am the random one, and Grand Sachem is just Landmowerman..... So you can imagine the accidents, he says he CANNOT guess where I am going to plant .... ;)

Ava said...

What a lush garden, I'm a little jealous. We are starting our vegy patch this winter and I hope mine is half as good as yours :) xx

retriever said...

Very lovely the first foto patchwork, colored, nice blog, best regard from Belgium,

Theophanie said...

I do that with my lettuce, too. Your beds look so nice and pretty and organized.

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