Darsham Nurseries Cafe, potager, kitchen garden, vegetables from seed, harvesting vegetables,
The Daily Dibber

Kitchen gardener for the Darsham Nurseries Cafe. Seedaholic. Grower and lover of food and flowers.

Keeping It Real

Two days to go and it is starting to feel like a bit like our very own attempt at ‘Chelsea’. This ‘Edible Garden Fair’ has certainly pushed me to my limits. When is enough, enough?

However I am not a fan of the Chelsea Flower Show and never have been. I also am not a fan of The Eden Project.

Creating a garden is hard and dirty work. There will always be areas that are not perfect.

The average person does not have access to perfect plants or a temperature controlled environment or replacements if one particular plant is not as ascetically pleasing as the others. Gardens have slugs and snails and some have rabbits and deer. Most gardens have children and dogs in them at one time or another.

My own garden has a permanently wrecked area of lawn. Why? Because several times a week folk gather, drink beer and talk about their day. I could patio it but I haven’t had the time or the money, so it looks awful. But at night when the firepit is crackling, the solar lights kick in, the bats get busy doing whatever bats do, and the chatter gets raucous it really doesn’t matter. The hammock is old, tired and faded. That’s ok too, the overnight occupants don’t care as long as they can get some sleep. Moles visit regularly each summer and the war of the lawn begins. Sometimes they win, but occasionally their blood is shed.

Our gardens are ours to enjoy as we see fit. I certainly don’t plant mine with anyone else in mind. I like foliage, grasses, wildlife, orange and purple. I love to go out and pull spring onions , cut parsley, snip chives , pull lettuce and tug beans from their stems.

There are brown patches where my beloved labradoodles cock their legs several times a day, well it’s their garden too.

In the potager something has nibbled the new radicchio. It could be replaced for the big day, but I’m not going to. That’s what happens and they will recover.

The beans are ok but have some chunks missing out of the first leaves. They are staying too. The magnificent Angelica has blown over, the big storm took its toll on the magnificent flower heads, it will be staked but will not look a patch on last week when everyone admired it. The herb bed is painfully slow to establish, we could shove some more mature herbs in but then it would be staged. The potager is a real garden, it’s not staged and everything is grown from seed. Seedlings regularly get damaged, but still it has provided the cafe with tons of fresh produce over the last two years.

The cut flower area is awful, packed with weeds. We have all been too busy, we will get to it but not in time for the 4th of June. That’s real too, people are busy.

It’s a real kitchen garden, challenging on a daily basis but bountiful nevertheless.

If you can’t get here on the 4th of June here are some updates:

Beautiful black pods peas and nibbled radicchio

Beautiful black podded peas and nibbled radicchio


The first broad beans are tantalisingly close to harvest.

The first broad beans are tantalisingly close to harvest.


Strawberry 'Gariguette' starting to form.

Strawberry ‘Gariguette’ starting to form.


Run Rabbit Run, while you still can.

Run Rabbit Run, while you still can.


A combination of chard 'Fantasia Orange' and Bronze Fennel growing happily so far.

A combination of chard ‘Fantasia Orange’ and Bronze Fennel growing happily so far.


The lemon trees have numerous flowers and have been dragged protesting from the snug polytunnel.

The lemon trees have numerous flowers and have been dragged protesting from the snug polytunnel.


Japanese Ornamental Corn quite happy on a cold damp Suffolk day.

Japanese ornamental corn quite happy on a cold damp Suffolk day.


It's just a pea, but what a pea.

It’s just a pea, but what a pea.


Cuddles

Who’s cuddling who on this windy day?


The first Spring lettuces including 'Black Seeded Simpson'

The first Spring lettuces including ‘Black Seeded Simpson’


One more day of preparation, we have tomatoes, peppers, chillies, courgettes, chard, salad, onions, kale, leeks, pumpkins, beans, artichokes, cucumbers, edible flowers, soft fruit, fruit trees, herbs, herbs, herbs, herbs, oh and more herbs.

I need a holiday, but then I need/want to watch the tomatoes, peppers, chillies, courgettes, chard, salad, onions, kale, leeks, pumpkins, beans, artichokes, cucumbers, oh and there are watermelons too.

The next holiday planned is to visit the best National Trust kitchen gardens by train. I’m too tired to get on a train. But a good sleep, some non gardening telly and it will soon be ‘Showtime’.

limegarden@sky.com • 2nd June 2016


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