Karen Wagner garden & design: its decision time in the vegetable plot
Friday, 16 September 2011
its decision time in the vegetable plot
I only have a small vegetable plot despite having dreamy thoughts of rows upon rows of vegetables and flowers. I certainly dwell on the concept of those wonderful plots at Chateau de Chenonceau (hectares and hectares) and West Dean's neat rows of vegetables in English countryside......awe-inspiring that they are and definitely the stuff of day-dreams....Of course these are serviced by lots of gardeners which I have no access to.....but they look great and give feel good abundance that is hard to emulate in a small vege plot.
Rows and rows at Chateau de Chenonceau in Loire France for both flowers and vegetables of every description.
oh for hectares of space and a team of at least 10 full time gardeners! (Chenonceau)
Rows of varieties in the walled garden at West Dean. At least 3-4 varieties of each vegetable is planted to show the difference and the variation. It covers over a hectare and is inspiring.
25 varieties of basil, sourced from all over the world, planted out early in the immaculate glasshouses.
So having put some of my dreams aside, I have to make some tough decisions this year. I have only 4 1.2x1.2m plots to grow my greens at the moment...the flowers and herbs have moved into the main gardens and can make a mess there for a while. There is only limited space so how do I decide out of all those wonderful vegetables in the seed catalogue of just the few that I am going to grow.
Of course I need lots of salad leafs of every description - rocket, spinach, tat soi and mini cos. I am hampered for some of the space by the crop of broccoli coming on that was slow taking off this year so will have to wait for that to finish, and i do love to grow a big crop of broad beans. There is nothing like fresh radish for fresh vegetables and spicy olive oil platters through summer.
I want to grow stripey beetroot again this year and i have to have at least two varieties of carrots because they are such fun to grow and you can use them for garnish when little to thin them out.
And summer wouldn't be complete without snap peas, snow peas, fresh peas and two varieties of beans. I think we will have green and purple ones this year. I had thoughts of borlotti beans this year - but I think there just isn't going to be space......I need a much bigger plot obviously.....
But I'm going to just fit as much in as possible in what I have and remember this year to plant salad crops every three weeks to make it all work.
Or come up with some new ideas of where to grow things.....up the walls maybe...I have a few sunny walls.....
or maybe some large willow planters at the sunniest spot near the back door for the overflow...