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Pea Shoots and Leaves

August 23, 2012

These were photographed eight days after I had sown them from soaked dried kitchen peas. I am so excited by the results I intend to sow more this weekend. We’ll have our first taste later this week when Icut a few dozen tops and add them to a mixed leaf salad.

I sat in the sun last weekend on a crumbling garden wall that had been transformed into a lovely brick- paved terrace.  The wall had collapsed into the garden several years before and many of the bricks were excavated from overgrown flower beds. Since the wall was more than high enough for privacy it was tidied up and a 4m long by 2.5m wide sitting area was created from the rescued bricks.  The remains of a concrete staircase were smacked with a sledge-hammer ‘a tedious and exhausting job’ said Sam so my advice is to hire a Kango hammer. The smashed concrete was  then compacted into rubble for the base.  The bricks were laid on their sides and set in a mix of 1 part cement plus 3 parts lime plus 10 parts sharp sand and the same mix was used for the grout. The sand was fine enough to allow moss to gather in the joints which added to the beauty.

My runner beans are still going strong and I am able to pick them whilst they are still relatively thin which is how I like them. By the end of the week the climbing French and borlotto beans should be ready. Then I shall abandon the runners and leave them to form huge pods from which I can push out the fat pink and black beans to steam and drench with garlic and melted butter. There’s a huge bunch of spinach under the beans here in the picture above and I spotted lots more growing  well in my small fleece tunnel.

On a neighbour’s plot this magnificent row of two types of dahlias have been in flower for weeks. This one I believe is D. ‘Corton Olympic’  and I am determined to get myself a row or two for cutting next year. The variety below appeals too which I think is D. ‘Fascination’ but it won’t be difficult to choose since all dahlias are pretty spectacular.  The owner says she never lifts them in winter and they always come back.

This week the cut flowers are a mixture of Sedum ‘Autumn Glory’ which is still green plus white Japanese anemones and Linaria purpurea ‘Canon Went’. Since the petals on the anemones  that I picked last week didn’t drop, and indeed closed buds began to open, I was happy to pick a few more.

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. August 23, 2012 9:24 am

    I’m thrilled to see that your dried peas have done so well- I’ve just planted some & am now very excited to see/eat the results!

    • August 23, 2012 9:52 am

      As well as looking pretty they taste very delicious too.

  2. Marigold Jam permalink
    August 23, 2012 9:28 am

    I trie4d that last year and they are so delicious! This year’s were not so successful though. Love your brick sitting area and the posy is as always delightful and just my kind of flower arranging!!

    • August 23, 2012 11:40 am

      Why not try again because the average temperature seems steady and is good for germination although that might only relate to the West country.

  3. August 23, 2012 12:06 pm

    My pea shoots are just sprouting so I’ve a little longer to wait before eating. Loving those bricks and what a great idea to make a seating area. We used reclaimed bricks for our garden path. I few are shot from frosts over the last couple of winters and little plants and moss have appeared in the cracks. I love how it gives the path a feeling of age even though it has only been there 4 years.

    What do you do with your borlotti beans? Mine are ready to pick but not completely sure what to do with them. Thought about putting them in a minestrone soup but how long do I need to cook them for?

    • August 23, 2012 2:25 pm

      Yes they would work well in minestrone cut the whole beans into bite sized pieces and add to the ingredients or even pre-cook for ten minutes then add. I don’t often pick them at this stage although I will this weekend to cook the young slender ones whole to add to a tomato salad. I usually leave them growing till October when the pods are cream and papery dry then these I pod. I cook batches of the podded beans for ten minutes and freeze them in bags to add to ribollita soup throughout the winter. Cavola Nero kale goes into this classic Italian soup which I also have growing on the allotment.

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