Vegetable patch is full of surprises

Trish's vegetable plot is flourishing EMN-160627-122255001
Trish's vegetable plot is flourishing EMN-160627-122255001

TRISH TAKES FIVE: By Trish Burgess

It’s nearly eight weeks since I took my first tentative steps towards self-sufficiency on the vegetable front and, you’ll be pleased to hear, seeds have sprouted and things are looking very promising in my raised bed.

The herbs are doing particularly well and I’m inclined to think of them like their characters from the children’s TV show of the 1960s.

Sage (the owl) is proving to be a wise choice and has already been livening up a few soups, along with the reliable Lady Rosemary.

Mr Onion (the schoolmaster) looks very thin at the moment, unlike his children, the Chives, who are thriving and therefore regularly snipped for salads.

I don’t know what possessed me to entertain Parsley the Lion in the garden as I have discovered I am not at all keen on him (sorry, old thing) but I will need to keep an eye on dear old Aunt Mint as she has a tendency to take over if she’s not contained.

Elsewhere, the tomatoes, courgettes and peas have surprised me by how quickly they have grown.

I’m sure if I stood beside them for 10 minutes I would see another leaf appear.

The melon was a disaster – it died within a few days of planting – but I’m hopeful for strawberries, despite them looking decidedly ragged. I only planted a couple of them so, in truth, the most I’ll get will be a tart’s worth.

My favourite so far has been the pak choi as the baby leaves have been very tasty. I became quite excited when they grew very rapidly last week and suddenly little yellow flowers began to bloom. I now realise, however, that this is not a good thing.

The technical term for this is ‘bolted’ and it means my pak choi has packed up and gone.

The incessant rain has made this whole growing lark a lot easier as the garden is being soaked on a daily basis.

Even so, I do think I have tended to my seedlings well, tucking them in under their protective netting and keeping the weeds out.

Yesterday, however, I spotted an unfamiliar sight: Peter Rabbit behind the raspberry canes.

I’ve never seen a bunny in our back garden in the 20 years we have lived here, so I wonder whether he’s been tempted by the new vegetable patch.

I’m sure Mr McGregor would be chasing him out of the garden with a rake but I’m an old softie so, like Peter’s mother, am more likely to put him to bed with a cup of camomile tea ... if I’d planted any camomile, that is. Bother. Will Tetley’s do?