Ever since we got the summer house and the garden last summer we’ve been wanting to have a small vegetable patch. We won’t be up there often enough to really manage a proper vegetable garden, but at least a few vegetables would be nice…
I’ve had peas and beans firmly placed as must-haves for a long time, and today as I stopped by the supermarket I was lured into buying. Damn those tempting displays of seed packets!
I bought two packets of a simple snap pea which will be lovely. But… The beans? Oh, my; they look gorgeous and I would love to have those colours in our garden. The yellow beans are as lovely as any summer flower, and the black-ish blue beans have a certain exotic allure to them. The green beans, though? They’re plain, normal, expected. And also childhood summers spent nipping beans in the front step of the house.
I love them all, and I love that none of them are fussy at all; they just want to be sown directly into the ground once the risk of frost is over, and then you essentially leave them to get on with their business.
I also couldn’t help getting some flower seeds. I don’t actually recall having ever seen yellow lupins before, in spite of my passionate love for lupins in general. They look beautiful, though, and they will make a nice counterpoint to blue and pink lupins.
And the blue flax… I love flax! This is actually a fairly new cultivar that combines the colour of linseed flax with the size of the flower flax (normally a beautiful scarlet). They’re so light and breezy and will work well in so many contexts because they’re so simple.
The yellow lupins and the flax are both annuals, so we can use them to fill any gap in the borders without having to worry about moving them next year if we find out they don’t work there. Also, equally important, they’re both soil-improving plants that can be used as green fertilizer. The lupins trap nitrogen in their roots, and both plants have roots that loosen the soil structure.
Also, they both grow to about a meter in height, and I think they’re both very pretty. I will definitely want to sow them in large clumps, both as individual focus points and as part of the mixed borders. And I can’t help thinking that the blue and yellow might make for a stunning display together against a green backdrop.
And yes. This is another entry brought to you by a gloomy February day when I needed to buy myself a little spring optimism. Tomorrow, though, is March, and the weather looks set to become milder over the next few weeks. Within a month it will be time to cultivate the soil and start the first sowing…