It's June that marks the end of Spring and the beginning of Summer. June is a generous month as there's so much to harvest. A harvest for the eyes, nose, heart and soul, and last but not least the taste buds.
It all started in February when I began the chitting of the potatoes that were put in the ground a few weeks later.
Very soon the first leaves of the Red Duke of York, an early potato, appeared and they were surprisingly pretty.
The potato plants grew very quickly and I had to earth them up several times to make sure that all the new potatoes were completely covered by a good layer of soil. If not, they turn green and are then poisonous, not something you'd want.
Above you see the little hills of earth I made to cover the growing potatoes properly. I planted my potatoes in early March and only 3 months later came the fun bit: the first harvest!
And the potatoes weren't the only ones ready for harvest I'm glad to say. There was much more ready for the picking. Loads of veggies such as oak leaf lettuce, rocket salad, radishes, water cress, spinach and
sugar snaps, one of my favorite vegetables. They are so delicious!
Yummy, my first from plot to plate meal of new potatoes and sugar snaps. It was scrumptious! Of course, no meal is complete without a dessert so let's see what shall we have today? Will it be strawberries or perhaps gooseberries or how about some raspberries? They are all delicious aren't they, so it's difficult to choose.
There's no plethora of raspberries yet as this is the very first year that I grow them, but as far as the strawberries and gooseberries are concerned ........., well, see for yourself.
Are you salivating yet? The strawberries really are delicious, very sweet, with a lovely flavour and juicy, just as they should be. Shop bought strawberries can be so bland, mine have been allowed to grow in their own time just as nature intended which is great if you want a strawberry that actually tastes (and smells) like one. Mmmm!!! And the gooseberries are wonderful too, you can either eat them straight from the bush or use them in pies and stuff. Limburgse vlaai met kruisbessen, a Dutch delicacy with gooseberries is to die for.
In my Victorian greenhouse the tomatoes are growing merrily along accompanied by some basil. To my delight the basil does really great in my greenhouse and has put out so many leaves that I had more than enough for some home made pesto. Home made pesto tastes so great that you'll never be satisfied again with the shop bought stuff. And it's very easy to make too, so why not give it a try? Here's the recipe:
- 1 or 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 teaspoon of sea salt
- 3 table spoons of pine nuts
grind them all together with a pestle and mortar. Then add :
- 2 cups of shredded basil leaves
Grind it to a paste with the garlic, sea salt and pine nuts, then mix in:
- 3 table spoons of grated Parmesan cheese
- 5 table spoons of virgin olive oil
And hey presto, your own pesto! Now what could be simpler than that?
The garden in June is generous with gifts for the gardener. One of my favorite flowers is the Sweet Pea, that I grow every year. I love these little flowers; they come in so many wonderful colours, they're very fragrant and the more you pick, the more flowers the plant will put out. Does it get any better than that? Not in my book, it doesn't!
My first bunch of Sweet Peas that very soon perfumed the room with its wonderful scent. I wish there was a perfume made of Sweet Peas because I'd buy a gallon or two of that! I would bathe in it, drink it, drown in it and ... oh hang on, I'm getting a bit carried away here, but you know what I mean, don't you?
Fortunately I do, however, have a perfume with another favorite scent of mine : Lily of the Valley. The perfume is called Diorissimo by Dior, not cheap but utter bliss!
And the Sweet Peas weren't the only flowers ready for cutting, here's a little bouquet I made from some of the flowers and leaves from my garden. Lovely, isn't it, and it smells divine because of the Magenta roses, the Calypso roses and the Peonies and Sweet Peas I put in.
Scratch and sniff, people, to your heart's content. :-)
But the sweetest harvest of all for me is this one: Macavity being very much at ease in the garden having his lunch. Not all that long ago he was afraid of his own shadow, now look at him. Doesn't this scream happy bunny to you? It does to me. :-)
The thankful receiver bears a plentiful harvest. William Blake