wet produce and those that grow alongside

August 22, 2010

Pouring with rain most of today – of course, I had watered the allotment extra thoroughly last night! Rushed up there during a break in the weather to pick some produce . . .

. . tall red orach, very stately in habit, reasonably good in taste and stunning in salad with rocket and nasturtium flowers, stands with a strange cosmos that is compact in habit and therefore useful as decorative division . . .

. . . down near the runner beans which are just ready for picking (they went in late)  . . .

. . . is a  magenta cosmos seedling . . .

. . . ruby chard,that has gone to seed,  and calendula are around the base of the bean frame . . .

. . . beautiful, pure white cosmos and striking helenium with yet more fennel . . .

 . . . yesterday, I picked a bucket of tomatoes so need more sun for these to ripen up . . .


. . . and the pokers that grow close by . . . .

 . . . up near the courgettes, the convolvulus is creeping goodness knows where . .  . .

. . . mmm, these are what I really came for  – fried courgette blossoms for supper – so delicious!

Pomona and Vertumnus

Lady of kitchen-gardens, learned

In the ways of the early thin-skinned rhubarb,

Whose fingers fondle each gooseberry bristle,

Stout currants sagging on their flimsy stalks,

And sprinting strawberries, that colonise

As quick as Rome.

Goddess of verges,  whose methodical

Tenderness fosters the vagrant croppers,

Gawky raspberries refugees from gardens,

Hip, sloe, juniper, blackberry, crab,

Humble abundance of health, hedge, copse,

The layabouts’ harvest.

Patron of orchards, pedantic observer

Of rites, of prune, graft, spray and pick,

In whose honour the Bramley’s branches

Bow with their burly cargo, from grass-deep

To beyond ladders, you who teach pears their proper shape,

And brush the ripe plum’s tip with a touch of crystal.

I know your lovers, earth’s grubby godlings;

Silvanus, whose province is muck-heaps

And electric fences; yaffle-headed Picus;

Faunus the goatman. All of them friends

Of the mud-caked cattle, courting you gruffly

With awkward, touching gifts.

But I am irrepressible, irresponsible

Spirit of Now; no constant past,

No predictable future. All my genius

Goes into moments. I have nothing to give

But concentration and alteration.  U A Fanthorpe

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