Since we started growing these edible interesting plants at Dixter I have looked at the Solanaceae family with new eyes and since being over in Amsterdam I have found a great looking one at the end of the street, my problem is that I still do not which ones I can eat, it looks like a lot of nightshade but has great foliage, it would be a show stopper in a pot, maybe I will not try while over here but will collect some fruit to take back for John to look at and we can grow it in our pot display next year. image


I have to say that I was a little shocked today to arrive at my friend Mary’s place in Amsterdam, walk out into her garden and see a fine collection of vegetables growing, that was not a shock, she comes from a family of great gardeners but that Mary had Parsnips doing so well, something I have not being able to grow this year, she is not here but I need to find out how she has them looking so good. I am glad that Mary’s housemate Bob did not see the shock on my face. 



The last job before my trip to Amsterdam tomorrow was the make a pan of Ripe Tomato Chutney, not a bad way to end the week, and I am very happy to be using some of the Tomatoes, it is fun to watch it cook, you need to get it to bubble until it starts to look like a volcano with lave bubbling in the base, it really does look like that when it is cooked, and the house smells great, I hope we get some rain in the five days I am away. 



After a long day the idea of sleep is a great one, I am in bed as I write this. I was in the kitchen for most of the day, cooking vegetables in different ways so that Andrew could take the photos, we hope that we are going to put out a new cook book but also with notes from the Vegetable Garden, after all I am a gardener first and a cook second. I have to say, I love it that so much of what I grow can be made into great food and I was able to eat what I cooked tonight with friends. I now look forward to the next lot of photos from Andrew and to meet up with Helen again, it is going to be up to her to bring it all together. 


Long day

It is going to be another long day tomorrow I think, Andrew Montgomery is going to be here to do another photo shoot of the Vegetable Garden and more of my cooking, I made the shortbread and Blackberry Fool tonight, the Fool needs the time to set, I picked the Blackberries this afternoon and Thomas and I picked the vegetables that I am going to use tomorrow, it all looks great together. 



It seems that after all this rain and warm weather the Tomatoes are now showing signs of blight, the best thing to do is to picking as much as you can till it starts to effect the crop, that is just what I have done this morning, and then get the plants onto a fire, we have done very well this year so far with the Tomatoes, I am just sorry that the plants will not still be there when I have my two readers days for Gardens Illustrated at the end of the month, that is gardening. 


Clean up

The much needed clear up of the Fruit Cage has started today, something I have wanted to start for a while now, Monday is always a good day to start a big project. I now know that the Poppies maybe where not the best thing to grow in the Fruit Cage on such a scale, the fruit plants have not done so well with what they had to cope with, I do want the poppies again but I may move them to grow between the rows of Autumn Raspberries, they may help to keep order in that area.