This move of ours to Hornsea has turned out to suit us even more than we thought it would. But one thing I can’t get used to is not buying vegetable plants even though we haven’t yet set up our Kitchen Garden. Now we have sussed out where our marvellous trees put the garden in shade, and where we have enough sun to grow fruit and vegetables, we will spend those dark and damp winter months getting excited about raised beds and water butts and greenhouses, and hopefully start our Kitchen Garden next spring. But in our excuse for a Kitchen Garden, a new addition has appeared!
And I also bought some Runner Bean plants a few weeks ago, and put them in our little cold frame to keep them warm. The other day I realised that these plants had grown and were stretching up their shoots and leaves to almost touch the roof of the cold frame.
So, on one of the few warm days we have had recently, Erik and I dug a circle where we had previously had a bonfire, turned the soil over (and it was amazing light sandy loam), dug in some of home-grown compost, folded the Sunday Times into a sort of liner, wet it, added a mixture of compost and soil, created a wigwam of tall canes and proceeded to plant our Runner Bean plants, adding more soil. (Usually I start this process weeks ahead by using the newspaper and adding layers of compost, but I’m hoping that this ‘quick-start’ will do the trick just this once.)
It was done in no time at all, and all under the scrutiny of a tiny baby Robin, which hopped about the newly turned soil in the middle of the teepee, and poised at the apex of the canes, waiting for us to find more worms for his/her tea. Fizzi the dog relaxed in the sun, watching the Robin with a maternal eye, probably thinking ‘Thank heavens they give me dog food, not worms!’
I swear that these plants grown many inches every day. I go and twirl the stems around the canes and the plants are settling in well. The baby Robin looks a bit fatter now, thank goodness, and flits around the garden every time I go out with a spade or a trowel. This garden gives us such pleasure, which is an added plus.
And I’m sure we will enjoy our new addition to the Kitchen Garden, our Runner Beans, freshly picked, steamed for a minute or two, then sprinkled with fruity olive oil, fresh lemon juice and freshly grated spicy black pepper. I can’t wait!