A lovely old friend popped in for lunch the other day, whilst pottering round the kitchen garden she was telling me how she’d started ‘juicing’, her kids loved it, she got to use up all her left over fruit and veg, it’s healthy and a lot cheaper than ‘innocent smoothies’. She explained that all her friends were doing it, and they all hit the same problem, some of the tastiest and most healthy recipes require raw beetroot which is frustratingly hard to find in a supermarket, or your local shops. Beetroot is low in fat, full of vitamins and minerals and packed with powerful antioxidants.

The solution is easy, grow your own. It’s simple to grow, takes up little space, and has attractive leaves so can even be sown in a flower bed. Just pop in a seed 1 cm deep every 6 cm and you’ll have a crop of beetroot in weeks, keep sowing little and often and you’ll never be out of stock. As an extra bonus the leaves are delicious cooked like spinach.

Beetroot growingBeetroot growing with a few rocket seeds in front

BeetrootBeetroot just pulled from the veg patch, tied and ready to pop on my honesty stall

A mornings harvest and more cabbage white caterpillar problems

Every morning I potter into the Kitchen garden and gather the ripe and ready produce. Today it feels as though the kitchen garden has moved up a gear.The harvest!

 This mornings harvest

Courgettes, mini cucumbers, tomatoes, beetroot, runner beans, French beans, salad leaves, cosmos and dahlias, all producing a hearty crop on a daily basis. Apart from the beetroot, they’re all cut and come again crops, so the more I harvest the more they’ll produce. They just need a good daily water and occasional feed.

The cabbage white butterflies have found my purple sprouting broccoli for the second time this year; sadly the caterpillars have caused far more damage on this occasion, munching their way through several of the plants. They’re all about to be re-homed in the compost heap.

Cabbage white caterpillarsThe culprits!Purple sprouting broccoliThe damage!

The Kitchen Garden in June

A week into July, my June round up is a little late! This is the time that you start to reap the rewards of your labour. The cut flowers including my dahlias are in full swing and the veg patch is filling the kitchen with seasonal treats. We’re cropping, cavolo nero, perpetual spinach, courgettes, bowls full of salad, french beans, mangetout, broad beans, runner beans and tomatoes packed with flavour, only possible from the soil of a well tended kitchen garden.Tomatoes and basil in the greenhouse

Tomatoes and Basil

My June favourites have been, the climbing purple pod peas, with an exquisite, fresh, sweet taste. They are so fine that they are yet to find their way to the kitchen, all pods seem to be picked and nibbled by friends, family and myself as we potter round the kitchen garden. Next year production needs to be tripled!Purple podded peas


Purple podded peas

Courgette flowers, lightly fried in tempura, a gourmets delicacy, not often found as the flowers must be cooked fresh from the plant. My most relished indulgence so far this year from the kitchen garden.

Courgette flowerCourgette Flower

I had forgotten how fantastic young home grown beetroot is. Boiled whole with a long stem helping to prevent bleeding from the root. The sweet, rich flavour is the highlight of my lunch time salad.Beetroot plants


I’m thrilled with the kitchen garden, I started landscaping and building 6 months ago, with a vision in my head. In a short space of time it’s come to fruition. It works well as the multi functional space I dreamed of. Somewhere to grow flowers and veg, relax, enjoy, entertain, cook and dine. You really can’t ask for much more from a garden.Kitchen Garden - lower veg patch


The lower veg patch in the kitchen garden

Kitchen garden - upper veg patchThe upper veg patch in the kitchen garden

Lastly, a bunch of cosmos in a jam jar, ready for my pound stall on the road.Cosmos in a jam jar

Jam jar of Cosmos

Radish, Beetroot and Fences

Whenever I directly sow seed in March there is always doubt in my head whether they will appear. I was thrilled today to see the radish seedlings up in a clear row and some tiny purple shoots of the beetroot beginning to emerge. Baby seedlings are a reminder to sow further seeds to ensure a succesional crop.

Radish seedlingsRadish seedlings

I’ve been busy the last couple of days in another part of the garden planting a laurel hedge. We have a fence that has become very wobbly and is at the end of its days. I am not a great fan of fences unless made out of an interesting material like woven willow or hazel. To me they are dull and ugly, have a limited life span and can easily be flattened with a strong Winter wind. A hedge lasts a lifetime, looks fabulous, is a great backdrop for garden plants, clearly defines an area and the wildlife loves it. The only maintenance required is a quick clip once sometimes twice a year. The husband has shored up the fence, fingers crossed it will last long enough for the hedge to grow and securely replace it.