Not a flower to be seen, or not many.

In an area which doesn’t feature very often on this blog, are our fruit and vegetables. Even though this is in the highest part of the garden, before we changed it, it was also one of the wettest areas apart from where we have made the bog garden. This view is from right at the top, looking back to the pergola which leads back to the garden.

Vegetable garden

We soon realised that any root vegetables would just rot, therefore the under gardener had the job of making some raised beds before we could start.


At the left hand side we increased the fence height and as directed by an expert at Skilled Fencing, we added more slats to filter the wind.


The other side is where we have the new huge house built right by the hedge on top of the Devon bank. Thankfully in the summer they can’t see in, we now know how tall to keep the hedge so that we still have privacy.


Looking up to the very top of the garden. The garden comes to a point here, so this area is triangular in shape. It was a question of how many beds we could fit into the shape and still have room for a wheelbarrow to pass through.


Under the netting we have one green Gooseberry bush

Red gooseberry

and we have one Red Gooseberry bush. Lovely cooked with ginger as a crumble or as a Gooseberry Fool.


Also four bushes of Blackcurrants,

Red currants

and one bush of red currants.


In the taller raised bed by the fence are Minarette fruit trees. At the moment we have a few pears, but I can’t see any Damsons, Plums, Eating apples or Greengage yet. I have a feeling that earlier in the year when the blossom was out, it was a cold spell and there weren’t many bees. I think I will have to pollinate them in future.


One bed is for sweetcorn which is growing nicely.


Another is for Courgettes which are doing very well indeed, we are just about keeping up with them and yes, there are some flowers here!

Runner beans

Runner beans are scrambling up their support and we should get a good crop from them, but in the foreground are some dwarf French Beans that have been got at!

French beans

Something has had a good nibble and eaten most of the leaves. I should have given them better support and also given them the same collars that the runner beans and sweetcorn have. The collars are made from cut down lemonade bottles with copper tape around them and they do seem to work, keeping the slugs and snails away, I’ll know for next time!

French beans

However, in spite of the problems, we do actually have some tiny French Beans, one for him and one for me maybe!

Broad beans

Another bed is for Broad beans which we have been enjoying for a while now and there seem to be lots more to come.


In another bed we have three crowns of Rhubarb which we have been enjoying for quite some time now, I think I will be able to keep pulling it for a little while longer.

The fruit is almost ready to pick and freeze and the veggies will keep us going for quite some time. The courgettes we ate tonight had so much more flavour than shop bought ones, eating home grown is so much nicer,  don’t you think?


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30 Responses to Not a flower to be seen, or not many.

  1. rusty duck says:

    Home grown veg are SO much better than shop bought. I like your copper tape collars, I must try those here. The runner beans and sweetcorn are certainly looking very healthy.

    • Pauline says:

      The copper tape collars certainly seem to work Jessica, they must be at least 5 years old by now,but the copper seems to still work even though it has changed colour. I must make more if I’m going to grow more beans in future, I buy the copper tape from our nearest garden centre.

  2. Wow what a lush and vibrant plot of veggies! Enjoy! Blessings, Natalie 🙂

  3. pbmgarden says:

    Oh yes, homegrown has so much more flavor. It’s nice to see this part of your garden Pauline. Susie

    • Pauline says:

      Thanks Susie, I have to admit it’s the part of the garden that gets neglected apart from when the food is ready to be picked. But, even so, the food is still as tasty!

  4. Chloris says:

    It’s all looking very productive. Raised beds are brilliant I am really enjoying mine.
    Slugs and snails have been a terrible problem this year, they love the dwarf bean plants. I will try some copper bands next year. I have managed to get bean plants going this year but only by sowing lots and keeping them in pots until they were quite big which is quite labour intensive. I always used to look upon French beans as as easy thing to grow. Not this year though.
    All your fruit is looking so good.

    • Pauline says:

      We both love all the fruit Chloris, the bushes have always given us plenty of fruit, except for the year that a blackbird got in through the netting and ate all the gooseberries! The copper tape collars seem to work, so I must make some more if I’m going to increase the number of plants that need them. This is the first year I have tried dwarf French beans, not very successfully unfortunately,must try harder next year!

  5. Cathy says:

    Homegrown certainly is best, and you’ve got a lovely selection of fruit and veg. I’ve had some nice salad leaves and chard, but am giving courgettes a miss this year. Enjoy yours Pauline!

    • Pauline says:

      I’m going to sneak some salad leaves in somewhere, but I’m the only one who will be eating them. Looking through some old gardening magazines, I have found a few recipes for using courgettes, I have a feeling I’m going to need them!

  6. Frank says:

    I never even suspected you had such a vegetable and fruit factory tucked away like this! It really does look like a productive patch.
    It’s so rewarding to be able to bring in a few snacks that are right out of the garden, but I’m sorry snails are such a problem. Do you grow tomatoes? I don’t see any and here in America they’re almost a required planting!

    • Pauline says:

      It’s amazing Frank, what gets tucked away at the top of the garden! No, you’re right there are no tomatoes. Unfortunately I am riddled with arthritis and tomatoes are one of the foods that are very bad for it. I love them and used to eat them all the time, but since changing my diet and not eating any food that is acid, the pain is very much reduced.
      Snails won’t be a problem next year, I will make some more collars with copper tape to keep them away from any more beans that I decide to grow. The copper gives them a little electric shock and the idea is that they go somewhere else!

  7. What a good idea the bottles with copper tape are, Pauline. I might try it with clematis next year because the slugs adore those in my garden. Yes, I agree, nice to have a peek into a part of your garden I haven’t seen before. I’m so envious of those well-ordered veg beds and the lush growth. Looking at your broad beans and thinking of my own, I nearly blushed with shame. I have a useful under-gardener too – but unfortunately he drinks too much beer at lunch and finds it hard to get back to work afterwards!

    • Pauline says:

      Cathy, I’ve used the copper tape for a good few years now and it certainly seems to work. I don’t consider myself very good with veg, that’s why I don’t often show this area, last year it was full of opium poppies! My under gardener has been doing far more than usual since I have problems with my muscles, I couldn’t manage now without him!

  8. debsgarden says:

    You have established quite a garden. I recently read that vegetable gardening is much harder than other types of gardening and is the true test of a gardener’s skill. I say you pass that test with flying colors!

    • Pauline says:

      No Debs, I still have a lot to learn about growing vegetables. Fruit seems to grow itself, which is lovely and we do enjoy it all, freezing most of it so that we can benefit from it all year round.

  9. wellywoman says:

    Lovely to see this part of your garden and I really good, manageable size veg garden. I was chatting to a neighbour the other day and he said he has no fruit on his apples, pears or damsons either. I think there was a cold spell when the blossom was out because I was worried it might get frosted but I also think there aren’t enough bees about in general.

    • Pauline says:

      I think Louise, that I will maybe have to do the pollinating myself next year. The minarette trees will be easy to pollinate with a brush, but my huge Bramley apple will have to manage on its own, I’m not climbing it to pollinate it! I agree, I think it was a lack of bees at the time that has been a problem this year.

  10. Christina says:

    What a treat to see your vegetable garden, Pauline. It is just as tidy and productive as I would have imagined from the rest of your garden. I think I actually get as much pleasure from my vegetables as I do from the flowers.

    • Pauline says:

      Last year Christina I didn’t get round to sowing any vegetables, all the beds were full of opium poppies, I presume from the compost we spread! My muscle problem still stops me from doing all the gardening I want and last year it was easier just to leave it. It is satisfying when things grow as they are meant to and we both enjoy eating what manages to survive the birds, the pigeons the slugs and snails!

  11. Jane Scorer says:

    Very pleasant to wander around your veg and fruit, Pauline ! I am impressed that no little intruders seem to have infiltrated your netting ! The birds laugh in the face of my futile attempts !
    Are you having courgette with everything?

    • Pauline says:

      Thanks Jane, last year a blackbird managed to find his way in through the netting and ate all the gooseberries, I hope he had tummy ache! None managed to get through this year and we picked them all yesterday, they are now in the freezer.
      Yes, we do have rather a lot of courgettes so are trying some new courgette recipes. Failing that we can always give them away at church on the produce stall that we have for anyone’s excess fruit and veg!

  12. Alain says:

    I am glad I was able to read you post. For a while, I could never open your posts.
    How nice to see this other part of your garden. I grow more or less the same things as you do (except that we have a great many tomato plants – as one of your correspondent says, they are a requirement on this side of the Atlantic – actually they do very well here). For the first time the gooseberries have a problem this year. Some of the fruit turns mushy. However the main problem is that birds have built a nest right in the middle of the gooseberry bushes! I have not identified them so far, they look like song sparrows. They are not interested in the berries but I hope the eggs hatch soon and the chicks fly off the nest so I can get to the berries. Fortunately, here they are not yet ripe. I thought the nest would be abandoned because the garden was open on Monday and the 4 eggs in the nest stole the show. Every single person who came had to have at least one peek if not many at the nest. The brooding mother must have regretted selecting this spot with all these human faces appearing over the nest. However she is quite brave and did not abandon it. She is still on duty.
    The damsons are fine here but there is not a single pear.

    • Pauline says:

      I’m so sorry Alain that you have been having problems with my blog, but glad that it seems to be sorted!
      Opening your garden certainly causes so much work, we were usually exhausted by the time the last visitor left, I hope you are having a good rest now! I’m glad your bird sat tight and didn’t abandon her nest with all your visitors, maybe she deserves one or two gooseberries for entertaining everybody!

  13. Helle (Helen) says:

    Lovely seeing your vegetable garden, Pauline. I probably spend about 50% of my time in mine, it actually ought to be more productive considering that. But we’re not doing too badly considering I have to battle the slugs all the way. I have a slug fence all around the patch, but they still seem to get in and there were of course some in the soil that we fenced in. But it’s getting a bit better every year. It is a problem, isn’t it, with the lack of bees during blossom time. Last year I had to polinate my apricot tree with a small brush!

    • Pauline says:

      Slugs seem such a problem Helle, although I am finding lots of broken snail shells on the paths, so my thrushes are doing their duty where snails are concerned!
      I have already sorted out my paint brush for pollinating the fruit tree flowers next year, do I have to buzz as I go from flower to flower?!

  14. How lovely to get a good nose around your veg garden Pauline, what a productive patch. I have the same problem with my dwarf beans, have just planted a second sowing, larger plants, in the hope that I will get a half way decent crop! Glad you keep your privacy, in summer at least, and your slatted fence must provide good shelter too. Thanks for the tour!

    • Pauline says:

      It’s not a very big area Janet, up at the top where the garden comes to a point. I’ve learnt something new this year while growing my dwarf French beans, which we ate today with our lunch. I think we had 6 each! plus quite a few broad beans and courgettes, all from the garden. The runner beans are full of flowers so we are hoping for a good crop from them too.
      It’s wonderful to have our privacy back, even if it is just for the summer, the deciduous hedge will now be kept a little higher so even in the winter we will still have some privacy.

  15. Cathy says:

    Wow – I missed this post Pauline, and what an amazing and productive area you have here. I really must get some new gooseberries after seeing your bushes here as it’s a few years since we had any worth picking. Thanks for sharing.

    • Pauline says:

      We are enjoying the fruits of our labours, having to make sure we pick some veg each day before they get too big. All the fruit has been picked and is in the freezer. We pruned the minarette fruit trees yesterday, that are growing along the fence and found a lot more fruit, far more than I thought we had, they were all hiding behind the foliage, I think I will still get to work with a paintbrush next year because there was so much blossom that was obviously not pollinated with it being a cold spring here.

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