Well, here it is! The planting scheme for the spring vegetable bed. I've spent since Christmas humming and haring about what to plant where. At the weekend I finally made the leap and started planting it up. As readers will know, I'm basing all my designs this year on a series of paintings. This bed is (loosely) based on Cy Twombly Primavera.
My interpretation relies upon the fresh greens of chicory, chervil and pak choi, interspersed with the deep burgundy of poppies, edible pansies and a miniature red rose.
My sketch shows everything as if it is flowering at the same time. I know that's a cheat, but never mind! The really dark purples will come first in the spring-time , then later in the year the pale lilac of the hyssop and the black zucchini will take over. By autumn the elderberry, in a pot at the back of the arrangement, will have black berries instead of white flowers. I'm hoping that this will, by then, contrast nicely with the black and white winter bed that I'm planning behind this one.
I'm a great fan of white umbelliferous flowers. Garden designers seem to love using these in domestic flower borders. My white umbells come from elder-flowers, dill and chervil. I've also got salad burnet which has a very delicate umbel of pinkinsh red.
Of course the difference between this and any other planting plan is that everything you see can be eaten in one way or another. The bulk of the edibles will be pak choi and chicory. I've chosen cultivars for their pale leaves. I'm also plating some good old tom thumb lettuces, so as gaps appear I can re-plant with something else fresh and new.
I've decided to show the garden in early June for the Chelsea Fringe. I'm just hoping that everything will look good on the day and that I won't be tempted to eat it all before then.
- Sambuca Nigris, common elder in a pot
- Pak choi, White Petiole
- Papaver Orientalis, Oriental poppy - deep red
- Miniature rose, burgundy
- Salad burnet
- Zucchini, Tumbling Black
- Chicory, Variegata de Castelfranco
- Pansy, purple
- Hyssop hedge 150mm high