This garden bed may look like one big mess, when in fact it is a cornucopia of gifts that ensure I will have ongoing vegetables and herbs to pick and eat.
All I have to do is allow the plants to live their full life span, to get long and leggy, flower and go to seed. Like the beautiful blue borage, ringed by new plants, like toddlers around their mother’s skirts. These I will dig up and plant as a border elsewhere.
My favourite salad green is rocket, (left) so I depend on these tall and healthy plants providing next summer’s crop.
Last summer’s lettuce (right) was allowed to be so straggly it fell over, but not before scattering its tiny seeds. So here are its progeny, to be picked as thinnings as they grow.
I could not eat enough of the Asian greens I planted, so most will have to be dug in as green manure, but a few will grace the garden with their yellow posies until I am sure of the next crop being bestowed on my garden, wherever their seeds choose to fall.
The Cos lettuce flowers are not showy, but the sole surviving plant, a veritable Leaning Tower of Cos, is cherished for its anticipated contribution to my table.
And this mass of Continental Parsley is the result of just one seeding plant last year. I should have thinned them, but instead I revel in the lushness, harvest them in great handfuls and treat them as a green vegetable. You can’t have enough parsley!
At least I can’t.
And all free… you just have to not mind a lack of order, of straight rows of plants.