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Of mists and mellow fruitfulness


I am a summer girl. No two ways about it – I love the summer; the heat, the light, the explosion in the kitchen garden, the buzz of the insects, the long drawn out nights.

A summer girl I may be…..but I love all the seasons for their differences. I was walking through my kitchen garden today and marvelling at the colours. The colours never mind the vegetables and I thought of Keats and his ‘mellow fruitfulness’……I was assailed by yellows from the fading sunflowers (the seeds will be shared between me and the birds), the fading oranges of the nasturtiums, the pale ‘nudes’ of the squash just desperate to be harvested and turned into gorgeous orange soup, the insipid green/yellow of the beans drying on the plants…all around me was a variation of yellow/orange/red.

In the spring time we have the acid colours; the tips of green, the flowers of yellow……I love to see them because they are a reminder of what is to come. By summertime the colours have become the primary palette that children know; bright dark green, pops of cherry red, pimples of raspberry pink, flashes of bumblebee bottom yellow…..with splashes of jewels in-between (corn flower blue makes me weak at the knees)…..and then we fade in to this autumn hue of….well…..burnt out, done in, fading yellow glory. It is sublime. But the best is yet to come.

Most folk tuck-up their kitchen gardens for winter and think of Christmas and all the hulla-balloo…….and leave the soil behind for a few months. But the wise amongst us know that the winter beds will feed us still and repay us with the beautiful colours of winter: red cabbages, touched with frost….the darkest of green, crinkle edged Savoys, the almost blue/black of the Cavolo Nero, the purple veins that beat the hearts of our brassicas….

The ‘season’ and the colours are never over……