veg on the cusp and trout with elderflowers

I popped into the garden after a downpour to see if the slugs had left me any strawberries. Despite a few nibbles there was still a nice bowl for us, large and juicy too after all the rain.


As usual I got distracted. By the water droplets clinging to the purple orache, which was so vibrant against the lovely crimson flowered broad beans.




Then I spotted the first yellow flower on a courgette plant and several tiny courgettes growing.


As usual my garden and kitchen thoughts are completely intertwined and I started dreaming of courgette fritters and pasta with feta, courgettes and lemon.

While the last little purple sprouting broccoli florets (I know everything is crazily late up our hill, and they’ve gone to seed really, but have still been tasty in stir fries while the bees are loving the little yellow flowers) had me planning egg-fried rice with extra veggies. Beyond the last PSB plant, more broad beans (Sutton dwarf, white flowers this time) are also attracting the bees and have lots of promising little pods. In a week or so I won’t be to resist picking them as their tender, thumb nail sized beans are so delicious raw with olive oil, shavings of parmesan and basil.

I’m loving the plentiful supply of strawberries, gooseberries and salad from the garden at the moment, everything has grown and plumped up so much after a few days rain. Otherwise so much of it is about that lovely anticipation of Summer bounty at the moment.

Purple pods on the peas are just starting to fill, runner beans are snaking uo my very rustic wigwams, blackcurrants are starting to colour and raspberries forming. So much promise of good things to come. If I forget the slugs that are targetting my cavolo nero and generally feasting like Kings at our expense.

I know that part of the attraction of gardening is that continual feeling of anticipation, but June going into July feels incredibly like this. There’s been so much busy planting out and sowing this month, now it’s more about waiting for harvest. I’ll put to the back of my mind the lush weeds for a minute and think about the lovely nepeta by our gate that’s pleasing the bees, cats and me too. And let the lavender flowers distract me from the squitch grass sneaking in between the plants.



Still want to sow a few more purple haze carrots and turnips, but otherwise I feel, perhaps a tad too optimistically, that it’s not just my veggies that are on the cusp. Could my evenings in the garden be about to move from frantic planting to a bit of pottering followed by hammock lazing? There won’t be any need for slug hunts as July evenings will obviously be dry and sunny.

While I wait for all the veggies to be ready, the hedgerows are once again providing a great taste of summer. Trout with elderflowers is a great idea from Liz Knight of Forage Fine Foods that I can definitely recommend. Simply stuff a trout with elderflowers (sparingly) before baking in foil.


Very summery with new potatoes and salad.

Would like to link this post with Lizzie Moult’s   lovely Garden Share Collective, where gardeners from around the world compare veggie patches.



24 thoughts on “veg on the cusp and trout with elderflowers

  1. Andrea, look at those strawberries! We’ve never managed to grow them successfully, but yours look absolutely perfect! Lovely post, thank you – it’s midwinter here and the garden is drowning, so nice to see sunny photos!

    • Thanks lots Celia. Have to say I’m loving the strawberries at the moment, I think they’re the best ever this year – nothing to do with us, just very lucky with the combination of sun and rain at the right time.

  2. Lovely strawberries and I want to stuff your courgette flower and deep fry it – it looks so perfect! Great idea for trout with elderflower too – I’ll go and look at Liz’s blog 😉

    • I’ve let that courgette flower grow as it has a courgette attached and I haven’t picked any yet but yes, ricotta stuffings beckon for lots more of them hopefully.

  3. Pingback: Garden Share Collective: 1st July 2013

  4. I can just imagine you relaxing in your hammock, sipping elderflower cordial and planning which vegetables to harvest and turn into a gourmet meal! Hope July lives up to your warm and dry expectations.

  5. I would love to grow elderflowers here, not sure my climate would suit them though with our hot summers. Your strawberries look really juicy. All those lovely flowers bringing in the bees, I have a couple of lavender plants that help pollinate my veggies. I do need to plant more though.

    • Thanks Lizzie and so glad that you let me know about your lovely garden collective, really enjoying having a look at what’s happening in plots around the world.

  6. Hi Andrea, I’m visiting from the collective this morning :) Its lovely to see what you’re growing at this time of year on the other side of the world! I hope to grow elderflower one day, if it doesn’t mind my climate. Cheers, Liz

    • Hi Liz, thanks for visiting, have just enjoyed having a look at your lovely blog and plot too. Elderflowers are growing in all the hedgerows here at the moment, in fact wondering what else I can cook with them at the moment!

  7. Your garden is way ahead of mine and looking wonderful!
    This is one of the best times of the year in the veg garden – harvesting and anticipation.
    Hadn’t thought of putting elderflower with trout. What a good idea.

    • Thanks Anne, I’ve probably talked about the bits that I’m excited about though – feel so much of my garden is still very behind too. It is a great time of year to have a garden though isn’t it.

  8. Hi Andrea, Thanks so much for forwarding my blog to Lizzie for the Garden Share Collective, it’s been lovely to link with so many fab blogs! Your garden is looking so attractive and productive, those pink bean flowers are gorgeous, what variety is that? Your strawberries are doing well, I had a few early ones a few weeks back and have lots of little ones coming now, just hope the slugs don’t get them! Alex x

    • The garden collective is a great idea isn’t it, loving having a look at all those gardens. Thanks lots, but there are still lots of bare patches and lots of weeds! The beans are just called Crimson Flowered Broad Beans, grew them last year too and they were tasty – but I really like the look of them.

  9. Oh your garden looks good and ahead of mine too. Hoping to avoid another disappointing year like last. Love wandering out and picking what we are going to have for dinner.

    • Thank you Anna, lots of things feel pretty late here too though and totally know what you mean about last year. I love wandering around the garden for dinner too, even if sometimes it’s just herbs to add to pasta or risotto.

  10. What colourful bounty your garden offers! Zucchini are one of my favourite vegies, and if they weren’t available so cheaply and so space hungry I would grow more – one of the downsides of living in a “foodbowl” area is that common sense prevails on such beauty…

    I have strawberry envy. Yum.

    • Thanks Jeanie and I am loving the strawberries and the feeling of bounty to come very soon – but just had a look at your garden and dreaming of being able to have a lime tree now!

  11. What a gorgeous garden you have full of gorgeous produce. I so wish to try fresh elderflowers, they are included in so many UK recipes. Delightful strawberries, courgettes and greens. Well done, cheers Merryn@merrynsmenu

    • Thanks Merryn, and I am enjoying it at the moment, must make the most of all these lovely summery gluts while they’re around. But have just enjoyed a peek at your garden and loving the idea of a lemonade tree!

  12. So much to look forward to in your garden! Trout with elderflower sounds intriguing.

  13. Andrea I am in awe, such a gorgeous bounty
    I love courgette flowers and really am hoping to get a veg patch up in our garden next year once we are settled in.

    • Thank you and I have to say I’m really enjoying having a few gluts, and seeing so many plants loving the sunshine (me too!) after the rubbish summer last year when I just seemed to be digging up blight riddled potatoes in the mud. Look forward to hearing about your veg patch.


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