Here you can see my summer squash (patty pan 'Sunburst) trained up a bamboo 'tee-pee' structure together with runner bean 'Saint George'. The runners won the race to the top (no surprise there) but the squash are making a sure and steady progress. I first became aware of vertically trained cucurbits a few years ago as a volunteer at West Dean Gardens and it's been great to try it out for myself.
Unlike the beans which twine themselves up unaided, the patty pan plant need tying in with string each time it grows a bit. The advantages I think are obvious. Use of space, fruit held of the ground away from slugs, and more visible for ornamental value. Good circulation of light and air so less humidity for rots to set in.
I've also been growing the pink speckled borlotto bean (dwarf), pictured above with lettuce 'Bijou'. The great thing about these beans (apart from the N fixing) is that you can leave them to fully mature with dry pods and keep for later to re-hydrate as a winter veg in stews etc. - at least that's the theory. I'm trying it out this year.
Lavender and kohl rabi 'Azure Star' seem to compliment each other - that was one of those unplanned but happy 'accidents'. Ummpf, those pests weren't invited either - nevertheless, have you tasted kohl rabi? i don't think I had before, but I can confirm that they are delicious. The caterpillars certainly thought so.
The box hedge has made even more recovery since the above photos were taken and I am supping camomille tea. Sorry for the delay in getting this blog out (2 months!) Anyway soon the potager will change hands as my years training comes to an end. Graduation day is 26th August.
I'm not going far though, as I'm joining the Fruit department as staff in September. WT may continue as somebody else and I might turn up doing a blog in some other fruity guise. Thanks for taking an interest and reading.