Home gardening Cuca-melons & Land Cress – The secrets of veg gardening

Cuca-melons & Land Cress – The secrets of veg gardening

by Clare Mansell
Cuca-melons & Land Cress – The secrets of veg gardening

Ever since Jim created our enormous raised veg bed last autumn, I have been meaning to get round to planting some vegetables. My mum and sister both have an impressive track record of growing, but until now our peripatetic lifestyle has meant my own veg growing has been limited.

Then a few months ago just as I was seeking inspiration, I won a place on a beginner’s vegetable growing workshop with Francoise Murat at the brilliant Hampshire based Roots, Shoots & Leaves.

Roots Shoots & Leaves

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I’m not sure quite what I was expecting of the course, but I think I thought it would involve lots of strict advice about how to grow carrots. Instead we wandered amongst Francoise’s beautiful raised beds in her kitchen garden sampling exotic flavours of salad leaves like Land Cress & Giant Red Mustard plant, whilst we learned about hardening off plants and creating a vegetable garden that was both useful and beautiful.

Roots Shoots & Leaves

Francoise has an infectious but accessible enthusiasm for growing and is delightfully flexible about the “rules” for growing. Every discussion about the method for something would usually end with “but it might work, so just try it…”

Roots Shoots & Leaves

Lunch was a delicious fresh spring harvest from the garden eaten around the table in Francoise’s lovely kitcehn, whilst we swapped stories and ambitions for our gardens.

Roots Shoots & LeavesRoots Shoots & Leaves

Francoise was not just generous with her hospitality and knowledge but also with her gifts. We all planted up three trays of mixed seeds, containing everything from beans to St Johns Wort, but we also left with armfuls of fresh produce and an exciting selection of seeds.

Roots Shoots & LeavesRoots Shoots & LeavesRoots Shoots & LeavesRoots Shoots & Leaves

Amongst my haul are the seeds for a plant called the Cucamelon which produces (wait for it) grape sized ‘watermelons’ – Bonkers! Apparently they are really easy to grow and brilliant in G&T and salads.

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At the end of the day my arms were weighed down with goodies and my head was ready to explode with ideas, but best of all instead of leaving with only good intentions, I now have seedlings of plants which with a little TLC will be the beginnings of my new kitchen garden. Now all I need is for this rain to stop so I can do some gardening.

Linking up with Annie & Hannah today (even though the “adventure” is my own!)…

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4 comments

Rollercoaster Mum April 27, 2014 - 2:52 pm

Love your pictures and that course sounds amazing. Very intrigued by the cucamelons – I hope we get to see what they turn out like! Thanks for linking up with ‘Lets Have an Adventure’ 🙂

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La Famille Brown April 27, 2014 - 5:21 pm

Sounds like such a great day! My husband is very much a plant it and see what happens kind of guy. We currently have seeds growing all over the place and it will be exciting to see what grows and what doesn’t. I’m going to have to try and find some cucamelons! Discovering things like that makes you realise how narrow our range of fruit and veg can be sometimes. Great pics as well!

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Mammasaurus April 27, 2014 - 5:32 pm

I love this – and discovering Roots Shoots& Leaves too – a hidden gem! Those raised beds are awesome – I love yours too, I clicked the link to see, mammoth! Your photos really make the day seem really enticing.

thanks so much for joining in and sharing – I’ll be trawling your blog for inspiration now!

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Em @ snowingindoors April 28, 2014 - 12:05 pm

I am now intrigued by the idea of a cucamelon, I need to grow some of these i think, thanks for the inspiration x

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