|Camellia sinensis sinensis|
To harvest, you pluck the top two leaves and bud on each shoot every seven to ten days. Eventually, the plants are meant to form a metre-high flat tabletop for easy picking. Used straight, it'll be a green tea. To make black tea requires a bit of processing: rolling the leaves to bring out the oils, then drying and a slight roasting. Looking forward to getting to that stage!
It does feel a lot more summery these days, but note the angle of our bean poles:
The squashes are still looking poorly, for the most part, but the brassicas are doing well as are, at least so far, the fennels.
The potatoes are growing steadily but no flowers yet - wish I could say the same for the onions!
The harvest season has begun. Here's my first platter of the season:
We've been having 2-4 artichokes per week each - it feels almost decadent.
|Veg garden - front half|
|Veg garden - middle|
|Back end of the veg garden|
|Beetroot, garlic, artichokes and onion|
I've cleared out some more aphid-prone peppers and aubergines from the conservatory, which is now given over almost exclusively to tomatoes, cucumbers, melons and basil (which will not grow outside here, even last year in our super summer). Below is the second of our lemon cucumbers, a very tasty little variety:
Until our green tea is ready, I'll stick with my old herbal favourites: mints, lemon balm, lemon verbena, rose petals, sage and nettle. In fact, it's time for a cup of the ultimate snooze tea now: catnip, spearmint and lavender.