It’s now our second year with our little vegetable garden. The 10-12 square metres that we have to cultivate plus numerous pots seems to be the right amount for us to tend to during our busy week but there is an itch to rip up some of our lawn and grow more! What have we got this year so far? Five kinds of tomatoes, two kinds of hanging tomatoes (the Catalan tomacons), five bean varieties, broad beans, mangetout, three kinds of onions, leeks, three kinds of courgettes, two kinds of peppers, three lettuces, agretti, rocket, carrots, salsify, two kinds of chard, two cabbages, cavolo nero, kale, friarielli, mizuna, radicchio, sweetcorn, radishes. As you can see, I love variety! It means we get a little less a harvest from each type but that suits us just fine. And that’s in addition to our various herbs and our little fig tree in a pot.

Actually, seeing the list all typed out has me wondering how I managed to squash them all into our tiny garden.

Our mangetout and broadbeans have already come and gone but we got a good harvest from both from a very small space.

Today's harvest was, I think, our first proper one from this year's garden!

The plants have already been pulled up and have been replaced with purple climbing beans and dwarf borlotti beans, respectively.

A first for me this year are proper lettuces, not the cut and come again baby lettuce leaves that I find so limp. Give me a crunchy heading lettuce anytime! We’ve had lots of salads for a few weeks now, made from various mixes of Little Gem, Lollo Rosso, Tom Thumb, and wild rocket.

I'm loving our homegrown salads. Today we've got a mixture of little gem, lollo rosso, and rocket.

And there are additions to the salads in the form of sliced radishes or (our favourite while it lasted) sauteed mangetout.

A salad from our garden! I pulled a few small lettuces that were too close together - Tom Thumb and Lolla Rossa - and there were a few leaves of spinach too. And sautéed mangetout.

I should have been a little more disciplined with successional sowing to extend my harvest time but I did use up every spare space for radishes here and there!

I will soon be harvesting more of these sweet Walla Walla onions too. These onions are from the town of Walla Walla in Washington State and I remember hearing lots about them when I lived in Vancouver. They’re advertised as being so mild and sweet that you can eat them like an apple. I’m unlikely to ever go with that approach but we pulled up a small onion to slice into a salad and it is indeed oniony but without the horrific burn raw regular onions can have. I like them!

I'm very excited about my onions! These are the famous Walla Walla sweet onions, from Walla Walla in Washington state, grown from seed that was brought to me from Vancouver. I can't wait to try them - they're bulbing nicely so far.

Anyway, scenes from our garden in July:

The current state of one corner of our vegetable garden. I love the height and structure of the seeding spring onions (last year's).

Our back garden, mid-July 2016.

Our back garden, mid-July 2016.

There’s still a lot to wait for. I can see the beginnings of fruits and flowers on my tomatoes, peppers and courgettes.

Our back garden, mid-July 2016.

The beans are starting to produce.

Our first green beans!

The sweetcorn still has a lot of growing to do and I’m not sure the weather earlier this year has done it any favours. Of all the salsify I sowed, only three plants came out; oh well, it’ll be our first taste of the root! And despite being promised that it grows like a week, our pots of agretti aren’t doing very well, look a little stunted and have been attacked by aphids.

One thing I did add a lot of this year is flowers. I scattered seed here and there back in April and now we have been rewarded with violas, nasturtiums, cornflowers, marigolds, and cosmos (the last are yet to flower). Some calendula and my mystery tall flowers have also self seeded from last year. With the recent hot weather this month, they’re bringing the bees to the yard but unfortunately I’ve been seeing fewer bees than last year. Again perhaps the weather?

I’m quite chuffed with it all again overall. Things started off a little slow with the bad weather we’ve been having but eventually things got a little warmer and a little sunnier and the plants all took off. All of it has been planted from seeds and I’ll be going nuts buying even more varieties of seeds this year (for next year) too. Are you growing your own vegetables this year?