R is a bit like C. There are so many nice things beginning with R it’s really difficult to choose. Runner bean leaves, raspberry leaves and a nice plant called rudbeckia are probably not what you’d expect us to enjoy since you don’t eat those. We also like runner beans and raspberry fruits but not as much as you do, so we can live in glorious harmony all through the summer with these. Then there’s rocket, rosemary, radicchio, radish….
Mummy said her beans and raspberries did really well last year in spite of the lack of rain. I think she looked after them well, that’s why. The raspberries live at the back of the garden in the shade of the fence. The ones on the left have fruit first, then the ones on the right, then the onces in the centre. They went all the way to the end of September then the ones of the right did another month. And we had fresh leaves all that time too. Raspberry leaves have little prickles on the underside but we can eat those just fine.
Runner bean leaves don’t have prickles. They are scrummy. They are just as nice as raspberry leaves but a different flavour and generally a bit softer. I think I prefer them to raspberry leaves. We don’t get them till a little later in the summer as the plants have to grow from scratch each year so they need their leaves to feed them. And provide the food for the flowers which turn into beans for mummy. They grew on the side fence last year. Mummy says they’ll be on a frame in the middle this year.
We have the ends of the beans mainly, because Mummy snaps those off when she cooks them. So we have both bean ends and bean leaves. My mouth is wateriing as I type this. It’ll be months yet till we get beans. We might get raspberry leaves as a treat next month, then regularly a couple of months later. We start getting bean leaves about July. Then when the beans get taken down in the autumn we get a huge amount of beanstalk with leaves to eat. Fred and I were overjoyed with these last year! We’d never seen such a feast. We just got stuck in and ate them. Mummy called it a beanfeast.
Rudbeckia is a nice flower with yellow flowers. Mummy was worried the first time Fred munched on the leaves beside the run in the garden, but he always knew what was good to eat. Hugo liked them too. I must admit I find them a little strong for my taste but they are nice for a change or when we are short of greens. Rocket is also strong at times but I’ve blogged about that under I for Italian Cress! There’s also radicchio which is delicious and grows right through the winter. It goes deep red in winter, which is funny as it’s green in the autumn before the cold weather comes. Perhaps the green colour doesn’t like the cold and runs away. Radicchio is a bit like lettuce but nicer. Then there’s radish (also a bit peppery after the first young plants have gone) and rosemary, which is a lovely herb rather like lavender, but it can also be a bit strong, more than lavender, especially if it’s been hot and dry for a while. It smells lovely though. Just a little goes a long way when you’re eating it. Mmm…