Hello! I've had an enforced break from blogging (reason: illusive cable snappage = no broadband) but I'm back and I'd like to welcome anyone who has found Purple Podded Peas via this lovely recommendation by that very nice chap Ryan in a rather good magazine called The Edible Garden (I'm not a huge reader of gardening mags, but this one is full of very interesting stuff).
So, what's all this about Purple Podded Peas? Regular visitors to my blog will know that I ramble on about all sorts of things, including our garden; but the peas haven't played a major role for the past couple of years mainly do to the ****ing pigeons. Now, I don't usually swear and I hardly ever cry, but the ****ing pigeons have made me do both over the past two or three growing seasons. I used to be able to grow tall wigwams of beautiful heritage peas with just a few pigeon-distraction measures in the early stages of growth. THEN (I can feel myself getting angry and upset just remembering this) the ****ing pigeons used nasty tactics; they waited until my peas were tall and covered with beautiful flowers and tiny pods and in a dawn raid they demolished the lot!
Something had to be done.
a) I could give up growing peas (I have saved seeds of over a dozen heritage varieties, most with purple pods) – that's not going to happen
b) I could buy an air gun, learn how to use it and live on pigeon breast terrine – I seriously considered this option
c) I could install a 'fruit cage' – previously ruled out due to huge expense
Earlier this year I noticed a tiny advert in a national newspaper: Henry Cowles - netting made in Britain since 1889, could they supply the solution at a price I could afford? . . . yes they could! AND what's more, the cage is made to measure so it perfectly fits over two of the raised beds in our vegetable garden :-)
The cage arrived . . . and it had to be constructed. Luckily I have a very tall person who was up to the task :-)
The Pigeon Proof Pen (as it will now be called) has made me deliriously happy . . . for the price of one designer shoe my peas can grow, safe in the knowledge that the squadron of elite attack pigeons cannot harm them :-)
I start the peas in large deep pots in the greenhouse, when they are a few inches tall and with good roots, I plant then out around wigwams made of canes (home harvested form a giant miscanthus grass) and twiggy sticks (prunings from the garden shrubs)
One half of the Pigeon Proof Pen is now planted with five wigwams: Shiraz Purple Podded Mangetout, Tutankhamun, Curruther's Purple Podded, Robinson and Salmon Flowered.
The wigwams will be interplanted with various varieties of lettuce and brassicas.
Thanks to the Pigeon Proof Pen, the Purple Podded Peas have returned to the PPPs Blog!