Lazy housewives and rat-tailed radishes

11 Dec
Scent sensation: Matacuna sweet peas with Painted Lady runner beans

Scent sensation: Matacuna sweet peas with Painted Lady runner beans

I hadn’t seen Amanda for a day or two as she’d been indoors at the computer, busily ordering her seeds for next year. When she popped out for a chat, she told me about all the wonderful things she’s chosen to plant around me.

All of our vegetables and annual flowers are heritage varieties so they have to be grown from seed. Many have the most fabulous names – with appearances to match.

My particular favourites include the curious red-and-white stripped beetroot Tonda di Chioggia – and its cousin, the glowing golden variety – which the garden volunteers assure me taste as good as they look. (Amanda can’t comment as she hates beetroot.)

The gloriously coloured Purple Cape cauliflower is another stunner. We also grow Lazy Housewife kidney beans and, confusingly, two forms of Painted Lady – a runner bean and a lusciously scented sweet pea.

Amanda would also love to grow rat-tailed radishes, simply because of the name. Sadly, the variety is just too modern.

Definitely not a lazy housewife: My friend Alicia, the maid-of-all-work busy in the Wordsworths' kitchen

Definitely not a lazy housewife: My friend Alicia, the maid-of-all-work, busy in the Wordsworths’ kitchen

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