I always admired the detailed quilt like order of Mr McGregors garden in the Beatrix Potters books. In spite of his inspiration I have to put my hand up to the fact that my gardening skills are more in the feckless Flopsie Bunnies camp. But even his lettuces shot and they had to be pulled up and put in the compost heap. Discovering them the little bunnies gorged themselves causing near disaster when they were overcome by the lettuces soporific qualities.
This got me thinking about the merit of vegetables shooting and going to seed. Apart from welcome free flowers for the house and helpful garden bugs you also get the pleasure of self seeded repeat crops. The joy of finding an unplanned rocket seedling leaning out of a dry corner, knowing the struggling scrap is clever enough to put itself where it will grow best to give you a handful of leaves for the salad bowl.
I have had several enthusiastic episodes of dabbling in veg growing but I must admit the science of calculating quantities to grow has eluded me. One year the children and I made a lavish sowing of radish seed, arguing this would increase the possibility of success. To our universal surprise all the seeds germinated and a few weeks later we were enjoying spicey radishes with everything, soon, as they became woody we no longer enjoyed them. Out of complete indolence we allowed them the space to carry on growing, then miracle on miracle as they hit three foot high broke into the prettiest lacey white blooms. What a thrilling bonus, I was transported to the land of Cider with Rosie as I deposited generous armfuls of blossoming radishes in transferware wash jugs around the house.
The memory came back as I spotted shot carrots in a veg patch. One of those very rare flowers would need to stand alone in a specimen vase to have the space to show off the vivid lime green umbel of florets arranged in dense cushion like mounds. It would certainly make a very glamorous statement and no one would ever believe it was just a plain old carrot!