These vegetables are the kind which first produce their ‘normal’ crop—the one for which they are mainly grown—and later, a second crop or more, if given the right treatment. For instance, the top leaves of Brussels sprouts will provide spring greens in mid-spring; summerwill produce a second crop of several small cabbages if the stalk is cut across the top after the main head has been removed. Spinach will grow more leaves on sideshoots if the flowering stem is removed just before the flowerbuds start to open; stumps left in the ground will often sprout new leaves without further cutting. Winter sown fairly thickly can have the tops cut for spring greens, and will provide a succession of new leaves as each lot are cut. Old globe artichoke plants which are to be destroyed can have their summer growths blanched first, to produce chards similar to those af cardoons, which are cooked the same way.
Vegetables amongst the flowers There is no need to think that all vegetables are unattractive, utility plants. There are many which are highly ornamental and will actually enhance a flower bed; for example the red—or salmon-pink—flowered runner beans, crimson-leaved beet, or red-veined and stalked ruby chard; globe artichokes with their handsome silvery-green leaves and statuesque habit; feathery asparagus; red cabbage; purple-stemmed kohlrabi; and so on.
Planting vegetables in groups rather than rows will make a lot of difference to their overall appearance, and if you decide to make use of the flower garden for food crops you will find yourself looking at vegetables with a completely new eye. Growing fruits vertically
As with vegetables, many fruits can be grown vertically to save space, as long as they receive enough sunlight. A south or west aspect is best, although Morello, or sour, cherries can be grown in a shady situation.
Apples and pears can be trained flat against walls as espaliers or fans. Plums, peaches, nectarines and cherries are generally trained to a fan shape. When buying fruit trees from a nursery or garden centre, ask for them to be supplied (where appropriate) on a dwarfing rootstock. Trained trees on a vigorous rootstock are liable to outgrow their allotted space very quickly.
Apples and pears can be grown as single-stemmed cordons supported on strained horizontal wires alongside a garden path.
It is generally possible to buy young trees which have been trained to a particular shape by the nurseryman.
However, regular annual pruning will need to be carried out by the gardener.
Raspberries, blackberries and loganberries are all strong-growing fruits, so you will need a good deal of vertical space to accommodate them.
Melons can be grown vertically in a sunny greenhouse with a minimum temperature of 10°C (50°F). A dry atmosphere with no shade is the main requirement.
Family trees have three or four varieties of the same kind of fruit on each tree. Often trees of apples, pears and plums can be bought with a number of varieties on them. These provide an ideal means of growing many varieties in a small amount of space. A miniature orchard could be planted, using bush trees on dwarfing rootstocks. Another advantage o( family trees is that you do not need to buy several trees of one type in order to ensure cross pollination of the flowers. You could have just one family apple, one pear and one plum.
Plant bush trees at least 4 m (12’) apart each way. They can be grown in grass, but if you intend to grow them in the lawn leave a circle of barearound each tree, about 1 m (3’) in diameter. Grass right up to the trunk will restrict the growth of the tree.