Growing fruit and vegetables in my small Lewes town garden

There was some harvesting to do this weekend, a small crop of peas fattened up in their pods even though I was only growing a few plants in an experimental spirit and they got willfully entangled in with my new gooseberry bush which produced a surprizingly large crop of fruits in this its first year even though caterpillars managed to strip the plant of nearly all of its leaves.

I have to admit to putting down little blue sweets for the snails but apart from that I have grown everything organically and hope that those caterpillars turned into butterflies just in time before every leaf had gone from my gooseberry bush.

My little town garden in Lewes, Sussex, is full of butterflies, bees, damsel flies and dragon flies as well as flying beatles, ladybirds and numerous adventurous spiders so I really don’t want to start down the insecticide path. “Some for you and some for me” is the philosophy and I hope that I don’t end up just feeding my insects and spiders.

I have had some delicious, no sensational strawberries earlier on this summer…….

…and also some, very tempting raspberries even though they have not been as good this year as they were last. I have hopes for a second crop of strawberries and the Autumn raspberries already beginning to look promising. My lettuces and spinach plants keep coming up too and as they are grown in relatively small pots, I have had to pull them as young leaves rather than mature plants but they have been a real treat even though my radishes have been a disappointment. They are really just red roots that have never swollen into little round salad vegetables. I think I need to grow them in a larger pot next year. Most of my fruit and vegetables have been successfully grown in containers of varying sizes this year even though the whole enterprise is on a  miniature scale. I have more to come too – I am soon going to dig up my new potatoes which are also container grown, the tomato plants have started to get a move on after a slow start in our unusually cold May and I am potting on my multitude of chili pepper plants too in the hope of a harvest of peppers to dry for the winter.

My first container crop of runner beans is ready now too and I hope that they will carry on producing all summer

I am not trying to achieve the feeding of the five thousand here in this tiny space but these small crops of fresh fruit and vegetables keep me in touch with Nature through the seasons and add that special taste of very very fresh food even if it is only for a single, very English  meal of roast chicken in an apricot and onion sauce followed by an unbeatable dish of gooseberries and custard. Enjoy the photographs even if you missed the meal. Harvest home!


  1. Slug pellets? Isn't there a risk that they may affect the birds that eat the slugs? Can't you just attract more thrushes?

    A beer trap may be safer. And at least it would give them a pleasant demise.

  2. Those little blue sweets are, apparently harmless to birds….but I am never sure if drowning is a better death, I have never tried it.We have a pestilence of snails in Lewes so I suspect it is either them or us….and I mostly tread on them anyway!

  3. Your harvest looks wonderful! I'm really envious. I adore gooseberries but it all looks highly productive and successful. Our gooseberry bushes were always getting stripped where we used to live – it's unsightly but I dont remember if doing the fruit production any harm.
    Lucky you!

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