Sunday, June 10, 2007

cat on pool, chard, received idea

To reach the vegetable garden I have to pass a domestic swimming pool. The pool is usually covered with a stout blue sheet, which rests on the water. Today, I see the pretty, marmalade cat curled up, asleep on the pool cover, as though it were a water-bed.

A row of ruby chard and a row of green chard. I use thethinnings for salad. Soon the leaves and wide, juicy stems will be big and shiny. When I first started growing chard, it used to be called perpetual spinach or spinach beet, and I used not to thin it out, until I noticed how well it grew when there were 9in or more between plants. Then, in the market in Concarneau in Brittany, I saw, on a stand tended by a husband and wife, giant chard leaves arranged in piles. There was a long queue for it and, since then, I have always grown it as chard. And chard has become a much more usual vegetable for gardeners and for cooks. For photographs of mature chard, see a recent posting by Lucy Kempton in

From Plutarch's Dictionary of Received Opinion. Honesty is the best policy: Generally used by people who are in the habit of leaving out the qualifying clause "as a last resort".

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