16 May 1997

Being creative with vegetables

I MET garden writer Joy Larkcom years ago, just after she and her husband and their young family had returned from a camping tour of Europe hunting out unusual vegetables.

She served us (FW photographer and me) a delightful home-grown salad lunch of unfamiliar vegetables liberally sprinkled with bright, edible flower heads, then took us on a tour of her garden. This was a fascinating expanse of tiny beds packed with an unusual miscellany of plants.

These and many more vegetables, herbs and edible flowers feature in her latest book*, which is crammed with information plus Joys enthusiasm as she chats about her own experiences with the various plants. But chat does not get in the way of reference in this practical book, which also includes advice on garden design and construction.

And it is beautifully illustrated. Seed packet style shots are interspersed with artistic studies which can make an everyday veg, such as a January King cabbage, a joy to behold. AR

*Creative vegetable gardening – Growing vegetables with flowers in the classic tradition, by Joy Larkcom. Mitchell Beazley (£19.99).