The vegetables in this group are the essence of summer eating – tiny, tender peas and broad beans, slim green beans and ripe, golden sweetcorn. With their lovely flowers and dainty, climbing tendrils, peas and beans make an attractive addition to any garden. Only people who grow their own (or know someone who does) can enjoy the true taste of these fragile summer vegetables. So however small your garden or patio, try to make space for them. Although frozen and canned peas and sweetcorn are available pretty much everywhere, and green beans and mangetout are airfreighted over from hot countries at vast expense throughout the year, the truth is they are at their best harvested when young and eaten within an hour or two of picking.