Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Nearly

I shall be feasting on broad beans (hopefully this weekend) & broccoli, sorry I just can't call it calabrese & I think the 2nd photograph is the Tenderstem variety anyway. I sowed two varieties of summer broccoli earlier on this year. The normal one & for the first time some Tenderstem. With my slap hazard gardening skills I managed to mix them up when transplanting them into the ground. No matter, I'm sure I shall enjoy both of the them & it is not as if I am selling them to Tesco.


I am also looking forward to the fruit harvest this year, the Strawberries are looking good. I have many, many plants scattered around the garden. A couple escaped my culling from the ground so I'm sure the birds will have them. The majority are in tubs, a large strawberry planter & the remainder planted in the half barrels which contain the fruit trees.
Gooseberries for jam & a fool or two. I'm hoping to nip down the lane later to pick some elder flowers. I would like to attempt to make cordial this year & gooseberries like a drop or two of elderflower cordial.
 Last but not least, the blackcurrants are ripening, I am hoping to have enough for a pot or two of jam & some homemade cassis. Recipe here. Enjoy your day

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Something new

Mike & I took a run out to the garden centre last week. More for a peruse than anything else. Harry joined us as it was the garden centre with the peacock & hen. I think the promise of a drink & cake in the tea shop swung it for him too.

Mike really wanted one of the hot chilli plants that failed to germinate earlier on in the year, thankfully they didn't stock any. I also think the eleven chilli plants we have is more than enough.

We did however find one of these -
Its a wasabi plant. It needs to be in a shady position & the compost needs to be kept damp at all times. Just your normal box standard compost, not any of your special stuff. I have grown watercress with great success in the past in the same manner, so hopefully it should do well.

Slugs are allegedly attracted to it so it should fit into my garden quite nicely. Hopefully the moat of water will help to keep most of them at bay.

Looking at the label, it needs to grow for a couple of years before any of the root can be harvested, which with luck will be at a similar time as my new asparagus crowns.

Not that I plan to mix the two though.

Enjoy your day

Monday, 24 June 2013

Drat

We had a gale here yesterday & it was fierce enough to not only break the stems on the brussel sprouts it also snapped Harry's sunflower in half. The blinking thing also let loose in the front garden & not only scattered rose petals on the grass but tore off three whole flowers. Apart from a few berries & currants everything else seems fine.

The sunflower I had placed next to a cane but hadn't tied it, the brussel sprouts & broccoli were not staked so really it was my fault. I have one brussel sprout plant left, oh dear I shall just have to do without sprouts this year for Christmas lunch.

Anyway this morning the wind had dropped sufficiently for me to gather some canes & to stake & tie the remaining brussel sprout plant & the broccoli plants. I also seized the chance to do some weeding, to my great shame I gathered a full bucket & I only have a small garden! However the bucket did contain some thinned parsnips & turnips, so I cant be that slack really.

Not all bad news here - oh-no, look at these lovely things I harvested over the weekend -
Carrot fly free carrots, the first time ever for me. Mine are normally riddled with tiny white carrot fly maggots. They were grown with great care in the small greenhouse in a long trough. We had them boiled with lunch & very nice they were to. I shall pull the rest at the weekend & we shall have some grated in a salad & hopefully fingers crossed, have the remainder boiled along with new potatoes & broad beans. All three grown by me from the garden.

I have a couple more tubs of carrots in the greenhouse though these will be a few weeks off yet. I seem to be getting the hand of this succession sowing lark this year. I may take a chance & re-sow some in the trough at the weekend.

More good news -
Can you make out my asparagus, all five have started to come through. Took its time, yes I know it should be in a bed by itself but I am feeding it well (it has now been weeded since I took this photo) & my neighbour has had his for years in a rock garden type thing surrounded by flowers & he pulls a few fistfuls each year.

Enjoy your day

Friday, 21 June 2013

A bit of a bonus

My local council used to sell compost for £2 a bag. They now offer the lovely stuff for free, naturally I am taking advantage of this very kind offer. This first batch has been used to earth up the last of the main crop potatoes. With growing so much in pots, buying in compost has cost me a small fortune this year. Even with three compost bins I can't produce enough for my needs. Also the compost from the bins goes straight onto the soil in the garden anyway.
Mike is keeping these tubs in the boot of the car, which is very kind of him as he bought a new car last week, however needs must as they say. He passes the council skip each day on his return from work so if he gets the chance he will will be calling in. I am now planning to top up the veg beds & the flower borders in the front garden now.

Look what we found by the french doors last week -
I have kept it (much to Mikes horror) as it really is quite pretty. We always have sparrows nesting but I don't think it is a sparrows egg. We haven't got any other nests in the garden, well not until bushes knit together but we have plenty of bird visitors.

On another note the insect house has a few more of the tubes sealed up with mud. It is very exciting. Also the garden is look very lush this year I shall take some photos at the weekend after I have weeded, I'm quite happy with a mixture of sun & rain, it is doing the garden a world of good.

Enjoy your day

Friday, 14 June 2013

Salad bar

I'm fast running out of space. I am also highly reluctant to buy anymore pots so have had to make do with what I could find lying around.

Apart from Chard I don't want any leafy stuff in the ground because of the slugs & snails. Now the growing season is in full swing & the seed trays & small pots are empty I thought these would be ideal for growing leafy salad crops.

I'm pretty sure they can be grown in pretty shallow soil + it is a saving on compost.

To help keep them off the ground & to save the salad leaves becoming a buffet for the slimy residents of the garden, I assembled some old greenhouse shelves I had.
Ta-da, I have some mixed leaves, rocket, sorrel, poly cress, mizuna, radicchio & chicory. I also have my Little gem seedlings there out of harms way. I shall be sowing a few more Little gem seeds at the weekend, by doing this every so often it should save me from a glut.

Hopefully over the next few weeks I shall have some salad pickings.

Enjoy your day

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Residents

Do you remember my little insect house bought for the very good sum of £3 from Morrisons. I took a look at it the other day & I am pretty sure it has some inhabitants which I really wasn't expecting.
You know my photographing skills are non existing, but I'm sure you will be able to make out that some of the sticks are sealed with mud. It is quite exciting.

I have had a google to see what could be behind there at this time of year & came up with Mason bees. I think it is too early for them to hibernate. Perhaps there are some bug eggs in there instead.

Whatever it is, it shows that the insect house is working.

Enjoy your day

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Sometimes life just gets in the way

Flaming heck I've been busy. Work, work, work & more work, kids & family. Just the general day to day stuff, just a lot more of it. Sometimes I rue the day when I turned down Mikes kind offer of me becoming a 'housewife' as he put it. Not often though as I have worked incredibly hard & put up with a lot to work in the position I am now. Also it is helping to pay for uni boy, who is home for the summer, even though I have to pay half rent for the summer term he is not there. Stupid boy, I cant tell you how often I told him to read the small print when he was organizing with his group of friends a house to share for their second year. And breathe, back to my gardening blog.
It was my sisters birthday last week, so she had some extra cash on which to splurge on unnecessary items. My sister has a fairly long narrow garden which contains grass & a shed. Well it did until we popped to a local store & she found this plastic greenhouse thingy you see above. I have donated two cucumber, one tomato (she had bought two), chilli, sweet pepper, a couple of strawberry & potato pots to start her off & gave her some seeds. She now has carrots, peas, runner beans, green beans, salad leaves, spring onions & radish in pots & a pear tree. She has asked Mike to build her a couple of raised beds in the autumn ready for next year. Her husband is useless at diy & quite freely admits it & she is getting some chickens. My brother in law was really keen on the idea of chickens as his parents used to keep them when he was a child. It took me years to get Mike to even think of the idea.

Back to my plot, I have fruit on the trees & bushes, teeny weeny baby courgettes & cucumbers, flowers on the early potatoes & tomatoes, pods forming on the broad beans so all in all the garden is looking good.




Enjoy your day

Saturday, 1 June 2013

A bit of fun

We spent bank holiday Monday at my brothers who conveniently lives next door to my mum & dad. Nothing fancy just a BBQ & a few drinks. I was happily relaxing with my knitting later on in the afternoon enjoying the view. It was while I was gazing at the field I noticed the size difference between my brothers shed & my dads. It tickled me greatly so I had to take a photo -
My brothers shed is 6 ft by 4 ft just to give you an idea of the scale, also my dads huge monstrosity is also a lot larger than you can see as it is L shaped.

Finally one of next doors chickens was having a rummage in their front garden, as they quite often do. This time however it hopped into my garden. I promise I didn't kidnap it! They have kept chickens for years & when Harry was small they had a particularly tame group of them. Harry being three at the time (he is twelve this year) & it being pre veg garden had a large trampoline in the back garden. I shall have to dig out the photographs that we took of him trying to pick the chickens up & putting them on the trampoline to bounce with him, I'm saving them for his wedding reception really.
Please do excuse the weeds it has been raining rather heavily you know! Enjoy your day.