Monday, 27 September 2010


I've been very lax about the blog I'm afraid, but that isn't because nothing was happening in the garden. In fact, we've had plentiful tomatoes, courgettes, beetroot and beetroot greens, runner and climbing beans, and raspberries, all summer long. The glaring gap has been lettuce, as they all bolted in July. Next year, I must plan for that!

A typical haul lately:

The tomatoes are three varieties; Gardener's Delight, Latah, and Purple Cherokee, which are the large ones. I think they all did better outdoors than in (I tried both), but had a tendency to split in heavy rain - I might have to make plastic shelters for them next year to keep them from getting so soggy.

Beetroot 'Cylindra', which I allowed to get quite large. Very tasty, and soft even at this size.

Hyssop - makes a delicious tea, and very good for any type of cough.

Scarlet Emperor runner beans, which have been prolific - my only trouble was picking them before they got too large and tough. They seem quite good at hiding in the foliage, in spite of their size! The round courgette is 'Tondo', but I only got one or two per plant so I don't think I'll bother next year. Quite a few courgettes yellowed at the tips, not sure what to do about that.

Saturday, 24 July 2010

June, before and after

Here are some comparison pics, taken respectively on May 31st and then June 16th, when I came back from two weeks holiday. My kind neighbour had taken on the watering duties for me.

Mangetout peas - Golden Sweet on the left and Bijou on the right - with runner beans, calendula, and sunflowers. In the growbags, are New Zealand spinach, and courgettes (out of view).

Lettuces: I missed their prime, they were already starting to consider bolting when we got back. They're Webb's Wonder; very tasty, and heart up beautifully, but unfortunately appealing to the slugs and snails - unlike the Lollo, which they don't touch.

Purple Cherokee tomatoes:

Flower bed - Aquilegia and geraniums. These aquilegia are long-flowering; they've been in bloom since early May at least. I thought they'd be finished when I got back from holiday, but they're still flowering now, more than a month later!

Calendula - which turns out to be giant calendula, the tallest of them reaching above my waist-height. Although very colourful, they're taking up rather too much space; also, they have no calendula scent. Next year I plan to grow Calendula Officinalis, so I can collect the petals for herby purposes. These ones are very attractive to flea beetle, quite usefully, acting as traps; I've tapped out the beetles into a bucket of soapy water. Nothing else seems to have suffered from them, so perhaps the calendula lured them, though there were no holes in the flowers or leaves.

Some more general pics from June 16th:

Bijou mangetout; they get even bigger than that. Very tasty, sliced and stir-fried.

Lychnis Coronaria, 'rose campion' - grown from seeds that I sneakily purloined from the garden of my old doctor's surgery. I need to give less space to flowers next year, but these have given a great splash of colour all summer.

The roses:

Needing a haircut:

Sunday, 2 May 2010


Looking more like a garden now, albeit a scruffy one.

I've planted out peas (Mange Tout Golden Sweet and Bijou, which are in spite of the name, giant mange tout) and Feltham First. I thought they might appreciate a bit of protection for a while so they have fleece wind barriers.

The beds are looking much fuller this year. I'm quite proud of the wallflower - I got a tray of neglected plants for 50p from a garden centre, and they've flourished! I gave some to my aunt too, so that 50p went quite a long way.
I never did get round to moving the rhubarb in the winter, but will do so at the end of the year. It's a daft place for it.
And yes, the grass really *does* need mowing. I will, I will.

Blossom snow; once again we had some fierce wind while the cherry tree was coming to the end of its blossom, which soon knocked it all to the ground, but I can see I have a good crop of cherries starting already. The Tuscan Kale, I'm letting go to seed, though I'm not sure if it will come true or not?

The grapevine springing back into life:

Alpine strawberry flowers

Forget-me-not - I don't think I had this last year, it must have seeded itself.


Some of last year's leaf beet has sprung back, which is just as well, as I can't seem to get any to germinate so far this year.

My very first gooseberry! I can see that something is at the leaves already, so I'd better keep an eye on it. I planted gooseberry, raspberry, and blackcurrant bushes last year, of which the raspberry was the only one to produce; hopefully I'll get something from all of them this year. The raspberry has also spread quite nicely.

Monday, 22 March 2010

Starting to grow...

Some of my seeds sprouting merrily in the lean-to:


Goldensweet Mange Tout

Lettuce (Webbs)

Flowers opening all of a sudden, just this past week:


Miniature Daffs

Some sort of violet that grows rampant in this garden, anyone know the name?


And this year's first posy from my garden.

Saturday, 6 March 2010

Finally, spring!

A hellebore, the first thing to flower other than primroses.

Ha ha, pigeons! Try eating my purple-sprouting broccoli now! I disgracefully left these unprotected all winter and the pigeons took a great fancy to them. What with that and the weather, they're in a bit of a sorry state. I have belatedly netted them...

Likewise the fleece has come too late for winter protection, I was very remiss, but is there now to provide a bit of catch-up protection, and shelter from the pesky pigeons.

The grapevine, pruned. Not that I really know what I'm doing, but it's supposed to fruit on year-old wood, I think, so I left plenty of branches from last year. Not too many, I hope? Many thanks to the Lone Hunter - the landlord next door, who provided such an unsociably high fence, for me to fasten the vine against. His poor tenants won't get much light in their garden, but I think my grapevine will be very happy.


December: the nice light kind...

and January: not so light.