Oct
21

Butternut Bounty!

Picture is not here yet- but action has been intense on the plot this week. Greenhouse has been cleared of sorry elderly specimens of pepper, shelves brushed down, Basil in terracotta pots tidied of brown leaves and extra pots stacked neatly and our incredible Butternut harvest installed on slatted shelves. Grace stripped the cucumbers and tomatoes- they will go for chutney or be frozen for winter cooking. Mark mended our shed really well, hanging a new door. He reckons it will easily last another year. I've used some of the cash saved to buy two new splendid Clematis- Etoile Violette and Aotearoa, (more fuschia pink). They will join our prolific Ville de Lyon which has been twining alongside the Vine, (Triomphe de Alsace), honeysuckle and variegated Trachelospermum. All held up by Mark's amazing giant Bamboo pergola. Yes, she is plant crazy!
Much more to the point is the green manure, phacelia and mustard, which has come up nicely and is 4 or 5 inches already and the huge crop of said butternuts 15 large with one small!. Most of them are Hunter or pastor John's open pollinated seedlings. The later are particularly chunky heavy dense fruits, showing their parentage with striping orange on dark green. Absolutely delicious roasted in soup.
Lots of Basil has become flavoursome oil and some was frozen as is. Our last large courgette was found hiding under a leaf and was soon despatched to a glorious pasta.
Because it is so mild, sorrel continues to produce nice soft leaves- Grace made sorrel soup for her flatmates. Last of last year's frozen courgettes got made into really nice curry- yum!
I will get a photo soon, I promise!
Oct
05

Holy rollers!

Holy rollers!
Here is a nice pic of me and a couple of fellow plot holders with the roller!
Oct
05

Rolling vistas!!

Rolling vistas!!
All of a sudden, everything has changed- Autumn has arrived! Mark returned from our patch bearing the last six cucumbers, a small trug full of ripe tomatoes and massive bag of Basil to try to preserve as well as we can. As well as all this fantastic bounty, a nice bit of rain means all has perked up. The geraniums were brought inside, so sills are full of deep purple, bright red and pale lilac flowers. All the late buds that usually are wasted will cheer our living room.
The rain will also help bed in the soil spread by Mark and Grace. We also used a path roller we borrowed- a good job for doing before winter ruts get a hold! Finally we stopped picking our very late sweet peas- the trellis looks sad with no blooms, but you can see the plot well.
Sep
27

Amazing apple overload!

Amazing apple overload!
All in good order, even the blight is being kept off by Bordeaux- have pics of huge butternout crop- will add shortly, but here are some apples.
How do you like them? !!!
Sep
01

First apple- as yet unidentified!

Just yesterday Mark came in with nibbled first apple. Quite a bit of red colour on it- maybe that made it a target for the squirrel or other large rodent. Could not bear to let it go without testing it- the worst damaged bit cut out and I ate most of the rest. News is good- good flavour, no sign of dread codling moth or similar. Am going to contact Orange Pippin to identify.
Aug
27

Constant tiny tweaks!

Since I last updated, the patch has been fiddled with, picked and watered- all without chief plotperson. He has been in Cuba and I've been getting non gardening sisters to water, pick etc. Massive success- both converted to real cucumbers, tomatoes etc. However not to herbs- my pots of coriander, clumps of wild rocket and planters of Basil were all ignored, along with Chillis! Lots going to orange and red now. Resident chef conjured up a nice spicy curry- yummy.
Wild cucumbers running amok, with no fruit at all and will have to go! Enough is enough....
Deluge of rain last two days has saved us from watering. Toms may split, but still a good thing. Also first of butternuts- not sure completely ripe, but will try.
Trays of compost plus seed drowned, alas.
Had blight alert near miss- oops. Must spray with Bordeaux asap!
Aug
10

Orientals!

TV gardeners nagging about orientals needing to be sown now. Am in receipt of Moreveg seed and hoping to sow soon. Will let you know!
Aug
10

Follow up on cucumbers

I didn't say- we did a bit of a blind tasting.
All are nice, but Burpless Tasty is least exciting, followed by ones from shop, (Moneymaker type name) and first place far superior is Tokyo Slicer- completely delicious, sweet, crunchy, needs no peeling etc. REALLY good.
Aug
10

Storm Bertha!

Storm Bertha!
huge rainy storm- may have washed off Bordeaux, but happy at drenching everyone has had. This will last till 22nd, I hope. Fab.
Aug
10

Tsunami quietens!

Tsunami quietens!
Fabulous state of affairs prior to Mark's departure- spent a lovely quiet day on plot 57 with G helping mightily. First of all, we did do some emergency weeding, but all veg look healthy and growing and cropping well. Then I was able to finish off sad geranium species in pots by dressing with grit aplenty and pot up Basil in terracotta and large plastic. Were able to foist small specimens on Leo & Auguste, so completely finished! Hurrah! Came back and picked 6 Sungold from garden and repot Big Jim. Coriander flourishing, as are apples- see pic.