Garden Update 18th November 2017

Garden Update 18th November 2017. Allotment, Garden, Gardening, Harvest, Grow your own, homegrown, homegrown, roots, autumn harvest, plot to plate, wooden board, gdnblog, gdnbloggers, gdnblogger, blog, Chard, garlic, Mulch, autumn, crop rotation, greenhouse, astrantia, cavelo nero, romanesco, cuttings, plug plants, leeks, tulips,

Garden Update 18th November 2017

I have a week of annual leave with which to make some progress in the garden. The seasonal tasks of cleaning the flagstones and packing away the garden furniture need to be done. It’s not all chores though, I’m also making preparation for next years display in my Garden Update 18th November 2017.

Previous Updates

Garden Update 4th November 

Garden Update 9th September

Allotment Update

We’eve had some slightly colder weather here in Devon but it’s done nothing to stop the progress of the plot. Aside from the sweet potatoes, which have blackened and retreated, most of the plot is looking great.

My leeks are starting to get some momentum behind them. When they went in they were spindly grass-like plants. I was supposed to wait until they’re pencil-thickness but I’m impatient. They’re doing fine though.

Garden Update 18th November 2017. Allotment, Garden, Gardening, Harvest, Grow your own, homegrown, homegrown, roots, autumn harvest, plot to plate, wooden board, gdnblog, gdnbloggers, gdnblogger, blog, Chard, garlic, Mulch, autumn, crop rotation, greenhouse, astrantia, cavelo nero, romanesco, cuttings, plug plants, leeks, tulips,
Leeks

My brassica bed is starting to produce crops and there’s plenty to come over winter by the looks of it. The leaves of the Romanesco and Purple Sprouting Broccoli are looking extremely healthy. I’m sure they benefited from being netted when young.

Garden Update 18th November 2017. Allotment, Garden, Gardening, Harvest, Grow your own, homegrown, homegrown, roots, autumn harvest, plot to plate, wooden board, gdnblog, gdnbloggers, gdnblogger, blog, Chard, garlic, Mulch, autumn, crop rotation, greenhouse, astrantia, cavelo nero, romanesco, cuttings, plug plants, leeks, tulips,

We’ve been harvesting the Cavelo Nero for weeks and a full handful will do one or two meals (as a side) for the two of us. The plants don’t even look like they’ve been touched after taking just the lower leaves. In the end, I’m expecting to have bare stems as the plant continues to grow up.

Garden Update 18th November 2017. Allotment, Garden, Gardening, Harvest, Grow your own, homegrown, homegrown, roots, autumn harvest, plot to plate, wooden board, gdnblog, gdnbloggers, gdnblogger, blog, Chard, garlic, Mulch, autumn, crop rotation, greenhouse, astrantia, cavelo nero, romanesco, cuttings, plug plants, leeks, tulips,
Cavelo Nero

The colourful chards are growing well at the front of the allotment and the Pak Choi are looking healthy in the bed that had the legumes this summer.

Garden Update 18th November 2017. Allotment, Garden, Gardening, Harvest, Grow your own, homegrown, homegrown, roots, autumn harvest, plot to plate, wooden board, gdnblog, gdnbloggers, gdnblogger, blog, Chard, garlic, Mulch, autumn, crop rotation, greenhouse, astrantia, cavelo nero, romanesco, cuttings, plug plants, leeks, tulips,
Pak Choi Vibrant Pink

Greenhouse Update

The greenhouse is taking to its new role as a store for plants over winter. At the beginning of the year, it’s full to capacity with seeds and seedlings. Later on, it becomes home to yet more seeds, seedlings and cuttings. At this time of year, it has tender garden refugees huddling and sheltering together. The chilli plants are getting the benefit of the doubt and coming inside to see if they’ll perform better next year.

Garden Update 18th November 2017. Allotment, Garden, Gardening, Harvest, Grow your own, homegrown, homegrown, roots, autumn harvest, plot to plate, wooden board, gdnblog, gdnbloggers, gdnblogger, blog, Chard, garlic, Mulch, autumn, crop rotation, greenhouse, astrantia, cavelo nero, romanesco, cuttings, plug plants, leeks, tulips,
Buddleja globosa cuttings

I’ve taken Buddleja globosa cuttings which I rooted in water. These are to be given to my cousin who’s creating a new border in their garden.

I’ve taken delivery of some plug plants from J Parkers. Some Verbascum I ordered myself and some bare root Astrantia plants which were a gift.

The Verbascum are a set of three types of Verbascum phoenicum. I have Rosetta, Violetta and Flush of White. Even though I love Verbascum I have a rubbish track record. However, I’ve decided to give them another go.

My lovely gardening aunt bought us some Astrantia major ‘Florence’ to celebrate the birth of our daughter this year. These will eventually go into some pots that are pride of place in the garden and also contain some honeysuckle plants (also gifts).

 

Garden Update 18th November 2017. Allotment, Garden, Gardening, Harvest, Grow your own, homegrown, homegrown, roots, autumn harvest, plot to plate, wooden board, gdnblog, gdnbloggers, gdnblogger, blog, Chard, garlic, Mulch, autumn, crop rotation, greenhouse, astrantia, cavelo nero, romanesco, cuttings, plug plants, leeks, tulips,
Astrantia major ‘Florence’ bare root plants

Garden Update

The action in the garden has been a little dull this week. I’ve pressure-washed all the flagstones to remove 2 years of accumulated algae. They’re now safe to walk on when it’s wet which is a relief. The garden furniture and barbeque have been stored away for winter.

It’s not all chores though. I’ve planted Tulip Dolls Minuet in the front garden troughs and there’s more to go in this week.

Garden Update 18th November 2017. Allotment, Garden, Gardening, Harvest, Grow your own, homegrown, homegrown, roots, autumn harvest, plot to plate, wooden board, gdnblog, gdnbloggers, gdnblogger, blog, Chard, garlic, Mulch, autumn, crop rotation, greenhouse, astrantia, cavelo nero, romanesco, cuttings, plug plants, leeks, tulips,
Tulip bulbs. Jan Reus and Dolls Minuet

Garden Update 4th November 2017

Garden Update 4th November. Allotment, Garden, Gardening, Harvest, Grow your own, homegrown, homegrown, carrots, beetroot, chioggia, bolatardy, touchon, roots, autumn harvest, plot to plate, wooden board, gdnblog, gdnbloggers, gdnblogger, blog, Chard, garlic, Mulch, autumn, crop rotation

Garden Update 4th November 2017

I’ve been a bit quiet on the blog and social media for most of October due to competing demands on my time. We’ve have some visitors, a mini-break, and all the usual work and childcare necessities. That’s not to say things have been quiet on the garden and allotment front.

It’s a time of renewal on my allotment. There’s always talk this time of year about putting the garden or allotment to bed for winter. What nonsense. It’s a time for clearing last seasons spent crops and getting the next load in. I may even have all my plot planted for the first time since we broke ground in April. I’ve also nominated myself to the my allotment committee.

Previous Updates

Garden Update 9th September

Garden Update 2nd September

Allotment Update

The autumn and winter greens are the main crops nearing harvest. I’ve been starting to harvest my Cavelo de Nero leaf by leaf and these are great. The herb bed is still productive and I’ve taken bunches of Rosemary and Bay to dry for use over winter. The New Zealand Spinach has taken over the understory of my herb bed so I’ve made batches of wilted leaves and have them in the freezer for when they’re needed.

The Chard plugs that I planted outside in September have really started shooting up and the stems look amazing when we get some sunlight. The Pink Passion is more of a blood-red but I don’t mind that at all. The Golden Chard is currently 10cm tall so plenty of growth still to come.

Garden Update 4th November. Allotment, Garden, Gardening, Harvest, Grow your own, homegrown, homegrown, carrots, beetroot, chioggia, bolatardy, touchon, roots, autumn harvest, plot to plate, wooden board, gdnblog, gdnbloggers, gdnblogger, blog, Chard, garlic, Mulch, autumn, crop rotation
Elephant Garlic Bulbs

I had my order of garlic from Marshalls Seeds arrive this week. Unfortunately 2 out of 12 Elephant Garlic bulbs were starting to rot off. I’ve put them in anyway and we’ll see how they do. The Carcassonne Wight and Provence garlic bulbs were in good condition. Out of 2 bulbs each I got 20 cloves from the Provence and 29 from the Carcassonne Wight.

Garden Update 4th November. Allotment, Garden, Gardening, Harvest, Grow your own, homegrown, homegrown, carrots, beetroot, chioggia, bolatardy, touchon, roots, autumn harvest, plot to plate, wooden board, gdnblog, gdnbloggers, gdnblogger, blog, Chard, garlic, Mulch, autumn, crop rotation
Turf stacks at the back of the plot have been covered

On a practical front, I’ve been meaning to get some tarpaulin to cover over the turf stacks left over from clearing the site right at the beginning. We had some logs delivered for the house so I bought some cheap ones to get ready for their delivery. Now they’re all stacked in the dry store I can use these at the allotment. This should keep the weeds down and I’m hoping come spring I’ll have some nice topsoil for the beds.

The courgettes were looking miserable, as were the squash plants, after a few wet / cold spells of weather. The climbing beans have done really well but they’ve been left for seed and now cleared away. My early sweetcorn didn’t produce and the later sweetcorn was also badly pollinated. The beds have been cleared, weeded and prepared for the next crop. In place of the courgettes are the Elephant Garlic, and in place of the 3 sisters I have Broad Beans and Peas.

Garden Update 9th September 2017

Garden Update 9th September. Allotment, Garden, Gardening, Harvest, Grow your own, homegrown, homegrown, carrots, beetroot, chioggia, bolatardy, touchon, roots, autumn harvest, plot to plate, wooden board, gdnblog, gdnbloggers, gdnblogger, blog,

Garden Update 9th September 2017

The warm and wet weather in Devon this week has been great for the weeds. I’ve done two tidy-ups at the allotment and managed to fill my large bendy bucket three times. It’s also the end of my tomato adventure for the year.

Previous Updates

Garden Update 2nd September

Garden Update 19th August

Allotment Update

 

We were giving some new chairs from a family member and they’re perfect for the allotment. The weather wasn’t that great so we haven’t christened them yet.

Garden Update 9th September. Allotment, Garden, Gardening, Harvest, Grow your own, homegrown, homegrown, carrots, beetroot, chioggia, bolatardy, touchon, roots, autumn harvest, plot to plate, wooden board, gdnblog, gdnbloggers, gdnblogger, blog,
New seating at the allotment
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The squash plants have been tidied back on the borders to clear the paths

The squashes are really enjoying the damp and warm conditions and had spread over the paths. I wasn’t too bothered initially but they’ve got the point that it was hard to reach into the beds for harvesting. They also were concealing a lot of weed growth on the paths.

Garden Update 9th September. Allotment, Garden, Gardening, Harvest, Grow your own, homegrown, homegrown, carrots, beetroot, chioggia, bolatardy, touchon, roots, autumn harvest, plot to plate, wooden board, gdnblog, gdnbloggers, gdnblogger, blog,
Pak choi settling in

The module Pak Choi seedlings are doing much better than the directly-sown batch which has been munched to stumps. I think I’ll do more of this transplanting even thought it’s more work overall.

 

Garden Update 9th September. Allotment, Garden, Gardening, Harvest, Grow your own, homegrown, homegrown, carrots, beetroot, chioggia, bolatardy, touchon, roots, autumn harvest, plot to plate, wooden board, gdnblog, gdnbloggers, gdnblogger, blog,
Chard seedlings planted out

I’ve also installed the Chard seedlings in one of the new beds around the perimeter of the allotment. I’m hoping they’ll give me some fresh greens to each over autumn and into winter.

Greenhouse Update

Garden Update 9th September. Allotment, Garden, Gardening, Harvest, Grow your own, homegrown, homegrown, carrots, beetroot, chioggia, bolatardy, touchon, roots, autumn harvest, plot to plate, wooden board, gdnblog, gdnbloggers, gdnblogger, blog,
Stachy byzantina seedlings

The Stachys byzantina seeds that I collected have germinated extremely well and very quickly from sowing. They’ve been pricked out and set into their own little module home.

Garden Update 9th September. Allotment, Garden, Gardening, Harvest, Grow your own, homegrown, homegrown, carrots, beetroot, chioggia, bolatardy, touchon, roots, autumn harvest, plot to plate, wooden board, gdnblog, gdnbloggers, gdnblogger, blog,
Geranium phaeum alba seedling

Another sowing that I made from home-collected seed was the Geranium phaem alba. I am the proud owner of one seedling!

The tomato story this year hasn’t been very successful. Blight has struck and the fruits that were threatening to ripen were being munched by slugs before they were harvestable. I’ve taken off all the tomatoes that were salvagable and cleared away the affected plants. The foliage is now in the council green waste bin. I think I’ll use the fresh border for either bringing on perennials over winter or some winter salads.

Garden Update 9th September. Allotment, Garden, Gardening, Harvest, Grow your own, homegrown, homegrown, carrots, beetroot, chioggia, bolatardy, touchon, roots, autumn harvest, plot to plate, wooden board, gdnblog, gdnbloggers, gdnblogger, blog,
Tomato harvest 2017

There’s nothing like an Instagram filter to make even a poor harvest look great.

Garden Update

Garden Update 9th September. Allotment, Garden, Gardening, Harvest, Grow your own, homegrown, homegrown, carrots, beetroot, chioggia, bolatardy, touchon, roots, autumn harvest, plot to plate, wooden board, gdnblog, gdnbloggers, gdnblogger, blog,
Overhead shot of The Far Garden

It’s been a while since I’ve shown what’s happening in the Far Garden. You can see the new boundary shed has a great grey colour that matches the furniture. The chillies are slow in the rectangular planters but I might get a harvest. My new Musa and Echinacea plants are looking awesome.

 

Garden Update 2nd September 2017

Garden Update 2nd September. Allotment, Garden, Gardening, Harvest, Grow your own, homegrown, homegrown, carrots, beetroot, chioggia, bolatardy, touchon, roots, autumn harvest, plot to plate, wooden board, gdnblog, gdnbloggers, gdnblogger, blog,

Garden Update 2nd September 2017

Yesterday was the first day that I had time to get to the allotment for anything other than harvesting for some time. We had people visiting for the bank holiday weekend so nothing much was achieved in the garden.

Previous Updates

Garden Update 19th August

Garden Update 12th August

Allotment Update

Yesterday I spent over an hour at the plot and managed to fill two large bendy buckets with weed growth that’s now been put on the unofficial compost pile. We’re mainly plagued by dandelions and docks persisting as deep tap roots. They’re capable of regrowing after hoeing and have enjoyed the extra rain recently.

I don’t like to leave huge gaps in the beds for two reasons. Firstly, there isn’t much growing area as it is and dedicating space for hoeing seems silly when, secondly, weeds will colonise bare ground as well as between plants which you have to hand weed anyway. I use the hoe on any unused ground that’s waiting for the next crop or where there is space between plants in order to give them room to grow.

Garden Update 2nd September. Allotment, Garden, Gardening, Harvest, Grow your own, homegrown, homegrown, carrots, beetroot, chioggia, bolatardy, touchon, roots, autumn harvest, plot to plate, wooden board, gdnblog, gdnbloggers, gdnblogger, blog,
Lots of Thelma Sanders Sweet Potato winter squash

The Thelma Sanders Sweet Potato winter squashes have been very prolific in number but I’m struggling to find a good kitchen use for them. Growing something to then have to hide it in food just to use it up seems silly. Roasted pumpkins should be used for roasts, soups and risottos but the bland flavour and silky texture of these leave me a bit disappointed. If I can’t find a use for them that I will look forward to next year then I’m afraid they’re off the plot.

Garden Update 2nd September. Allotment, Garden, Gardening, Harvest, Grow your own, homegrown, homegrown, carrots, beetroot, chioggia, bolatardy, touchon, roots, autumn harvest, plot to plate, wooden board, gdnblog, gdnbloggers, gdnblogger, blog,
The root harvest begins

I’m glad to be getting a better carrot and beetroot crop at the allotment. This batch suffered in the early dry spell we had so germination and subsequent growth was slow and poor. I was then too eager to try them so picked some small offerings last month. This lot are more substantial but there’s better to be had. The carrots went into a beef curry and I am plotting what to do with the beetroot. We’re having a picnic tomorrow if the weather holds and I’ve been hoping to make a roasted beetroot, walnut, goats cheese and rocket salad since sowing the seeds earlier this year

We had a bumper picking from the three crops from the allotment I’m monitoring this year on Friday;

  • Yellow Courgette – 370g
  • Climbing Bean ‘Cosse Violette’ – 700g
  • Climbing Bean ‘Trail of Tears’ – 770g

I’ve cleared out most of the pea bed as they’re coming to the end of their productivity and the powdering mildew is making them unsightly. The Peas, mange-tout and broad beans are out. In their place, I’ve planted the Pak Choi seedlings which I started in modules last month. The other side of the bed will have winter lettuce.

Greenhouse Update

The tomatoes continue to be a complete let-down this year. I think I have blight. Initially, I thought it was some cold scorching on the leaves that poke out of the windowless opening in the greenhouse but it’s since spread. I’ve taken some evasive measures to cut away the affected fruits and leaves but it’s fingers crossed for the remainders.

Garden Update 2nd September. Allotment, Garden, Gardening, Harvest, Grow your own, homegrown, homegrown, carrots, beetroot, chioggia, bolatardy, touchon, roots, autumn harvest, plot to plate, wooden board, gdnblog, gdnbloggers, gdnblogger, blog,
Chard ‘Pink Passion’ Seedling

The seedlings of the Chard and winter lettuce are growing well and are soon to be transplanted to the allotment.

For the ornamental side, the Stipa and Stachys seedlings are coming along well. I’m hopeful that my Penstemon cuttings have taken.

Garden Update

The new grey backdrop to the Right Border of the Far Garden is settling in well. I’ve bought some Echinacea Magnus Superb and Musa from Hill House Nursery down the road. I was inspired by my recent visit to Wisley where I had a good look around their Echinacea trials.

This part of the garden has always meant to be an exciting, bright, exotic garden but we’ve never achieved that. The Echiums did well but completely dominated the space so I’m hoping to introduce more exciting plants over winter that will mix well.

Garden Update 19th August 2017: The harvest floodgates open

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Garden Update 19th August 2017

I have been triumphantly carrying back the harvest from the allotment this week. I’ve had two good picking sessions. We’ve been munching through two types of climbing beans, two types of mange tout, peas, broad beans, asparagus pea and courgettes.

 

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My first large harvest from the allotment this year

Previous Updates

Garden Update 12th August

Garden Update 5th August

Allotment Update

The amount of veg harvested from the allotment is really exciting. I’m keeping a tally of what I harvest on some of the crops. I haven’t grown the Climbing green bean ‘Trail of Tears’ before so I’m comparing it to ‘Cosse Violette’ which I have grown in the past.

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Mollie dog is getting the hang of allotment etiquette – the pumpkins aren’t

The totals this week from 2 pickings;

  • Yellow Courgette – 388g+110g = 498g
  • Climbing Bean ‘Cosse Violette’ – 200g + 212g = 412g
  • Climbing Bean ‘Trail of Tears’ – 300g + 280g = 580g

Not only is Trail of Tears a very tasty variety but the amount of harvest is even beating Cosse Violette. I like this variety and think I’ll save some seeds to keep growing it. I’ll still keep Cosse Violette going as it’s such a beautiful plant and still tasty. I’m really impressed with the yellow courgette. I think I’ll not bother growing a green one next year as they tend to be more watery and not as useful in the kitchen. I’m going to try a patty pan type one instead.

It’s not all about the veg. The cut flower patch is getting colourful with some Dahlia, Anemone, Ranunculus and Gladioli.

Greenhouse Update

I’ve given the greenhouse a little spruce to tidy up the various tools and instruments. Instead of taking up valuable work surface space, they are now hanging handsomely on the wall.

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Secateurs, trowels and watering cans are now hanging up all tidy

The battle to ripen these tomatoes continues but the modules of winter leaves are coming along well.

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These tomatoes are refusing to ripen
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Cut and come again mixed salad leaves
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The winter leaves after a heavy dowsing – they did look much better before.

 

Garden Update

The neighbours have finished the shed at the back of the garden so we have a secure boundary again. Now comes the challenge of incorporating the change into the look of the garden. I still haven’t decided on whether I am installing a new boundary wall / screen etc.

#allotment #allotmentlife #allotmentsofinstagram #growyourown #gyo #edible #edibles #herbs #vegetables #fruit #gyoherbs #gyovegetables #gyofruit #growyourownfruit #growyourownherbs #growyourownvegetables #gardening #gardenblog #allotmentblog #allotmentblogger #allotmentbloggers #gardeningblog #gardeningblogger #gardenblogger #gdnblog #gdnblogger #gdn #vegpatch #homegrown #seedlings #seeds #plants #instagarden #fromtheallotment
The right border now has a new backdrop
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The left border is getting colourful

The Buddleja, Phlox, Japanese Anemone and Nasturtiums are flowering their socks off. The right side of the picture shows the impact shade can have on flowering plants. The overhanging hedge is casting a lot of shade.

 

Cheap and cheerful – how to create more basil plants using water cuttings 

Cheap and cheerful - how to create more basil plants using water cuttings

A simple way to take basil cuttings to make new plants for free

I have a terrible record when it comes to growing basil from seeds so I was really intrigued to hear about taking cuttings from plants to create more. I can’t believe it’s never occurred to me before to take basil cuttings. Usually, I cheat by buying a plant in a supermarket, with multiple elongated seedlings crammed together, and try to divide and plant these out. This has given me a small amount of success if I can harvest the leaves before the slugs get them.

I was listening to a recent podcast episode of Still Growing and was inspired to try basil cuttings myself.

How to take basil cuttings

The vigorous growth on basil is perfect for softwood cuttings. I took lengths of stem around 2-3 inches long and removed the lower leaves. Cutting under a node (where the leaves were emerging from the stem) encourages roots to develop at a point where the hormones are concentrated. The very softest growth at the top of the cutting was pinched out.

The leaves and tips that I stripped off were used in a pasta dish so no wastage.

Cheap and cheerful - how to create more basil plants using water cuttings
Basil cuttings in water

Since basil is related closely to mint it should root as easily as mint. At the same time as I took the basil cuttings I also took Peppermint and Sweet Potato. These were placed into small glasses somewhere sheltered, out of direct sunlight. The downstairs toilet windowsill is perfect. An unexpected bonus is the aromatic wafts you get from the basil and peppermint.

Cheap and cheerful - how to create more basil plants using water cuttings
Basil, Sweet Potato and Peppermint cuttings

Waiting for roots on my basil cuttings

The Sweet Potato and Peppermint definitely won the root race and had grown some adventitious roots within 4 days. I had to wait a long 10 days to see some action on the basil.

Cheap and cheerful - how to create more basil plants using water cuttings
Roots showing after 10 days

Potting on basil cuttings

Once there was a good amount of root on each basil cutting, and when I had time to do it, I potted them on into loose multipurpose compost to establish.

Cheap and cheerful - how to create more basil plants using water cuttings
Good amount of root ready for potting up

This was a really easy bit of propagation and was quite successful. A couple of minutes work to prepare the cuttings was all it took to get the process going. One cutting had to be discarded due to rot (It needed to be removed from the water) and I replaced the water twice over the 10 days. That’s it! I’m hoping they’ll establish well so I can pot them on again before starting to harvest.

Garden Update 20th May 2017: Rain and Raised Beds

Screen Shot 2017-05-19 at 07

Rain and Raised Beds

Garden Update 06/05/2017

Garden Update 13th May

Allotment Update

It’s been a bit of a damp week here in Devon so progress has been slow on the allotment. I’m not shy of wet weather but with mum sticking to your boots and a house needing to be prepped prior to a shipping container arriving I had to take a sensible approach. Earlier on in the week, I did manage to get the wood prepared and start building some raised beds on site.

Garden Update 20th May 2017: Rain and Raised Beds
Blackcurrants, Loganberry and strawberries settling in

I have a Loganberry, three varieties of Blackcurrant (I love me some Ribena); Ben Nevis, Baldwin, and Ben Lomand. The Strawberries are Florence and Cambridge Favourite. I had my heart set on some Mara des Bois, after they were recommended by James Wong, but a large online supplier let me down with the order. These rushed plants were cheap from a local nursery so I hope they’re tasty.

Garden Update 20th May 2017: Rain and Raised Beds
Trying to take away to B&Q orange from the plot.

The uprights are supposed to serve as dog lead guards and prevent the plants being decapitated by an enthusiastic golden retriever. However, they’re a little spindlier than I had envisaged and the angles are slightly off giving it a Kerplunk effect.

Garden Update 20th May 2017: Rain and Raised Beds
Four donated strawberry plants

After all the rain I managed a couple of hours at the site and installed four more established strawberry plants of unknown variety. These were kindly donated by my mother.

Garden Update 20th May 2017: Rain and Raised Beds
The permanent plantings of the herb bed

The herb bed is now up and running. A central Bay tree will be closely clipped to stop it taking over. I have three types of mint (apple, garden and chocolate peppermint) in pots sunk into the ground. Hyssop, Rosemary, Thyme, Bronze fennel and Marjoram.

Greenhouse Update

Garden Update 20th May 2017: Rain and Raised Beds
Romanesco, Kale and PSB seedlings

I may get accused of being a control freak but with the regimented lines of these seedlings, it’s hard to refute. Pleasingly quick to germinate, these will go up the allotment when they’re big enough for cropping next spring.

Garden Update 20th May 2017: Rain and Raised Beds
Hesperis matronalis

I have finally dredged up enough modular seed trays to pot on my Sweet Rocket. There’s still another small pot pleading for release but they’ll have to wait.

 

Garden Update 13th May 2017: Allotment sowing, potting on and catching up with old friends

Garden Update 13th May 2017: Allotment sowing, potting on and catching up with old friends

Allotment sowing, potting on and catching up with old friends

Garden Update 22/04/2017

Garden Update 06/05/2017

Potting On

It’s about time I gave some seedlings some more space. The cucumbers (Tasty King and Tasty Green) have grown on really well and so I rewarded their enthusiasm with some more root room. There’s going to be far too many to fit into my greenhouse so I’ll take some to the allotment and squeeze them in with the sweetcorn. Otherwise, there may be a small stall in front of the cottage to help pay off my seed order debts.

Garden Update 13th May 2017: Allotment sowing, potting on and catching up with old friends
Cucumber seedlings

My tomato Marmande seedlings were similarly enthusiastic so their gold star reward was also a new home. They looked a little sulky after the move but after a warm drink and 24 hours they had perked up – just like me after a flight!

Garden Update 13th May 2017: Allotment sowing, potting on and catching up with old friends
Tomato Seedlings

Allotment Sowing

Even though it’s only the beginning of May, I still feel really behind with my allotment. Normally I would have rushed all this sowing and by now you’d find me rueing my impatience. Even though the beds aren’t built at the plot I’m getting a headstart.

In other news, I now have a shed on my allotment (pictures to follow) and I managed to get its waterproof hat on before the rain started.

Garden Update 13th May 2017: Allotment sowing, potting on and catching up with old friends
Romanesco, Leeks, PSB and Kale seeds were sown

I’ve sown two types of sweetcorn, two types of Squash, Kale, Romanesco, Leeks, and, Purple Sprouting Broccoli. You can keep up to date with how they’re doing by checking my Seed Sowing Spreadsheet.

Catching up with old friends

I’ve been trying to grab some time to explore what has become of my cottage garden in the two years we’ve been away. We’ve been lucky that our tenants haven’t trashed the place but they weren’t gardeners and a trained eye can see where things are starting to creak. I’ll do a post re-acquainting you with the areas of the garden and detail my efforts this year to bring it back to life.

In the meantime, I’ll leave you with this image of a Libertia grandiflora. It’s an unassuming plant but, for me, it’s exceptionally special as I sowed this from seed some years back. I can’t remember if I got the seed from the RHS Scheme or Plant World Seeds, I’ll have to review some previous posts to see if I mentioned them.  A couple of years ago I took out some native Iris foetidissima (the flowers look dingy to me and the leaves were coarse and rusted) and replaced them with this more graceful plant.

I feel like I’m coming back home and the garden has been waiting to put on a show to welcome me back. It’s a great feeling of connection to a space that’s been missing from life recently. I am home.

Garden Update 13th May 2017: Allotment sowing, potting on and catching up with old friends
Libertia grandifolia

Garden update May 6th 2017: Allotment and Edibles

Garden update May 6th 2017: Allotment and Edibles

Allotment and Edibles 

Garden Update 29/04/2017

Garden Update 22/04/2017

Allotment

Last week I signed up for a new allotment. And by new, I mean new – this is a blank canvas virgin plot on a new site in our village. I am extremely excited by this development as I have been chomping at the bit to grow some proper veg but I’ve never had the space to indulge. My cottage garden is all ornamental as it was when we bought it 4 years ago. The garden is our outdoor dining room and needs to be ‘guest appropriate’. I have sequestered a small corner to be my greenhouse but that’s been the extent of my edible space.

Garden update May 6th 2017: Allotment and Edibles
The new plot. Blank but full of potential

The space is a flat, open, 10m x 10m site. The soil is gorgeous. So far I have taken off the turf and planned the layout.

Turf Lifting

The turf lifting was a hell of a palaver. Having hired the machine online on Monday (when it had rained for 2 days before a forecasted clear day) I arrived at the hire shop to find they didn’t have one in stock. I finally got it on Thursday but the blade refused to move. After meeting some more of the other allotment holders to see if any of them knew had to work the thing we discovered that a fan belt had come off. This sorted I enlisted my longsuffering wife and dad to help roll and lift the turf. After our refreshment break, the stupid thing broke again. This time it was unrepairable and had to be returned to the shop. Friday morning I spent hours cutting and lifting and piling the remaining area (the uneven bits of earth in the foreground above are my hard work by hand).

Garden update May 6th 2017: Allotment and Edibles
Part of the new turf stack wall

We have bought a small shed and some wood for raised beds (with the help of dad’s van) and when we have a day when the wind isn’t threatening to knock us over we’ll put it up.

Garden update May 6th 2017: Allotment and Edibles
Mollie preferred the lawn but she’s getting used to allotment life

All the excitement of the plot has gotten me over-excited so I’ve splurged my birthday and Christmas money on seeds and supplies.  My mum has declared that I have a problem – a seed addiction. The rule for the plot is going to follow the well-trodden lines that it should contain only things that I love to eat, are expensive or not available to buy, and of inferior quality if purchased from the supermarket.  I’m including unusual carrots, beetroots, Romanesco Cauliflower, PSB, 2 types of sweetcorn, squash, herbs, fruit and cut flowers.

Edibles

Garden update May 6th 2017: Allotment and Edibles
Herbs including Fennel and Spearmint

One of the allotment beds is going to be filled by herbs so I bought some small plants from the recent Toby’s Garden Festival.

Garden update May 6th 2017: Allotment and Edibles
Blackcurrant Bush

Soft fruit is going to play a large part in the allotment so I have gone slightly mad with three varieties of Blackcurrant. I have strawberry plants and a Loganberry. On order are some strawberries and raspberry collection.

In the greenhouse

Things are growing really well in mum’s greenhouse. My tomatoes and cucumbers are not at the true leaf stage and will need potting on or transplanting into my greenhouse.

Garden update May 6th 2017: Allotment and Edibles
Runner Beans reaching for the sky already

 

Garden update May 6th 2017: Allotment and Edibles
Hesperis matronalis seedlings