Another month, Another catch-up.

Well, its been a while again. It seems, although social media is a more immediate media, blogging in its own right appears to be a much more infrequent and premeditated practice.

The slight amount of effort required to pull a smart phone from your pocket/bag compared to finding your laptop,plugging it in because the battery is probably flat and then actually typing up a blog is part of the problem.

I could just become a modern, hipster friendly blogger and leave my computer set up and charged at all times but I have small humans who visit regularly and love tech, so maybe not.

Anyway, frequency aside, it’s a catch up of what’s been going on since…well, June I think!

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The first thing that is noticeable from the photograph above is , I have a new camera ,new phone. Not entirely by choice but by default. My HTC just decided to stop working. No warning, no wobbles just black screen one day that never recovered.

That means I’ve been taking quite a few pictures.

Which in turn means I’m going to post a few on here.

I’ll try to add an explanation behind each one but I’ve tried to keep it garden related.

The Hydrangea are coming into their own as the temperatures drop, the autumn colours of russets and purples are giving way to the fiery reds and oranges, the flowers are becoming hips or dry seed pods and the garden is taking on its winter wardrobe again.

I sowed some late salads in the form of oriental greens and all season lettuces, plus a risky sowing of beetroot, around august. The lettuce have survived the worst of the pests and the beetroot have already given me enough roots for sandwiches and salads for not only myself but also my dear Father-in-Law, a lovely man who relishes a beetroot sandwich.

The Chinese cabbages are starting to heart up but the mustard went to seed pretty quickly. Despite this, I just nipped the flowers off and I’m still picking lots of leaves from them. The Mizuna is a glorious success, handfuls of these peppery finely cut leaves are filling the fridge. 43242314_174660853399860_5716958557997547190_n

In the polytunnel I’ve decided to risk a few salads under cover. I moved three veg trugs from home to the tunnel and sowed a selection of veg/salads in them to see what works.

So far the Purple Top Milan turnips have popped up like weeds, with the Chard and Egyptian Beetroot following shortly. The Peppers from earlier in the year are still hanging on so they’ll stay.

I’ve decided to risk Peas, both in a border and in a window box, both in the tunnel. If the window box residents pop up, I’ll plant them outside if it’s not frosty. The ones in the bed may well just serve as shoots,as will the boxed ones if the temperature drops too low. That’s no great problem though, I like pea shoots!

I caved to my love of fruit on the plot and added another Pear tree. The long story is that I tried a fruit from a friends tree. It was a revelation and , by its shape and size, and of course, it’s flavour, I knew it wasn’t the same as my boring by comparison Conference Pear.

It turned out to be a Doyenne Du Comice, an ancient French variety that dates back to at least the 1880’s.

So I didn’t have to look far to find one, as I’d seen them for sale at The Range.

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It’s now in a big hole in well drained but moisture retentative soil, packed with garden compost , topped with a membrane cover to keep the weeds at bay while it establishes.

Having spent a cold afternoon cutting back limbs that have grown and spread over the joint path between my neighbour and I, I made sure this was planted so that the side with the least growth was facing the plot next door.

To find the space I could either have moved a few randfom strawberries to fit it n with the existing framework of trees or through caution to the wind and plant wherever a clear spot presented itself. I’ve seen strawberries grown in tunnels, in fact commercially it’s the norm , so they went and the tree joined the grid of nine other mixed fruit trees.

Coincidently there were nine strawberry plants to relocate.

Fate?

Serendipity?

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Finally, as it’s the season of terrible ghouls and horrific monsters, we come to my grandchildren.

No, not them, the pumpkins I grew and we carved.

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I can happily admit, I did most of the work, from growing to scooping out and even burningmy fingers lighting, but they drew the pictures on them for me to cut . They are only 5 and 3 after all.

 

 

 

 

Squashed!

I’ve been trying my hand at growing some of a range of vegetables that have been fast gaining popularity,the squashes.

Squash are from the species Cucurbita and are mainly known as pumpkins,butternut or courgettes. Commonly large courgettes are mistaken for Vegetable marrows but they are technically a different plant.

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I’m growing a few Jack O’Lantern pumpkins for carving and hopefully eating,a few yellow courgettes and a singular butternut. I’m also trying a second attempt at a heritage variety, Cornell’s Bush Delicata.

From the top working down are the first early shots of the following: Two Jack O’Lanterns amongst the Sweetcorn, a small Delicata with three runner beans and two Jacks with a yellow courgette beneath a dual row of Runner Beans.

The Polytunnel contains,amongst other things, another yellow courgette, a Jack O’Lantern in a tub and a small Butternut. In fact, there is another squash but it has been so slow to start I can’t really identify if it is a butter nut or not. I’m not pinning much hope on it.

Anyway, the ones that are doing well are looking like we might have a store cupboard full by Autumn.

So far it’s only been courgettes but the pumpkins are producing small fruits and the Butternut is showing embryonic fruits on the female flower stems.

I’m sure from looking at the fruits from the courgettes that I have two different varieties. I’ll have to go back through my records to see if that’s the case. Either way, I’m getting lots of yellow courgettes.