welcome to my little suburban oasis, filled with flowers,fruit trees and vegetables

Monday, 30 November 2009


gathered up the small, unusable garlic cloves and planted them outside today. garlic needs a spell of cold weather to grow properly and, though we've had no frosts so far, this week is forecast to be cold


in B&Q at weekend for bird-nuts and found bulbs on half-price sale. so I've bought a bag of pale pink hyacinths in case the saved bulbs don't flower. these are not prepared bulbs for forcing indoors, but ones to plant in the garden. having potted them up, I'm going to leave them in the greenhouse for a while to chill before bringing them indoors.

Sunday, 29 November 2009

picked this week

some more brussels, a little bit of broccoli, radishes - some from the cold frame and some strangely shaped ones from the garden, bits of rocket and spinach for salad, and a Christmas Tree

christmas tree

lifted the Christmas tree today. this was purchased many years ago as a "root- ball" tree. after it's first year as Christmas Tree it was planted outside, in the garden but in a pot to prevent the roots spreading too far. it wasn't used the following year, or possibly 2, as we had several different ex- Christmas trees planted out, but it has been lifted and re-used before this year. this tree has not grown particularly tall yet, though it is getting rather wide, but some that we have bought as 2metre trees have grown too tall and then been chopped down rather than lifted for subsequent Christmases.

Thursday, 26 November 2009


a sunny day, so it's more obvious how the laburnum tree is blocking light from the garden. unlike everything else, it still has its leaves which means more shadow from it. so, out with pruners and ladder and chop off some height and a lot that overhangs the fence. have saved some of the straighter branches for stakes and pea sticks - none of it very thick, up to a couple of inches at most.

Monday, 23 November 2009

flowers from the garden

nasturtiums, fuchsias and verbena in November

Sunday, 22 November 2009

peas, beans and cabbages

in between the rain, we've been planting out veg to over-winter. Feltham First peas, a mix of Aquadulce and Bunyard's Exhibition broad beans and a variety of cabbages - Spring Hero, Offenham Flower of Spring and Advantage. the peas and beans have sticks to keep the cat and the birds off, and the cabbages have their little plastic collars to protect them. all of them have been raised in the half-covered sten house and are a little delicate and leggy, so I'm hoping there isn't a sudden sharp frost soon.

picked this week

a handful of brussels sprouts - that's it

Saturday, 21 November 2009

ginger plants

these are the two ginger plants that have been growing all summer. they are now starting to turn brown - as you can see - so I think it's time to lift them and see it there's actually any ginger root underneath.

Friday, 20 November 2009

bulbs and weeds

a mild sunny morning with blue sky and less wind than yesterday - though we've missed the gales forecast for elsewhere this week. started out to plant some bulbs in the garden - these are mainly ones received through freecycle so, although there's obviously daffodils, tulips and crocus amongst them, it's going to be a bit of a surprise when they flower. anyway, bulb planting led to trying to lift some more of the campanula and a bit of general weed clearing - no matter how much of the campanula is lifted, it still grows back.
still have antirrhinums, nasturtiums and lobelia flowering well and some odd bits of welsh poppies; a couple of flowers on the pinkperennial geranium; winter jasmine and the hardy fuchsias are both flowering; seen buds on polyanthus this morning, a yellow one, I think.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

warm weather

18th November - by family tradition, we expect snow at this particular time of year. Yesterday was bright, sunny and very windy. Today is still windy but very wet and mild.


a wet but fairly mild day spent out in the greenhouse sorting through last year's bulbs and planting them up. quite a mix of bulbs, jumbled together - daffodils, tulips, hyacinths and some small ones that might be crocuses or muscaria. some to stay out in the garden but mainly they're to bring into the house, hopefully just after Christmas when nothing at all is growing outside.

Also set a tray of Winter Density lettuce - should start to grow in this mild weather- and re-set lupins - only one surviving from previous batch

Sunday, 15 November 2009

picked this week

the first brussels sprouts - not many, just enough for two for dinner, some outer cabbage leaves from a plant that's been growing all year but not forming a heart, some small broccoli shoots. have pulled rocket from the garden and spinach from the greenhouse this week and radishes from the late sowing - these are growing well but some are been eaten by slugs and of course the two strawberries.

Saturday, 14 November 2009

strawberries in November

was out tidying the garden after a windy day or two, and happened to notice there were still flowers on the alpine strawberries. I was even more surprised, when looking closer, to discover two strawberries - both of a good size, for alpines, and starting to ripen - you can see the actual size from the finger tip in the photo.

Friday, 13 November 2009

early brussels

had quite windy weather over the past few days and the brussels have fallen over. I haven't really been checking them for sprouts but discovered some, ready for picking, while we were staking up the plants.

Sunday, 8 November 2009

picked this week

a handful of runner beans as we took the plants out, some rocket and spinach leaves.

Friday, 6 November 2009

november flowers

nasturtiums, calendula, lobelia, welsh poppies, outdoor fuchsia, gaura lindheimerei, antirrhinums, - not what you'd really expect to find flowering at this time of year

end of the runner beans

pulled the runner bean plants out today. some hidden beans on them but not many and not necessarily fit to eat.

nasturtiums - again

nasturtiums are still trying to take over the patio

get into the house

and elbow out the leeks

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

christmas dinner

counting the days till Christmas - at least we'll have brussels sprouts

Monday, 2 November 2009

weeds still growing

it's not the right time of year for these welsh poppies and amongst the cabbage isn't really the right place but they're still flowering and brightening up the veg patch.

Sunday, 1 November 2009


very wet and very windy today. so far weather has remained mild with no frosts, maybe it's getting ready to change.

picked this week

still some runner beans, some rocket, young spinach leaves from the september sowing, a couple of small radish from the late sowing and two large ones left over from earlier - these were nothing like as woody as I expected but were amazingly fiery, probably the last beetroot, some second shoots of broccoli and a very small cauliflower. picked some more ripening chillies to hang and dry.

crops for spring

peas and broad beans are now both growing well, so it looks like the holly sprigs are helping to keep the mice away - also they were moved to a higher shelf. all year round cauliflowers are now through and the various cabbages are getting ready to be planted out. have now moved the young spinach to the greenhouse to be able to pull from it over winter and ought to get some lettuce set. still have peppers and, surprisingly, some chillies growing in the greenhouse - none of the fruits are very big so it's not easy to spot the difference (till you eat them)