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

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

thawing again

had another week of snow and ice - temperatures down to minus ten at nights. water butts have been frozen with icy overflows down the sides. overall the garden is not looking well. discovered some snowdrop bulbs washed down from the rockery by melting snow today - tried to push them back in the ground but an inch or so down it is still frozen!
the brussels look worse than ever - I don't know if they'll crop but they're certainly never going to stand up straight again

found this red cabbage today though - hiding under a green cabbage leaf and looking surprisingly well.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

After the first snow.

Snow and frost went away briefly at the beginning of this week. Leeks have taken a complete battering - though mainly from the really low temperatures, down minus 10 if not lower.

spring broccoli seems to have survived quite well.
chinese cabbage and broad beans are both still under fleece - and will stay that way - but have come through ok.

brussels don't look so good though - and these are supposed to be a winter crop!

lettuce, spinach and small brassicas in the greenhouse were looking ok but we've now got another series of really cold nights, no snow but temperatures forecast to not rise above freezing all week - even in day time. wonder how many plants will survive till Spring.

Friday, 3 December 2010


We've had a bit of snow here this week. It started with a light fall on Saturday but though the roads cleared the garden stayed covered.

Temperatures have been dropping to minus 7, so hubby covered the broad bean row with a cloche and I moved all the cabbage seedlings into the greenhouse - and double lined it with fleece AND put propagator lids over the lettuce and spinach just to be on the safe side.

Then Tuesday evening, more snow fell. And then on Thursday. Friday has been a clear fairly sunny day - though temperatures haven't really got above freezing - but the bigger roads were clear of snow. Then about 9 this evening snow started falling again!

The garden is fast disappearing back under its blanket. Wonder how much there will be to see tomorrow.

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

a different sort of harvest

have been collecting seed from various veg - pumpkins and poppy heads, scarlet emperor runner beans, painted lady runner beans and borlottis from the allotment.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

picked this week - home and allotment

not a lot to pick at home - lifted several of the leeks this week - all good sized ones but I'm not sure they'll withstand the frost and snow, so eating them now.

from the allotment we picked some romanesco cauliflowers, lots of carrots and beetroot ( a compost bag full of each), a few onions, a large butternut squash and a ragged starting to burst cabbage

Saturday, 27 November 2010


Last weekend we took over an allotment.
The previous tenant had planted lots of things and although they'd cropped some of them an awful lot were still sitting there going to waste. The allotment association don't like this as it's messy and allows weeds, particularly brambles, to take over the world. I was just thinking of all the food on the plot going to waste. Still, we've all got the same end in view - clear the plot!
Frost was forecast for the end of the week, so despite weekend rain and cloggy ground, we set to work lifting lots of carrots and beetroot, a few onions, died-back borlotti bean plants for the seed, a large butternut squash, some romanesco cauliflowers, a ragged cabbage..... The more weeds that were cleared, the more vegetables appeared underneath the mess. We can now see two nice rows of leeks, one of parsnips, perhaps some turnips and some cavallo nero cabbage/kale.

Sunday, 21 November 2010

not a lot picked from the garden this week - some lettuce, rocket, spinach leaves

2 forgotten apples

but pulling veg left by previous occupant on the allotment - onions, beetroot, carrots and butternut squash.


Exciting news this week as we have managed to get an allotment at last. Yippee!! We've been on a waiting list for about 18 months/2 years since Hubby retired, but had been told it would be several years before we had any hope of getting one. Fortunately the allotment association have been clearing overgrown areas of brambles and making more space available - and, when they phoned round to offer plots, a lot of people had either found a plot elsewhere or lost interest. So yesterday we went to look at a choice of plots - expecting to be offered a half share. It turned out there was also the possibility of taking on a full plot that had recently been worked but been abandoned in the last few months - so we've opted for this. It has fruit trees, strawberry plants, a currant bush and polytunnel! Can't wait to get really started on it.

Monday, 15 November 2010

last flowers

after last night's heavy frost - a quick dash round picking the last of the calendulas and rudbeckias


Really heavy, white over, sparkly snow-like frost this morning. Glorious sunny day now. Have been pulling out the remains of nasturtiums and peonies before they turn to complete mush. Fingers frozen now.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

picked this week

just some bits and bobs of lettuce, spinach and rocket.

Pumpkins in the kitchen are now ripening and being eaten - this one carved for halloween gave just over 3lbs of usable pumpkin flesh. some of the others are bigger so looks like a lot of meals there!

Also received a big bag of windfall pears via freecycle this week - trying to look out recipes for preserves as I don't think they will 'keep' long.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

November garden - crops

brussels nearly ready to pick

leeks most certainly ready

rocket outside,

lettuce, spinach and even a small pepper in the greenhouse

Sunday, 7 November 2010

picked this week

bits and pieces of lettuce and spinach leaves

the last cabbage and a handful of broccoli

chillies and teeny tomato from
the greenhouse

and a surprise crop of potatoes found while digging up the runner bean row

Saturday, 6 November 2010

November garden - trees

leaves everywhere right now

glorious blueberry bushes

front garden rowan



flowering cherry

and even the currant bush is turning autumnal

Friday, 5 November 2010

November garden - flowers

tagetes, fuchsias, calendulas, rudbeckias and ....... winter jasmine!

Sunday, 31 October 2010

picked this week

some really small runner beans when I was clearing the plants before frost on Tuesday night. - that's all!!

Thursday, 21 October 2010

picked this week

seem to have been picking a surprising amount from the garden this week.

a last courgette from the cold frame
runner beans
enormous (for us) leek
broccoli side shoots - surprised how well these keep re-growing

no photos though as the camera is broken and gone to hopefully be repaired

Wednesday, 20 October 2010


frost last night. properly cold with white sparkly frost over roads and fields this morning. rushed out late in the dark to adjust the fleece over the runner beans and it seems to be paying off - picked some beans again today and smaller ones look ok.
also covered the chinese cabbage - I'm not sure if that will stand frost at all but it's not very big yet so better safe than sorry - and moved the winter density and red salad bowl lettuce to the greenhouse as the drop down plastic flap on the front of the Sten unit has deteriorated and cracked up over summer.

Sunday, 17 October 2010

picked this week

frost forecast again last night so picking some last summer flowers while I can

runner beans - dashed out and covered the plants with fleece last night and everything looks OK today

picked the very last cucumber

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

next year's veg

trays of cabbage, Advantage and Oppenham Flower of Spring, and cauliflower, All Year Round, in the Sten house. also set winter density and red salad bowl lettuce last week - quite mild still and too many slugs/snails in the greenhouse, so leaving these in the sheltered but open air Sten house.

planting out larger cabbage, Classic (?), to crop over winter hopefully
also set broad bean seed and a dozen winter onions

Sunday, 10 October 2010

picked this week

more runner beans again - not so very many this week, only a couple of meals-worth

still picking rocket from the garden but now have small lettuce and spinach leaves in the greenhouse

....and some rather sad looking chilli plants with fruits still ripening

also lifted another cabbage, a Savoy this time, which should have been ready late last winter

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

brain fade

forgot to add runner beans, cabbage, a small cucumber and rocket to the 'picked this week' entry. Not all that many beans but pleased to see some still growing. the cucumber was quite a surprise as I hadn't realised any were still growing - found it and a smaller one growing low down only just off the floor. have a new batch of rocket growing from self-set seeds - might try leaving all the run-to-seed flower heads and see how much grows.

Monday, 4 October 2010

picked this week

not strictly speaking 'picked this week' but have just got round to string up the onions in the garage with little ones left over for pickling

cleared out the pumpkin/pea row and found these 3 strange half-grown pumpkins

three more baby aubergines

and the last of the green tomatoes