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

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Painted Lady beans.

we are experimenting with growing some Painted Lady runner beans this year. these are a heritage variety that we first saw growing in the National Trust's garden at Shugborough Hall. we were struck then by how attractive the flowers are, a variegated red and pink, and are growing them in a spot which, though in the vegetable garden, is visible from the patio - they also screen the greenhouse and provide some shade from the sun for it.

Sunday, 27 June 2010

fruit ripening early with all the good weather we've been having - redcurrants and strawberries ready for picking with blackcurrants soon to follow

lots of Delikett mangetout peas for salads, stirfry and snacking straight from the plant
cauliflowers coming ready in a rush - pulled half the row this week as the sun and heat are causing them to bolt rather than form solid heads
lots of lettuce, though it's starting to bolt, rocket and spinach.

Tuesday, 22 June 2010


midsummer yesterday so time for a round up of what's happening in the garden. first flower buds appeared on painted lady runner beans and dwarf french beans. a courgette almost ready. cucumbers filling. green tomatoes set.

Sunday, 20 June 2010

picked this week

first peas off the feltham first plants

cabbage - probably offenham flower of spring - one of those growing in the runner bean row.

lots of lettuce, green clarion and 2 reds - red salad bowl and merveille des quatre saisons

so many mangetout peas that I've now time to photograph them before I eat them

rocket, spinach

chives, lemon balm, oregano

alpine strawberries

still sowing seeds

been sowing seeds again this last week or so, some in trays, some straight in the garden. for late summer, there's some reuzensuiker mangetout peas - already through - and radishes. for autumn some all year round cauliflowers, autumn king carrots and swedes. for winter there's a late setting of brussels sprouts and three sorts of cabbage - january king, picador and classic. for next spring there's some early purple sprouting broccoli.
also set some blood red wallflowers for spring.
with luck we should be able to keep the garden as productive over winter as it is in spring and summer. this is what I'm always aiming for, sometimes it works better than others. sometimes things don't grow quickly enough we end up, yet again, with spring cabbage still growing in the spot needed for the runner beans. hopefully this year everything will work according to plan

Friday, 18 June 2010

yesterday's sunshine

very excited to discover a cream foxglove in the garden. had one several years ago but it died without re-seeding.


lovely irises from a cheap, out of date pack of bulbs

more foxgloves spreading in the veg patch

london pride

Sunday, 13 June 2010

picked this week

quite a bit of rhubarb - must start to freeze some.

some more leeks - they're starting to come into flowerbud so need to eat them all soon.

picking lettuce before it's fully grown as there is such a lot of it and so very little space for it.
bits of rocket, getting very fiery and peppery, and young leaf spinach.
picked the first mangetout peas - no photo as I ate them straight from the plant.
have also tested the alpine strawberries but they were small and hard although quite red.

Saturday, 12 June 2010

flowering now

an odd welsh poppy - all the rest are yellow, this one which appeared last summer is more orange in colour - hoping to propagate it.

not really a flower but the seed heads of the purple alliums

lavender plant from IKEA

my favourite oriental poppy - not as orange/flame red as the others. I'm hoping to grow some deep purple ones from seed.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

after the holiday

sometimes wonder if there are too many flowers in this vegetable patch!

onions and cabbages

tall alderman peas, cauliflowers and french beans

catch crop of lettuce between broccoli and brussels

feltham first peas nearly ready

broad beans, cabbages, red salad bowl lettuce and, right at the front, strawberries

Monday, 7 June 2010

waiting for fruit

heavy thunderstorms over the weekend and rain forecast for this week - at least it should help the fruit swell.

blueberries and redcurrants waiting to ripen

apples waiting to swell

rhubarb for now

Sunday, 6 June 2010

holidays, sunshine and rain

away for a week and everything seems to have grown a lot without us. really hot weather for the last few days followed last night and early this morning by thunder, lightening and very, very heavy rain. small seedlings in trays, left in the open to catch all possible rain while we were away, have been swamped - have now put them under the cover of the Stenhouse to dry out some.