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

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Saving seed

We're finding this year with an allotment to plant up that we're buying far more seed. There's only so much to be found in sales and cut price stores so I'm thinking we need to try and save more of our own.

Alongside 'normal' things such as peas (a bit blurred), sweetpeas and broad beans, we're trying some broccoli that accidentally got carried away and ran to seed and rocket which is perfectly capable of self- setting in areas it isn't wanted.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

picked this week

an exotic feel to this week's harvest - crystal lemon cucumber, the first baby aubergine and ripe tomato, sugar snap peas (from the allotment so NOT eaten straight from the plant) and yet another courgette!
We've so many courgettes, that they've been turned into jam and chutney, grated for muffins, roasted, added to curries and pasta - and I've still frozen loads.

Also busy freezing runner beans - this is one morning's picking - and blackberries from the side of the allotment.

Add Image Thinned the branches and fruit on the apple tree this week, so I've a basket of smallish apples.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

picked this week

busy, busy times merely getting the picking done!

Cucumbers have started cropping this week - several from each plant. I think the normal cucumbers are marketmore, the strange round one is crystal lemon.

Courgettes are getting out of hand - these are one day's worth. So we've decided to lift one of the polytunnel plants to make room for everything else and to take the cold frame off the ones in the garden and put it over some small flowering pepper plants.

The cheap packet of mixed type radish is starting to crop. The cream ones that look like turnips are surprisingly milder than the red.

picked a couple more cabbages this week
some lettuce

more peas - the tall Aldermans are now cropping though not many yet
have finished picking broad beans for now - we've left a couple of pods on each plant to dry. Some for next year's seed, some to eat over winter hopefully.
french beans and now runner beans - another glut may be on the way

still picking enough alpine strawberries to top my breakfast and some of the other plants are flowering again - so they are perpetual fruiters and hopefully will fruit soon.

Friday, 5 August 2011

Friday - going in circles

A day of solid rain on Wednesday breaking a week of hot dry weather. In hope of more weekend rain, I spent today digging over some patches of garden, pulling out running to seed rocket, generally clearing it out and sowing more seed. As usual, weeding turned up some interesting plants, including oregano and antirrhinums which I immediately replanted, so I had to weed the flowerbed patch they were going to go in. I so often end up in circles like this - set out to do Job A and end up sidetracked into B and C.
Anyway, at last I got the ground cleared and Offenham cabbage, multicoloured radish, white chard and bordeaux spinach set - most for Autumn but the cabbage is for Spring. Also collected the rocket seed for next year.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

August in the garden - flowers

flowers everywhere at the moment - an unexpected late poppy, the fuchsia I didn't think had survived the snow, a dianthus bought from reduced rack at the garden centre, marigolds and self-set calendulas, nasturtiums, cosmos, deep blue platycodons and oregano pushing out across the path.