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

Saturday, 29 December 2012

Picked this week - 29th December 2012

 a quick trip to the allotment just before Christmas gave us some leeks, cabbage and VERY dirty parsnips.

The allotments are now flooded again by persistent rain.The blackcurrants on the second plot are standing in water so I'm hoping the weather with dry up soon.

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Planting out brassicas

After last week's cold spell - with daytime temperatures barely above freezing - this week has been pleasant and mild (by comparison). So yesterday encouraged by some warm sunshine I decided to plant out some cauliflower and cabbage seedlings round the garden. Not many - only half a dozen in total - but something to fill the bare salad beds from now till Spring.

Monday, 10 December 2012

Picked this week 9th December 2012

We had a brief trip to the allotment mid-week to just check up on things and found some bits and bobs to pick; salad leaves, kale (yet again) and the hearts of some cabbages that had been frosted. There's still a few parsnips and leeks left unpicked but unless it gets much colder they'll keep as well in the ground, so we're leaving them there.
From the garden I managed to find more leaves - mainly land cress - enough to add to sandwiches.

Friday, 7 December 2012

Garden in December

 December has come in with clear nights and the first hard frosts.

 Colour is now mainly down to berries - till the birds eat them.


A few flowers are still there though - early polyanthus

winter jasmine in full bloom

 and the odd kaffir lily

The frosts have killed the rampant nasturtiums and it's now possible to see the small winter vegetables that were growing through them - cavolo nero kale with some late flowering bedraggled candytuft -

and a short row of leeks

The greenhouse is double and triple layered with fleece, bubble wrap and plastic sheeting but with the cold night time temperatures of this last week I don't think the pepper plants will survive even under all these layers.

Hardier things are ok though - winter lettuce in the propagator, winter hardy spring onions to be planted out into the greenhouse floor soon and brassicas to maybe go outside when the weather warms again.

Monday, 3 December 2012

Picked this week 2nd December 2012

Same old, same old....

It's only when you start to grow-your-own at a serious level that you start to realise how boring vegetables can become - yes, it's another week of leeks, parsnips, kale and a bit of broccoli. 

Not even any raspberries to perk things up though I did find a handful of salad leaves. It makes me appreciate how monotonous our winter diet would be if we had to rely on what we could grow.
somewhere under the mud there are parsnips, I hope.

Monday, 26 November 2012

Picked this week 25th November 2012

 Some warmer weather veg this week - a few rather small tomatoes, the ripe one from inside, the just-turning from the greenhouse

even some raspberries from the allotment. Every time I pick some I think they'll be the last for this year.

 mixed lettuce leaves and even some radishes!

More wintery fare - kale (again!) and broccoli bits

and a late 'Spring' cabbage

Friday, 23 November 2012


Persistent rain yesterday onto ground that was already wet enough left bits of allotment flooded - fortunately not our plot.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Picked this week 18th November 2012

 Not a lot to be picked right now - some leeks, more kale and a handful of raspberries that disappeared too quickly to be photographed.

Wishing that the autumn cauliflower had survived the summer downpours but for now we're using up runner beans from the freezer.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

This week at the allotment - 17th November 2012

 Look carefully - either side of the string - and you can see next year's broad beans starting to grow!

establishing fruit on the second plot

raspberry canes

currant bushes with strawberries underneath

not very clear - but a youngish damson tree, one of several we picked up through Freegle

a last minute effort by the peas

...and the blackberries

on the first plot - a very autumnal gooseberry that I rather wish I had in the garden for the colour.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Surprise find

We were a bit worried about the roots of a cotoneaster growing against the garage wall. They were starting to lift the slab path and could have been heading for the foundations! As there are other cotoneasters already growing there, we decided to chop this one down - and in doing so discovered this bird nest (fortunately empty at this time of year). I thought we'd had blackbirds nesting there but hadn't been sure as when spotted on his way back to the nest with grass or twigs, the blackbird would fly off in a different direction.
Now the leaves have fallen we've discovered more nests in the silver birch and rowan which we weren't aware of. Obviously the birds are clever at putting me off the scent!

Monday, 12 November 2012

Half way to Winter

the over-the-back-fence sycamore getting ready for Winter

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Picked this week - 11th November 2012

Plenty of bizarrely shaped parsnips

Some lettuce - both red and green -  which I ate before thinking about photos!

more kale! and some peas, 2 or 3! - I wish more of the plants had survived the wet late summer/early autumn

and even some raspberries. Fortunately I picked these the day before a heavy frost. I'm not sure if there'll be any more now.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

November veg - mostly in the greenhouse

I'm still trying to extend the damp dismal summer by lining the greenhouse with plastic sheets, bubble wrap and proper garden fleece in the hope that some tomatoes and peppers may grow a little. They could be picked now but larger fruit would be nice.

Outside there are still strawberries trying to flower and fruit. I've, rather too late, decided to cover them with a propagator lid in an attempt to ripen the berries. 

On the other hand I have new veg growing to be planted out soon and hopefully crop in Spring

All Year Round cauliflowers and Flower of Spring cabbages

green kale

a winter hardy lettuce growing under propagator in the greenhouse so hopefully warm enough even on cold nights

a tray of Winter Hardy White Lisbon spring onions - these should have been set outside in late August/ September but I'm experimenting with starting them inside in a tray and maybe planting our out into one of the greenhouses rather than putting them outdoors

another experiment - marrowfat peas from home grown, but starting to spout, seed. These few peas wouldn't have kept over winter - either as seed or as dried peas to cook with - so I set them in this tub, at first outside then moving it to the greenhouse as the temperature dropped. they aren't a type of peas that I'd expect to overwinter but maybe if they're kept warm they'll be ok and we'll have really early peas.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Two Seasons in One day

While half the garden is disappearing under a carpet of autumnal golden leaves against the house Spring has arrived early with the winter jasmine in full flower.