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

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Picked this week - peas and fruit

 Just past Midsummer, though you might not believe it from the weather, and more exciting veg is coming ready. Last week I was starting to pick broad beans, this week it's the first peas and redcurrants and two lone alpine strawberries. There'll soon be masses of all, I hope.

Broad beans are still cropping like crazy and the early lettuce is maybe starting to bolt.

Spring cabbage and cauliflower haven't done as well as hoped but we've eaten what there is.

Waiting for the first potatoes now.....

Monday, 25 June 2012

More redesigning and loads of free bricks

With my plans for re-structuring the garden, we'd expected to have to buy more slabs or bricks - so when 'lots of bricks' were offered on Freecycle, we asked for them. There were rather a lot!

And some nice shaped cobbles for edging or circular features.
The task then was to decide how best to use them - and to clear them from the patio. This is step 1 - a small paved area by the repositioned bench. It's not quite finished off because a rhubarb root is in the way and I don't want to move it at this time of year.
 We now need to make a path through the flowers to the lawn instead of walking through and crushing them.

Step 2 - finding out how many bricks will be needed to replace the path to the greenhouse which was made of old broken slabs.

checking the width of the new path

Step 3 - and at last the fundamental design of the new garden falling in to place - I'm using some of the remainder of the bricks to mark out two arcs either side of the main path. Inside the arcs will be small annual flowers and plots for growing veg seedlings. Outside are larger or perennial plants -on one side foxgloves and a wigwam of mangetout peas, and on the other the rhubarb.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Summer solstice - vegetables

 Yes, it really is a vegetable! These are the blauwschokker peas - purple flowers and dark purple, almost black, pods.

 There's fruit ripening - redcurrants and alpine strawberries just ready to pick and still masses of rhubarb. Apples have set and are starting to swell.

 Picking more broad beans than we can eat from the allotment and the first few peas were ready today!

 Waiting now for tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers from the greenhouse.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Summer Solstice - flowers

 The garden is still dominated by foxgloves lining the main path but in-between other flowers are managing to grow.


new view opened up by removing fence

The borders aren't as full and bright now - most of the poppies are past their best.

'Albert' roses - just starting to flower

foxglove, heuchera and lavender border

first nasturtium

blue geraniums and flowering pyracantha


Monday, 18 June 2012

Foxglove garden

 Due to leaving the veg garden here at home to run virtually wild  so far this year, I have an amazing display of foxgloves - in all shades of cream, lilac and pink.

Sunday, 17 June 2012

New season broad beans

The allotment broad beans are starting to come thick and fast - for the moment just from the over-wintered row but the others are nearly ready. I'm picking them young and small for now because there are going to be a lot of them! Although obviously I'd like some - well, a lot - for the freezer, I don't really want to start on that quite yet.

The peas, on the other hand, are proving a little disappointing. there are lots and lots of pods on a couple of rows but, despite the rain, they aren't filling. Hopefully sometime this week they'll be ready.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Busy busy

 Having a busy week in both allotment and garden.

I've lifted my 'accidental' crop of garlic - which is what you get if you don't lift all the roots! It's looking rather good though.


Started pulling the winter onions - I've left these a bit too late and they're starting to run to seed - and the last of the leeks which are almost heading the same way
Pulling more spring cabbage which unfortunately is so nice and tender that all the slugs are feasting off it - and I feel like I'm throwing away more than I dare eat. There were also a couple of very small, very ragged looking cauliflowers. I'd hoped they'd do better than this so bending over leaves and keeping fingers crossed for the rest of the row.

Setting MORE seeds. I thought we were starting to run out of space even with a whole allotment to use - expected French and borlotto beans to need to wait till broad beans or potatoes were lifted. But now we have a whole new bit of ground to play with so I've been sowing more sweetcorn, blue lake french beans, cabbage, brussels, cauliflower and red kale(some of this may stay at home as ornamental food). I've gone back to sowing in trays of seed compost as anything trying to grow out in the garden at the moment is being chewed up by slugs and snails.

Monday, 11 June 2012

This week at the allotment

An exciting week as, along with the usual leaves and radishes, we have the first of this year's broad beans!! Not very large and nor very many but there are such a lot on the plants that I thought I'd start picking early.

Lots of other things too....

The spring cabbage is starting to  burst without having made real hearts - not very attractive looking but still edible.

I lifted the last of last year's beetroot as the leaves were getting rather tough. Most of it had no root at all and even these two were very small.

The cauliflowers also look like  bursting before making proper hearts - this tiny one is barely the size of my fist. Lots of kale to pick though. We've never grown this before so not sure how much we'll use.

An extra special bit of news is that we've been offered a mini-allotment to go with out current plot. It's surprising how quickly growing space gets used up and after feeling we had an unlimited area this time last year, we'd begun to feel in need of more! This now gives us more space for soft fruit - raspberries, gooseberries etc - though in the short term the extra ground will probably just go under salads and beans of one sort or another.

Friday, 8 June 2012

I turn my back and....

We've been away for two days - well almost three - and the path is overgrown! Not fun walking down it in rain!

Saturday, 2 June 2012


 Well, June hasn't started in a very warm way. Last week's heat has been replaced with drizzly dampness - good for the garden no doubt.

The flower borders are filled to overflowing right now - and the last couple of days of dampness seem to have intensified colours.

 There are new oriental poppies this year - though I'm a little disappointed as I was hoping for plum shades but have more orangey-red ones and strange pale peach.

the rhubarb is growing well......

...and I have a cold-frame full of lettuce

the snowball tree is looking marvellous this year 

and everywhere there are wonderful foxgloves .......

hanging over the path...

guarding the greenhouse....

 climbing through the vine...
and I even have a white one again after many years - as all of them are self-set, there's no way to know their colours before flowering time.