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

Saturday, 28 December 2013

Unseasonal veg

I've been keeping a couple of cherry tomato plants in the porch on the off-chance that they'd survive winter. I wasn't expecting them to carry on fruiting though!

Monday, 23 December 2013

Picked this week - 22nd December 2013

 I was a bit amazed by how much a found at the allotment this week

a huge bunch of radish
 leeks, which aren't so surprising at this time of year
 kale and broccoli
and the all important Christmas brussels. Thay're not very big, but with some picked earlier I now have enough for Christmas dinner

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Winter Solstice

 For midwinter, today was a mild day. I spent some time this morning pottering about to and from the shed, planting daffodil and tulip bulbs and anemone corms that I bought amazingly cheaply this week. Some I've planted into pots for hopefully some early Spring flowers in the house, the others are out in the garden.

Looking around, I was surprised how much colour is still around - the house walls are covered in jasmine and cotoneaster.

More polyanthus are coming into flower

 Unfortunately, the birds seem fond of this pink one and have nibbled most of it away.

 And there are still summer 'leftovers' - an oriental poppy with two buds, orange welsh poppies in flower and the black hollyhock is still going strong.

As I'm typing this up, late at night, I can hear birds twittering in the pyracantha at the front of the house, sounding as if they're nesting already. Surely that's not possible?

After the winds...

Last week's wind caused some trouble down at the allotment. Some of the greenhouse glass was broken, so we decided to take the rest out and pack it away safely for winter. The poly-greenhouse had a side ripped. But the silliest thing was the shed having a little lie down. Fortunately some old double-glazing panels, intended for cold-frames and being stored in the shed till Spring, survived the tumble but now we have to work out a way to lift it back up again.

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Picked this week - 8th December 2013

 really late putting this post up as we've both been sidelined with headaches and coughs. Fortunately we managed to get down to the allotment earlier in the week and found LOTS of lovely things to bring home...

I'm stunned that there are still raspberries to be picked though for next year I'd like to put some netting or fleece over them to get even more!
 a big haul of brassicas - the first brussels sprouts 9which went in the freezer for Christmas),  kale and two small cabbages
 lots of spinach
and a couple of leeks lifted 'in case' - I either lift them and don't need them, or want some when I haven't brought any home.

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

December in the garden

 Most of the garden is looking ragged and bare with only the honesty seed pods to lighten it but a bit of looking around turned up a surprising number of flowers.

 winter jasmine growing up the walls

 rosemary underneath it

the black hollyhock is determinedly flowering

and next spring's polyanthus coming into flower

 kaffir lilies looking straggly but colourful still

 and a lone welsh poppy.
One of the oriental poppies has a bud but I don't think it will manage to flower at this time of year.

 the garage wall is covered with cotoneaster berries
the front wall with pyracantha

and the rowan in the front garden has masses of berries

Monday, 2 December 2013

Picked this week - 1st December 2013

We haven't been to the allotment at all this week, so all I've picked were a few cherry tomatoes from the plants in the porch.

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Picked this week - 24th November 2013

 Well, this week we had the first hard frost and a heavy hail shower that left ice lying around, so I think it's safe to say winter's arrived.

I was astounded then to find raspberries still ripening at the allotment - expected them to have turned to mush

..and here's another surprise, found when we pulled out the bean row. A bit nibbled by grubs but hopefully a dinner's worth of potatoes.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Getting ready for winter

 After a really cold night, yesterday was lovely and sunny so we spent most of it at the allotment tidying away bean poles and digging.
The small orchard is looking very autumnal at the moment, especially the plum and cherry trees, but even the beetroot and raspberries are putting on an autumn glow.

We tucked the cauliflowers and summer broccoli up under fleece

but most of the winter veg are left uncovered for now. When the weather turns REALLY cold they'll need to be covered - not because of the weather but because the pigeons get too hungry and see the allotments as a fast food place.

We have broccoli, swedes and cabbages growing for winter and, mst important for Christmas, brussels sprouts!

Monday, 18 November 2013

Picked this week - 17th November 2013

Some cold days but no hard frosts yet.
Still, the forecast for next week varies from -5 overnight temperatures to top daytimes of +4 with snow thrown in for good measure. With that in mind we decided to do another big clear up at the allotment.

Still, surprisingly, picking raspberries and tomatoes - and even a couple of small peppers!

 a few spinach leaves

kale and broccoli

 cabbages, in case they don't stand the frost
 another surprise, radishes
 last of the runner beans - probably only good for seed
and a bucket of various root veg - summer turnips, blue radishes and beetroot. The carrots in there were being given away by someone with a surplus.