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

Monday, 30 September 2013

Seedlings for Spring

It's just Autumn and here I am thinking about Spring already! 
I have small Flower of Spring cabbage seedlings growing and recently pricked out into bigger pots, and these lettuce seedlings which I'm really pleased with.
They're grown from seed I collected myself from last winter's red lettuce - Sioux, I think.

It's the first time I've tried harvesting lettuce seed and I'm amazed how many seedlings have come through. I'm starting to realise how much money I've spent unnecessarily on seed in the past!
At least I won't spend so much in future!

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Autumn arrives!

Last weekend was the equinox so now it's officially Autumn!

It came in with a lovely sunny day, though since then sunny days have alternated with damp ones.

 A lot of the garden is looking straggly but the Michaelmas daisies are now coming into their own - they're a deeper purple colour than this but it doesn't show in a photo.


 and the kaffir lilies are just starting to flower

this dark hollyhock has reached great heights

as have the sunflowers

and the painted lady runner beans

while nasturtiums are starting to take over at ground level

Monday, 23 September 2013

Picked this week - 22nd September 2013

It's been a slower 'picking' week this week as temperatures dropped and rain fell.
We've also discovered a lot of damaged crops - these turnips looked great till I started to clean them up.

Insects presumably aren't so fond of beetroot though as they seem to have given up eating their way through this one.

There's still been lots of nice things though - more apples and pears, our first bunch of grapes and a cautious pulling of rhubarb from the new plants as well as more blackberries and autumn raspberries

There are still lots of strange radishes
peas and broad beans from plants that cropped earlier but are now re-shooting

and runner beans, although not so many this week

lots and lots of green and just ripening tomatoes
a couple of 'exotics' and at last there are aubergines setting
good 'old-fashioned' veg
and a bumper harvest of sweetcorn which is heading for the freezer

Friday, 20 September 2013

Wet September

There's been a bit too much of this lately for my liking - having to sit inside while the rain pours.
It's been cold too with top daytime temperatures as low as 12.
From today though, things look set to improve for a while, the sun should come out and temperatures go back up to 20 or so.
Can't wait.

Monday, 16 September 2013

Picked this week - 16th September 2013

Last week was 'lift the onions week' so I have them hanging about all over the place.....and sitting around in sacks. I'm beginning to wonder where we'll store everything

Leeks though are for now only being lifted as we want them.

Tomatoes are still ripening but I like to pick them as soon as the colour changes and let them finish in the kitchen. Those above and right are from the allotment, those below, and the ratty looking cucumber, are from the greenhouse in the garden.

the first of the sweetcorn! Not sure if this is ripe...

lots of fruit - blackberries, apples, pears and rhubarb

all sorts of beans - french, broad and runners
and all sorts of radishes - the purple ones are thinnings of Hilds Blauer Herbst und Winter, which can grow much larger!

more beetroot, but still something we're only lifting as we want it.

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Picked this week - 8th September 2013

The weather's stayed dry and at times hot this week and some of the fruit and veg are suffering for it - blackberries are small and seedy, the runner beans aren't growing as quickly and some of the cabbages are splitting. Still there's been plenty to fill the baskets this week and thankfully Friday was a day filled with rain.

cucumbers - in all sorts of shapes and sizes

and beans
and peas and (french) beans - and spinach, broccoli, courgettes and our second pepper
and some slug-eaten borlotti beans from the garden

...and more beans, with broad beans from the regrowth after earlier crops
...and more beans - a mix of French and borlotti to dry out and shell

tomatoes - having to pick some early as the plants are bending too much
under the weight, again possibly due to lack of water

not so many blackberries as some aren't fit to eat but it's lovely to have 
late cropping strawberries

 and sacks of potatoes hiding under the stairs!

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Picked this week

Another busy week with lots and lots of blackberries, some strawberries, apple and pear thinnings and a bunch of grapes that got accidentally picked.

cabbages, cauliflowers and runner beans

and more beans!

and some more - but french beans and broad beans this time, with some peas

3lbs rhubarb for jam-making

our first pepper


big fat turnips

multi-coloured radish


and cucumber