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

Sunday, 13 December 2015

Bizarre December

After a couple of sharp frosts last month, the weather has turned strangely mild - some days have been sunny with temperatures up to 16 degrees but mostly it's rather wet. The trees are bare but the grass keeps growing and the garden doesn't really seem to know what season it is.

The cotoneaster is still holding its autumnal gold leaves but elsewhere seems nearer to Spring ...

the winter jasmine feels like its almost finished flowering

I don't have daffodils or snowdrops in flower, as I've seen reported from elsewhere but the bergenias and polyanthus are definitely out

and this alpine strawberry seems to think it's summer - I doubt the fruit will ripen though, there's not enough sunshine!

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Can it really be November?

 Apart from the odd day here and there, this 'autumn' has been surprisingly mild and dry. Here we are, starting November on a day when it was warm enough to potter round the garden in just short-sleeves!

 Although a windy day this last week brought leaves swirling from the trees, there are still odd summery flowers around ... sweet peas, nasturtiums (small ones in tubs and long spidery ones climbing up the old pea supports), welsh poppies, perennial fuchsias and even a carnation

but then ..... really strangely .... the winter jasmine is in full flower.

Monday, 5 October 2015

Happy pickings

 As the nights turn cooler it's time to protect crops at the allotment, so we're now closing the greenhouse doors and windows, and popped a cold frame over the late lettuce - anything to lengthen the cropping season!
This afternoon though was warm enough to potter about in short sleeves - a great day to have just lazed in a garden chair but things needed to be picked.

 A lot of plants are reaching the end of cropping - tomatoes, runner beans, the 'bean' beans - borlotti, cannellini, red kidney - peppers, chillies, courgettes, sweet corn ..... all summer crops that won't survive a frost, so I'm picking them all as fast as I can!

 The sweetcorn has been slow to ripen but has at last! I've also picked some of the cobs as small 'baby corn' for stir fries - these had no chance of developing into larger cobs, and picking them might help the others grow and ripen.

Peppers seem to be the best we've ever grown - we've actually got a surplus right now. Although in a greenhouse, the tomatoes have a touch of blight so I'm now picking green ones before they're affected

cauliflowers have been disappointing though - this one looks good, but is barely bigger than a tennis ball 
 some of the lettuce from the cold frame - I'm pulling odd leaves rather than waiting for a whole 'head'

 courgettes keep coming, though a little slower now - and the weird curled up thing is a cucumber!

Out allotment is at the edge of the plots, next to a hawthorn hedge now turning to suitably autumnal colours, glowing in the afternoon sun.

Monday, 28 September 2015

Autumn flowers

kaffir lily
 We've passed the equinox so there's no denying that it's now autumn but for the past few days the sun has been out and the days almost as warm as in summer, so, along with 'proper' autumnal flowers - michaelmas daisies and kaffir lilies, some summer ones are having an extended flowering season

michaelmas daisies + verbena

hardy fuchsia

one last rose
sweetpea buds

welsh poppy


another hardy fuchsia




but along with all these, the winter jasmine is starting to flower! Almost four seasons at once.

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Buddleias and butterflies

I pruned the buddleia quite severely in spring, and it's flowered a little later than usual. The flower heads seem larger though - more of a proper size, rather than tiny clumps - and with the few sunny days we've had this last week the butterflies are gathering round it.

Monday, 14 September 2015

A Quiet Sunday - perhaps...

After a gap of more than a week, we spent yesterday 'morning' at the allotment - and came home about 4 o'clock laden down with runner beans, tomatoes, courgettes, borlotto/cannellini/kidney beans, apples, pears, rhubarb, raspberries, blackberries, half a dozen plums, peppers, chillies, tiny cabbages and cauliflowers, potatoes, broccoli, radishes, blackberries, raspberries......

 Now I just have to work out some menus for the week to eat it all up!