Saturday, 27 November 2021

The fence is down

 Blimmin Arwen.  The fence that we so carefully painted and strung lights all along this past year came down overnight.  This was it first thing this morning but it's looking far worse now and it's too blimmin windy to do anything about it today

This morning I got my first glimpse of the neighbours garden... Clearly not gardeners. :-(  The fence is almost completely down now and we only hope our apple tree hasn't been too badly stressed.  My poor gutter garden is all over the floor but I'll transplant the spring onions that were growing in there. That won't be for a few days as it's snowing heavens hard right now. 

Thursday, 25 November 2021

Tucking it up for the winter

 Yesterday I  covered some of my raised beds with polythene to try and keep the worse bit of the weather off. I'm glad I did as the weather got considerably colder overnight.We partially covered the pond too and hope it gives the fish a better chance of surviving the winter.


I bought the clips from the local pound shop so I'll see how strong they are

This beautiful holly that I am training into a lolly shape was a self seeded tree that we dug up and moved. It is covered in berries and looks really pretty at the bottom of the garden

The pink sweet peas are still growing strong and don't show any sign of giving up just yet

The fabulously fragrant rose is still flowering as is the white gladioli though it  has been blown over and is like the leaning tower of Pisa

Tuesday, 23 November 2021

Blimey it's cold

 Brrrr, the weather has changed very quickly these past few days so tomorrow I intend to put the polythene covers on some of the raised beds. They had a good water when it rained last night so should be fine once they are covered up snug and warm.

Today I may well have picked the last of the radish pods though there are still a few flowers left so never say never. The lettuce are coming along really well and 47 of the fifty onion sets that I planted are showing through the soil. The Kalettes look amazing as do the sprouts and three types of Kale.  The white fly didn't seem as bad when I had a walk around my plot today. Hopefully the worst is over and the brassicas can start to recover. The two perennial Kale cuttings that Steve gave me earlier this year are looking really strong and healthy and the Florence fennel that I cut back have thrown up some really strong shoots. It's a lovely fresh clean taste and gorgeous in a mixed salad. I have a couple of tubs of peas that I planted for shoots and tomorrow I'll tuck them under the polythene cloche to give them a bit of protection. They'll add some lovely fresh pea taste to the salads and will make a welcome addition. I've got a couple of rows of  decent leeks and will be making some lovely cheesy baked leeks in a few weeks time. 

Thursday, 18 November 2021

Another day of great gardening weather

 It's absolutely gorgeous out there today. Almost t shirt weather and I've made the most of it by making a start on an edible flower bed.  I've dug out some non edibles and moved them to the back of the border as it would have been a crying shame to simply discard them. Then I added a thick mulch of leaves and sand which I have covered with cardboard to stop the leaves blowing all over the neighbourhood.  The worms can work their magic all through the winter and spring and then next year I plan to top it off with compost and plant as many edible flowers as I can fit into the bed. To the right of the stepping stones are my spring onions, some beetroot and the chard that I rescued

I dug out the plants on the left hand side of the stepping stones and transplanted them towards the back of the flower bed. There's a white gladioli in full bloom and I've transplanted a load of more gladioli bulbs that were the size of a medium onion.  The flowers are edible and are very welcome additions to the flower bed. I recently discovered that all parts of a dahlia are edible so I plan to make space for some next year. The flowers will go into salads and I'll give the tubers a try to see what would be the best way to eat them. 

I've moved drumstick primula  plants to the front edge near the wall.  They always make such a pretty display in the spring.  I want to trim them back just to neaten them up.  They are a bit of a haven for slugs but as the space is shared with the garden pond I'm hoping that the frogs will help me by having a good snack. The whole space including the veggies is about ten feet by eight feet.  Plenty of room for edible flowers and veggies to grow. 

Before I covered it with leaves and sand.

Wednesday, 17 November 2021

Lovely gardening weather today

 It's been a lovely day for pottering in the garden so we made the most of the fine weather to have a good tidy up. Old plant pots have been stored away properly and some of the more tender plants have been moved to the top of the wood store. I have found that it's the wet rather than the cold that kills my pelargoniums and they survive perfectly well as long as they are under cover. I have emptied three half water butts and layered them with partially rotted compost and a thick layer of leaves that we collected the other day. Then I topped them with a good layer of compost and covered them up with a sheet of acrylic.  I'm hoping to transplant lettuce seedlings into the tubs in a week or two.  I did this last year and had an amazing crop all through the winter.Then in the spring I added more compost and planted all manner of veggies.  I am planning to be a bit more organised next year when I plant things. 


This raised bed planter looks really pretty with the lettuce and viola that I am growing for salads. The plants will soon start to bulk out and will give me a nice little crop through the cold weather.  The viola make such a pretty addition to salads

This blue tub is the base of a water butt and I have planted it up with plenty of spring bulbs. So that it isn't a wasted space through the winter I popped some spare lettuce and pansies in.

It's lovely to see so much edible produce in the garden and we are hoping for some lovely steamed veggies and winter salads over the next few months.

The new raised bed is looking really healthy with rows of beetroot which I am growing for the leaves, lettuce and spring onions.  Onions sets that I planted are just starting to push through the surface of the compost. They will hopefully give us a good crop next year.

Sunday, 14 November 2021

Beautiful Jerusalem Artichokes

 Yesterday I made a simple tray bake lunch with some belly pork, onions, garlic and Jerusalem artichokes which were fresh picked from the tub in the garden. I didn't take my camera out into the garden but when I tipped the tub of artichokes out I was delighted to see that they were absolutely jam packed into the tub.  I simply pulled off the ones I wanted and put everything else back into the tub to which I had added a bit more compost. That one tub will feed us for several weeks and I have ten more to work my way through this winter.

I picked just enough for two people

I cut the belly pork into squares and added it to the roasting pan


It was seasoned well with salt and pepper and roasted  for ten minutes before adding the onions, garlic and Jerusalem artichokes.  The lovely pork fat that was rendered out made the whole dish really tasty and crispy

Quick, simple and utterly delicious but be warned... Jerusalem Artichokes are not known as fartichokes for nothing.
Tony's been off work for the past few weeks and I have really not spent as much time in the garden as I would have liked to so this morning I am taking myself in hand and getting back to normal.
I've just prepared the salad boxes for the next few days and I'm delighted to see how many lovely leafy green veggies I have to add to the salads. I've chopped a couple of apples and added them to the boxes and they add a lovely hint of sweetness.  There's  sprout leaves, Tuscan kale, Florence fennel stalks,  kohl rabbi leaves, stalks and bulbs, radish and their leaves,rainbow chard leaves and stalks, tomatoes from my store and spring onions. I also chopped up some pickled onions that have been languishing in my cupboard and chucked them into the salad.  I intend to add some fresh picked gladioli flowers, celery, mayo and a protein element each day just before serving.  It's nice to get back on track again and lovely wandering around the garden choosing what to add. A couple of weeks ago I planted some peas for shoots and they are just starting to show through the compost. It's going to be a week or two before they are big enough to pick but will make a nice addition to salad boxes. 

Wednesday, 10 November 2021

Leaf picking season

 We've reached the time of year when the ground is covered in huge piles of leaves. Over the past couple of days Tony and I have been out and gathered eleven wheelie bin liners full.  Our local green waste collection stops after this month so we will fill the green bin with some of the  leaves and keep them moist until they break down.  We can continue to add kitchen scraps to the bin over the next  few months and I'll give it all a good turn every few days.  It's a really warm and sheltered spot on the drive so the leaves break down really quickly. I've added  a bag to each of my garden compost bins and thickly mulched one of my veg beds with leaves.  I topped the layer of leaves with a layer of reindeer poop and the worms can work their magic on it all. The rest of the bags of leaves can sit behind the wood store and break down slowly in the bags until I need to use it. If it's dry on Friday morning we'll go and collect some more and the bags can sit in the trailer until I make space for them.