Today was a big harvest day at the allotment. There’s a real nip in the air and temperatures of two degrees forecast for next week. So we decided to harvest all the allotment tomatoes before they succumb to the cold. They are still very green but abundant and luscious nevertheless. We picked about 3 kilos, mostly San Marzano. We also harvested the squashes, a ton of runner beans, potatoes, apples and some more raspberriesThere’s still lots to come,  including more runner beans and sweet peas The Christmas sprouts are coming along nicely: Otherwise the plot is beginning to settle down … Continue reading Harvest

Ten years

It’s ten years since we moved into this house. It seems like an appropriate moment to reflect on how the garden has changed. I kept a garden diary for the first five years that we lived here and have continued for the following five with this blog – its a little erratic but it records some of the joys and challenges of growing your own vegetables, letting some flowers grow and enjoying the wildlife. When we moved in here the front garden was a car park – I noted in my diary that it was almost entirely paved over, with … Continue reading Ten years

Lost and found

I am sure we have a poltergeist in the house. Not the kind that screams and throws things at the walls but the kind that moves things about. As I’ve explained before on this blog, I’m mainly a vegetable gardener but I can’t resist sweet peas (or daffodils, roses or snowdrops). So I have a huge tin, a repurposed old fashioned tool box, in which I keep my vegetable seeds: and a much smaller and sedate little tin for my flower seeds – pictured at the top of this post.  One day in early summer I was happily sowing flower … Continue reading Lost and found

Fruit smoothie cake

I had another glut problem this morning. Not plums or marrows but bananas.  I don’t usually buy bananas, thinking that it is better generally to use up my own gluts first.  So someone else had stockpiled them in the knowledge that the younger generation often snatches them for on-the-go breakfasts, late night munchies and sophisticated peanut butter, banana and anything going in the fridge toasties.  The young people have gone away though, leaving me with a pile of blackening, squishy fruit that had begun to disintegrate in the fruit bowl. I hate waste so what to do with this? I … Continue reading Fruit smoothie cake

Autumn raspberries

Autumn raspberries are a delight. They start to ripen in early August when you want to shout at them to slow down – it’s not autumn yet. Then they keep on coming, handfuls at a time in my garden and in small bucketfulls at the allotment. I harvested these at the allotment at the weekend and hid them away in the freezer to be brought out in the depths of winter. But they are best eaten fresh, or mixed with other fruit in summer puddings or cakes. Another fruit that they mix well with are apples and this is where … Continue reading Autumn raspberries

The year’s turning

Plums are dripping off the trees, apples are falling on the ground. Tomatoes are beginning to ripen and we are drowning in marrows Autumn has arrived. For the first time in over twenty years there are only two of us in the house to share in all this bounty. My older son has finished his studies,  for the moment, and moved on to do voluntary work, while my younger son starts a new course away from home next week. We miss their youthful enthusiasm, mess, music and musical friends. There are still some musicians around, popping in from time to … Continue reading The year’s turning

Competition time: flowers v vegetables

I’ve always though of myself as a vegetable grower rather than a flower grower. So it is with some irony that I seem to keep winning the flower prizes at the annual allotment show: I was rather pleased with this prize though. I do love my sweet peas but I only grow them because they can grow up alongside the runner beans, as I explained in a previous post But we also won a prize for a vase of annual flowers: What the judges didn’t know was that they were really vegetables – can you spot the radish flowers? Here … Continue reading Competition time: flowers v vegetables