Not counting my chickens..

.. but my plan to harvest sixty different fruit, vegetables and edible plants this year is nicely on track. As I explained back in January the plan is to see if the garden and allotment can produce sixty different vegetables, fruits, herbs, or edible flowers and weeds over the course of the year. I’ve now recorded forty-five – see the running total here – with my climbing French beans the latest in the harvest record. So, I’m fairly optimistic that I’ll reach sixty by the end of the autumn harvest. However, I’m not counting my chickens too soon as all … Continue reading Not counting my chickens..

Falling behind

Apologies that I’ve fallen behind on blogging – life has got in the way a bit – but exciting things are happening in the garden. Here’s a snapshot from last week’s glorious sunshine. Plum blossom, crocuses, a tiny self-sown nasturtium in beside the tulips, the wild primroses all coming up. Now it’s all rainy and cold and nasty, but my cucumbers have germinated, so life is good: Continue reading Falling behind

Start of the preserving season

The jam making season has started here at Reclaiming Paradise. I’ve got a glut of green tomatoes, plums, runner beans, courgettes, a couple of marrows, apples on their way and one giant cucumber Where to to start? Some of the tomatoes are ripening but a few of the others have blight so I reckoned I need to pick some and start the preserving season. Whether to make plum jam and green tomato chutney, or green tomato marmalade and plum chutney? I decided on the marmalade first – it’s simmering away as I write: See here for the recipe – green … Continue reading Start of the preserving season

July garden: foxes and thunderstorms

Falling behind with blogging again but here’s some of what’s been going on in the garden: Lots of flowers all coming out just now. Strawberries and raspberries at their best – and good enough to make some rather yummy strawberry scones to share with my sons who managed to be here at the same time for the first time in many months. Vegetables coming along slowly. Here are some of the peas and the first cucumber: We had an impressive thunderstorm and extensive flooding at the weekend. All fine in my garden but the roads round about turned into rivers. … Continue reading July garden: foxes and thunderstorms

Six on the first day of May

After a long hard winter, suddenly it’s the first of May and it’s still a bit nippy outside. However, today is also Saturday so in this post I’ll try and summarise what I found on this May morning in six themes for #SixOnSaturday Seedlings on my windowsill – green cucumbers doing rather well, all sorts of tomatoes growing nicely and, in the photo on the right, four new seedlings of the giant tomato Costuluto Fiorentino, which I thought had failed to germinate this year. Actually, make that five, I’ve just noticed a tiny seedling in the pot behind as well. … Continue reading Six on the first day of May

Six on Tuesday

It’s all go in the garden just now and somehow I’ve forgotten to blog about it. I missed SixonSaturday so here’s a wee update of sixish on Tuesday. These gorgeous self-seeded wallflowers are flowering in funny little corners of the front garden: 2. I got along to the allotment last week and used some spare bits of wood to create a sort of terrace for one of the beds which was threatening to overflow down the hill. Here it is in all its glory. Please excuse the weeds and note the almost complete lack of broad beans in this bed, … Continue reading Six on Tuesday

Holidays: hills, wildlife, vegetables

I’ve been away for a short holiday, recharging the batteries in the English Lake District. Much as I love my garden, it was nice to get out into the wide open, climb some hills, row on a lake, look at 5000 years of history, spend some time with family, watch the wildlife and go for a very quick cold water swim: From top left: sunset over Derwent Water, a grasshopper settling on my leg, halfway up a mountain, Castlerigg Stone Circle, a very fluffy caterpillar, a lone duck, waiting for me to join it for a coldwater swim, yet more … Continue reading Holidays: hills, wildlife, vegetables

Late summer promise

It poured with rain in the night and I wandered round the garden this morning to see what was happening in the vegetable beds, accompanied by my furry assistant. I had a sense that the season was turning. The potatoes and soft fruit are nearly finished and I was beginning to worry if anything would take their place. A closer look showed the promise of late summer joys. So here’s what I found for today’s #SixOnSaturday. First, in my runner bean bed, where the sweet peas have been blooming for a few weeks, the runner beans are beginning to form … Continue reading Late summer promise

Garden joys

Two months ago I started my main seed sowing of the season: tomatoes, cucumbers, chillies, peas and some flowers. I said I was ‘sowing seeds of hope‘. I didn’t know then that we would still all be in lockdown two months later, but I looked forward to a summer of vegetables. Today, I’ve sowed some more seeds but mainly I’ve been planting things out in the garden and being thankful for all that grows there. I posted six of my favourite flowers for #SixOnSaturday on Twitter Clockwise from top left: The roses are starting to come out in the garden, … Continue reading Garden joys

Seedlings and potatoes

This weekend the vegetable growing really got going. First of all, though, please admire this amaryllis which has been sitting on the bathroom windowsill for about ten years, doing absolutely nothing. Well that’s not entirely true. It has produced green leaves every year but no flowers for a very long time. This was the year it chose to flower. We may have to wait another ten years for the next flower but I am patient. Back to the vegetables. The seedlings on my windowsill have been romping away Cucumbers, tomatoes and huge mass of out of date basil seeds which … Continue reading Seedlings and potatoes