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

Let the gluts begin

Been away for a wee holiday, enjoying the great outdoors, lots of walking, wildlife and dipping my toes in water, history, art, literature and gardens. But I’ll leave writing about that for another day. The main thing is coming home to find that the cats have survived and the vegetables are flourishing The allotment is groaning in onions and strawberries and there is promise of lots more to come: These are the tomatoes and cucumbers in pots in the new seed palace. There are lots more in the ground. The cucumbers are doing beautifully in the cucumber frame, although a … Continue reading Let the gluts begin

A stressful time of year

Today I had to dig up my awesome rainbow chard plants to make way for cucumbers and runner beans: Most of this sadly had to land in the compost bin, but I saved a big bucketful to live on for the next few days: We are subsisting almost entirely on rainbow chard and rhubarb at the moment which is probably not a good thing. Never-the-less I felt dreadful pulling these up when they still have some life in them.┬áSo I’ve planted out some tiny replacements in the wildlife area. These plants seem to be so robust that they might just … Continue reading A stressful time of year