The harvest is in and it’s time to plan for next year. My SOS usually features the garden but there has been some action on the veg patch this year. Onions: fail. Dwarf green beans: not bad. Carrots: a handful. Tomatoes: slow to ripen but the outdoor ones have done well and no blight! Strawberries: better than last year. New potatoes: not many. Courgettes: just enough. Each year the list of what to grow gets smaller. No more leeks for me, no more swede and no broccoli, psb or otherwise. I had a go at red cabbage again this year and the slugs have stripped every last leaf from all six of my seedlings. That could be a last outing for cabbage. Enough words, time for some photos.
San Marazano tomatoes, which are delicious for making a passata. A regular favourite for growing in the greenhouse.
Parsnips growing for later in the year. These are ‘Tender but True’.
These are Pink Fir Apple potatoes, another great favourite and the crop wasn’t too bad. Last night they were cooked jacket potato style and Sunday night they will be roasted as wedges.
I have two patches sown with Green Manure this year. Both sown in September. They will stay in the ground until November. My plan is to dig them in just as the manure for feeding the veg plot arrives.
Carrots. WilI I, won’t I grow again. These are Nantes, they have a fantastic carrot smell and taste very good too, so on balance I will grow again. Perhaps I will sow later in the season so that they are ready for eating now. The danger is that the slugs start nibbling away at them underground.
This is as far as the melon got. I tried hand pollinating this year to get some to grow before the bees arrived to their job. It was not successful. I am going to accept that my greenhouse, which is in shade until the afternoon, is not the best place for melons to grow.
This week has been a treat. Particularly so here as decorating has been the top priority and having the doors open to the sunny garden has lifted the spirits. Having neglected the garden over the last few weeks there were a few lovely surprises. Here’s this week’s six.
The autumn crocuses have pushed through the geranium phaeum foliage and for a few brief days were untouched by the slugs. A neighbour has reported seeing a hedgehog in the garden and wondered what to do. I immediately offered outdoor dining for the dear creature at my place. I live in hope.
It is the turn of the blue delphiniums to re-flower. Slightly paler in colour, I think, than the first flowering but very welcome.
The gaura is past its best but it has to be featured this week because it looked so lovely against the pennisetum villosum this morning.
This scabious was a new plant purchase last year but has only made it into the garden proper this year, It is scabiosa caucasica ‘Miss Willmott’, bought on a visit to Beth Chatto garden in Essex. This should flower on through October.
Dhalia ‘Blanc y Verde’ from a Sarah Raven combination. I grow them in pots and they used be accompanied by dahlia ‘Furka’ but these have a been a no show this year. I have to give this dahlia a pat on the back. They have tolerated my erratic watering with amazing good grace. As I notice their wilted leaves I drench them with a can full of water and a dose of Tomorite or Maxicrop and thankfully they re-hydrate.
Sorry to go about the cosmos again but really they have been stunning this year. This crowd is ‘Dazzler’. There are about three plants here that are pumping out the flowers week after week. I am well and truly dazzled.
I am sure The Propagator will have much to dazzle us with and of course there are the links to the other SOS posts to enjoy. A beautiful weekend lies ahead here so let’s enjoy it while it lasts.
It’s been harvest time this week. So without further ado I give you this week’s six.
All the apples from all the trees are picked in one go and are taken to an juicing farm. This year’s crop seemed to be less than last year and when the juice was collected is was proved to be so. Thirty five bottles against fifty one last year. There has been some significant pruning undertaken for one of the trees to get it back into shape and this was where we noticed less apples. Perhaps next year it will be back to bearing a higher crop.
As we had the apple picker out we decided to go for the plum tree too. All the plums were gathered in and the fruit was halved and stoned before freezing. I have never had much success with plum jam so the plan is make endless plum and frangipane tarts.
Cutting back the perennials promptly does pay dividends, the delphiniums have rewarded me with a second flowering.
Helenium ‘Short and Sassy’ is a good height for the front of the border and flowers well. I have dead heading to catch up with which will keep it going.
The rain and occasional sun seem to be powering the garden on. Last week’s flattened cosmos were hauled up right and staked to within an inch of their lives. This revealed them to be nearly five feet high. Impressive going when I think back to those tiny seedlings that appeared in spring.
Finally the bee, on a separate planting of cosmos. The bees seem to be on a resurgence in the garden. They float from these cosmos plants across the path to the agastache in great numbers. Always fascinating to watch.
But I have much to do. The hollyhocks are ready to be cut down and the roses need another round of deadheading. I also have plans to move plants and the bulbs have started to arrive. The ideas for next year are gently bubbling away.
Mr P sets a good example as always, managing to file a SOS post whilst on holiday. He has spotted nerines which sadly reminds me of the bagful of bulbs that I bought last year which I fear will come to nothing. I have a few leaves poking up from some I put in a container but those in the ground seem to have failed. Hey ho!