Six On Saturday: Harvesting fruit and flowers

While it has not been a glorious year on my veg patch, we are enjoying some homegrown produce. Sadly the potatoes are all eaten and I need to consider growing more next year. The tomatoes in the greenhouse are ripening at a steady pace now, courgettes and cucumbers keep coming and the rather erratic strawberries seem to have finally found their fruiting time, clearly they are late risers. The figs are huge and too many for us to eat fresh, so I should be making jam, but I think the squirrels may get in first. I’ll gloss over the failures and enjoy the successes. This is the time of year for basil and tomato combinations: tarts, sauces and salads which are wonderful. But I should mention the excessive amount of whitefly in the greenhouse this year and give a nod to encarsia wasp cards as a bio control. I was late getting these going but they are in place and hopefully doing a grand job. Roses continue to do the heavy lifting for late summer here, ably supported by zinnias and a sprinkle of dahlias. Here’s my chosen six for this week.

One

Although I have sworn not to grow dahlias again, I confess that I am enjoying the cacti mix dahlias grown from seed for a cutting patch and so far, untouched by the slugs.

Two

I present this as a success but of course that’s only half the story, I should I say one twentieth of the story. Twenty tiny seeds of nicotiana ‘Whisper’ sown, three germinated and grown on, only one so far flowering in the garden. But it’s pretty!

Three

The autumn fruiting raspberries are just beginning to fruit. It doesn’t feel like as bountiful a crop as last year but they taste good.

Four

These are, I think, cox’s pippin apples. These don’t seem to have been affected by brown rot – long may that last. In a few weeks all the apples will be picked and taken off to be juiced. Last year’s juice ran out a little while ago and we are back buying supermarket juice which is so sweet in comparison.

Five

The scented leaf pellies were slow out of the blocks this year and this one ‘Pink Capitatum’ is only just putting on a good show. I grow them in pots, overwintered in the greenhouse. This year I took a few cuttings of this variety and they have really grown on well and are also in flower now. I use the pellies instead of buying in summer bedding for pots.

Six

My long struggle with the grapevine continues. I am always behind with the pruning and this year I discovered that I should be pruning back the long lengths from May onwards. I am usually thinking about doing this around July time, when they start to descend towards the ground. This year is the first year that some of the grapes look as though they might amount to something which given the amount of rain we have had this summer might suggest that I have underwatered in previous years. A crime I will readily confess to. The vine’s main duty is to provide some shade over the pergola so in truth I don’t worry about the grapes too much.

Forthcoming projects are bubbling away, some tweaking in the long border and the plan for the back border is coming together. There is always that moment when the grand scheme in the mind hits the reality of the limited space there actually is and everything gets scaled down. My plan is to buy the plants in the next couple of weeks so all will be revealed soon! More revelations will be found, as usual, on The Propagator’s site where he hosts the links to the SOS meme. I have plenty of reading to catch up with due to a spate of of dashing around with the family, which can’t be bad in the circumstances. For those in the UK, enjoy the long weekend!

28 thoughts on “Six On Saturday: Harvesting fruit and flowers

  1. Very nice photo of the nicotiana ‘Whisper’ with the backlight. It is a success !
    As for the raspberries, they are now only arriving for the autumn picking because the first one was bad so the weather was not favorable.
    It’s true that the pruning of the grape vine is important to obtain ripe grapes… Don’t hesitate to remove the leaves around the bunches to give light and some stems which will no longer get fruit this summer.

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  2. Autumn raspberries are in full production here, Waterford, south-east Ireland, and I have just had a delicious raspberry cake for lunch! – a cake that I have just been told “even you could make it!”

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  3. well you seem to have had quite a few successes! I have a few scented pellies including ‘Pink Capitatum’ which seems to be extremely floriferous this year. I do however appear to have lost ‘Prince of Orange’ which is a shame as it had the most wonderful smell.

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  4. Coxs Pippin are the best apple in my humble opinion. How nice to have your own harvest of them. Nice to see how well your Dahlias grown from seed are. I tried Bishops Children last year and thought the results were surprisingly good.

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  5. Oh your apples look superb, and there’s just nothing like home-made apple juice, it’s like a precious amber liquid (my aunt was lucky enough to have an orchard and made enough juice to last a year). I also just saw the first ripening raspberries this afternoon, and naturally popped them straight into my mouth! But we have very different experiences with the grape vine: last year I got 20 kilos of grapes, this year is a disaster and the vine seems to have a terrible disease. I actually think it’s the excess humidity we had – after all grapes tend to grow well in relatively dry climates.

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  6. I remember Cox’s Pippin from my youth in NZ, but we never ever see them here. I still remember the taste, smell and crispness of them. You have a lot of lovely fruit to eat despite some failures.
    The dahlias are lovely, especially with the sunlight behind them.

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  7. Although I do not like to admit it, there were a few vineyards in the Santa Clara Valley. (Most of us admit to only fruit tree orchards.) Almaden Vineyards was likely the biggest. Paul Masson Vineyards was near where I went to high school. Grapes must have done well for the vineyards to have been there. However, the sort of grapes that are eaten fresh do not perform nearly as well. It amazes me that they do so well in ‘other’ places! This is supposed to be the best place for all of that!

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      • Actually the biggest grape vine in our landscapes is supposed to produce big clusters of big grapes for eating fresh, so does not produce very well. However, because it is so pretty, and shades a warm spot, it stays, and gets pruned like it should in winter. I get it.

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  8. Your grapes are glowing! Sounds like a fun shopping trip for plants is ahead. Enjoy that. One in twenty isn’t too terrible for your nicotiana, as sometimes zero make it from seed to flower for me. And of course, I love your cactus dahlias. That style appeals ro me more and more.

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