Sunday, 10 July 2016

Getting a bit fruity

It's that time of year again where all the fruit is ripe at the same time so you have no idea where to start picking or just what to do with all that fruit you have.
I have several patches of fruit around the garden but my main patch is at the back of the garden by the greenhouse. It really dose get a lot of sun in this part of the garden this is why I originally chose this spot. we have two rows of raspberries two rows of strawberries a row of red, white and black currents mixed up grown as fans, Japanese whine berries growing up the back wall and finally a row of sauvignon blanc grapes.
 The currents have been under the protection of a net for the last couple of weeks as I was not taking any chances this year I lost most of the crop to the birds last year they where not getting them again.
I pealed back the netting to reveal the shiny red, white and back berries the red currents are so shiny you can almost see your face in them you can see why the birds are attracted to them so much.
After a few hours of picking and very red hands and fingers later we have several bowls full of yummy fruit. Now what to do with all this fruit some will be turned into Jam some will be frozen to use to use over the winter. The rest will be made into lots of yummy deserts over the weekend eaton mess and summer fruit pudding spring to mind.

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Sunday, 3 April 2016

Fashion from Flowers

I popped over to Holland this week and payed a visit to Keukenhof gardens in Lisse, Keukenhof has to be the best spring garden in the world.
There is so much to see and it's not all about bulbs one of the highlights to a visit to Keukenhof this year is a visit to the Beatrix Pavilion. Apart from the fantastic orchid show there is the Flowers and Fashion show which is a fantastic display of couture fashion either made from or adorned with flowers.
The exhibition has been designed by Ronald Kolk, Philip Treacy, Jan Jansen, Janne Kyttanen and Maria Marcus. Now I am not much of a fashion lover but even I was amazed by the beauty of these dresses and the skill that has gone into making them.
The pavilion is so colourful filled with some of the most wonderful orchards you will ever see and the way they have combined the clothes with the same colour flowers is fantastic. If every fashion show was like this I may be tempted to get into fashion, as gardening and fashion really do go together as they are both arts.
The show is on from now until the 16th May and is a must see for the gardener and fashion lovers I have also added lots of pictures of the exhibition on Instagram.
See there website for full details
They have shoes and handbags too.

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Like an expectant parent

Once you have carefully sown your seeds you have covered them up with the last thin layer of compost then there is the wait. It seems forever but really it's only been a week a gardener is like an expectant parent waiting for there child to appear for all the world to see you are constantly telling everyone what you sowed. Even if they are not the slightest bit interested you still tell them you even tweet a pic of the pot full of compost all your gardening followers like or comment on the pot full of compost. (we are a strange bunch us gardeners) Then there is the checking you are looking at the pots daily even several times a day willing them to grow making sure the temperature is right and that they are not too wet or dry. After several days you then start poking the compost with the label just to see if they are begging to grow. But then the day arrives when you notice a slight bulge in the compost finally they are growing the new plant is pushing its way out of it's seed shell and compost. You are then off to tell everyone again that all those seeds that you sowed a week ago have germinated they are still not interested but you tell them anyway. You take another pic and tweet it and every one congratulates you on the germination of your new plants (as I said we are a strange bunch) some folk even have a celebratory drink to wet the seedling's head. But then why not as it is a new life being brought into the world and it will have to put up with a lot during it's lifetime how ever long or short it will be.

Saturday, 20 February 2016

Lets get sowing

There is nothing better to lift your spirits on a dull gloomy day than to sow some seeds in the greenhouse. Although it is still too early to sow most crops there is still lots that could be sown especially if you have the protection of a greenhouse even if it is not heated.
I have not heated my greenhouse for years now and have not had any problems to date yes I have to sow a bit later for some crops. But that dose not matter as the crops always catch up eventually but I have noticed that the harder you grow the plants the better they perform when you plant them out. But at this time of the year there are some crops that once I have sown them I bring them indoors and place them on the window sill to get a bit of heat. Tomatoes, chillies and aubergines all need an early start and a bit of heat to get them off to a good start so they are all put on the window ledge. but brassicas, lettuce, peas are quite happy being sown on the unheated greenhouse if it is going to get really cold I just through a bit of fleece over them for a bit of extra protection. I also start off a few pots of salad leaves, radish and first early potatoes in the greenhouse so we get some early crops before we start cropping outside. It is forecast to rain again tomorrow but hopefully the weather man will get it wrong again and we have a nice dry day so I can do a bit more outside.

Saturday, 6 February 2016

Rain rain go away

Well I was completely and utterly rained off today although it was forecast I was hoping the weather man would get it wrong. But it did give me a chance to sort through my seed box and pull out the seeds that need to be sown this month it also reminded me that I still had not cleaned out the greenhouse. It is still stuffed full of pots, seed trays and half rotting pumpkins that I forgot about from last year.
At least it was dry in the greenhouse I put the barrow by the door and chucked everything in it while trying to keep dry. once cleared I gave everything a brush down and even managed to sieve a bag of compost ready for sowing in the morning. Well lets hope the weather is slightly better in the morning than it was today.

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Start of the growing year

It's February and there is so much to do in the garden it has been so mild this winter the garden has hardly stopped growing all winter. It is really the start of the growing year as it is the first time I have been able to get in the garden for a wile apart from to feed the chickens and do some gardening. So there has been lots of stuff to do I have never had to mow the grass in January before it was nearly 6" tall in places as it has not stopped growing but the grass is very green for the time of the year.
The compost heaps have become so full over the winter with all the leaves, animal bedding and kitchen waste as well as all the paper and cardboard. So they where desperate for a turn but as I was emptying them out there was lots of dry patches in the middle where the rain has not got all the way into the heap. I decided to leave the contents out on the bed next to the heap so it could get a good soaking from the rain before I put it all back in to the bin this weekend. I will them repeat the same for the other two bins the other problem I have created is all my bins are full when I built the bins the idea was that as one gets full it gets turned into the next one. With the last bin being full of finished compost ready to go on the garden so I will have lots ready all at once. With no where to put all the new waste that needs composting I may need to get a few more pallets and build a fourth compost bin.
 One crop that is doing well that I have not grown for a few years is sprouting broccoli it has been growing well and has only just been discovered by the pigeon's. I have put a net over them now so they can not get to them they will have to eat the neighbours instead. This weekend I will be cleaning out the greenhouse so I can start off a few early crops some brassicas, lettuce etc. I am also going to sow some early carrots in the cold frame I did this last year and they did really well so worth doing again.

Wednesday, 27 January 2016