Sunday 17 January 2010

How I spent my summer holiday

Once the madness of Christmas was over, the madness of gardening began. I still have my heart set on a potager garden, so I roped in Jonny to help dig up the ground. I used stakes and sticks and bits of wood to mark out the rough outline, to make sure it fits. I should have enough bricks to make the paths, but they need cleaning (I've done about half), and then we need to find out exactly how you lay a brick path - hopefully Youtube will help out there.

After several hours of digging and sweating, the reward was some homemade chocolate ice cream and fresh blueberries.

In the rest of the vege garden things are happening slowly but surely. The weather was hot for the first week of January, but it has been slowly regressing back to a more winterlike state. Yesterday we had to light the fire in the afternoon.

In the photo above are the zucchini plants at the front (green and yellow are going well, but 2 other mystery plants are sulking and not doing much). The borlotti beans don't want to climb their trellis, but they have cute little pink flowers and some red-patterned pods forming. The yellow plants at the front are pyrethrum, given to me by a neighbour.

Here are cannelini beans next to the concrete post, and further down dwarf peas with a miniature bamboo trellis.

In the glasshouse things are better - here are my Black Krim tomatoes. They need to darken up a bit more before you pick them. They grow very big and heavy and the flesh is solid and meaty, and has a great flavour. The skin tends to split, but on the plus side it's very easy to peel off (after blanching) once you have picked them. Definitely my favourite variety this year.

Here's the cucumber vine next to one of the Arctic tomatoes. I expected the Arctic to have done way better than they have - since they are supposed to like cold conditions, and I sowed them in March. But they were overtaken by the Black Krims which were sown in mid August.

The cucumbers are doing well, but I need to keep pollinating them with a paintbrush. I have a recipe (one of many good ones in the Yates Garden Fresh Cookbook) for bread and butter pickle so I'm going to save up the cucumbers for that.

This is my "picking garden" - a blowsy mix of cottagey beauties that are adorning vases all through the house. I'm enjoying watching the colours change in this little patch as new varieties poke their heads out.

At the moment I'm harvesting zucchini, tomatoes, lemons, peas, carrots, cucumbers, leeks, broccoli, rhubarb, sorrel, strawberries, and plenty of herbs. How is your garden doing this season?


  1. Wow everything is looking healthy and productive. The tomatoes look like they are going to taste great! It's worth saving the cucumbers for that recipie too, I make it every year it's lovely. Desert looks delicious.

  2. Hello from the other side of the world! Your blog is lovely... I was just researching potagers & ended up here - I love crochet, sewing and gardening too, so thought I would leave an appreciative comment - from one crafter to another.



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