Friday, 10 December 2010

December ramblings

I've been meaning to post here for a while. I've even had these photos uploaded for several days. But I've been rather busy and tired, and I've had to have early nights because it's getting hard to pull myself out of bed in the mornings. We are shifting to a new location for work this weekend (after being displaced by the earthquake), so a final weekend of hard yards is required and then no more double bus trips! No more getting out of bed before the breakfast radio hosts have even come on air! No more cold, rattly, stuffy, poky, inconvenient work building. Hooray!

So, here's the potager in the early morning light a couple of weeks ago. No, I still haven't laid that last brick path. Potatoes are growing madly in the foreground and you can see the tomato stakes over by the shed.

At the moment I'm harvesting broccoli, rocket, lettuce, pak choi, peas, strawberries, potatoes, various herbs and spring onions. Annoyingly I had to buy a punnet of spring onions to plant out, as I forgot to sow seeds in time to replace the ones I've just about finished harvesting. I got into such a good pattern last autumn, but over winter they all slowed down and came ready all at the same time and I was too busy picking them to think about sowing them. I've let a few go to seed so I'll have some more to sow later.

This is the first potato harvest! It doesn't look like much but I was thrilled with it. These are Heather. I sneaked these out from under a few different plants as they started flowering - apparently this is known as "bandicooting". I'll wait till the flowers die down before I harvest the rest - in the meantime the Swifts are ready.

In the glasshouse the tomatoes are working hard. This is Sunset's Red Horizon. The photo is out of date already - the fruit are probably about the size of golf balls now. Still stubbornly green though. Most of the glasshouse tomatoes now have green fruit. Sunset is in the lead, followed by Arctic, and Amazon Chocolate is growing a big mutant fruit formed from several flower heads.

This cute heart shaped strawberry was fun to eat, but makes me a little sad now. I have strawberries in baskets in the glasshouse, and I also had baskets in a wire plant stand outside the front door. Someone stole the plant stand, and the strawberry baskets, on Saturday night. I went out to water them the next morning and they were gone. Nothing else was taken - not the potted blueberry bush, any other pot plants, or the wooden chair - which makes me think it was planned. Someone had probably walked past, seen the strawberries and decided to come back later and help themselves. The planter was top heavy, so they would have had to remove the baskets to carry it out. The fact that it was so obviously deliberate really annoys me... I would almost rather have found the baskets spilled on the ground, then I could put it down to some drunken idiot rather than a cold, calculated thief. It also annoys me that I can't have pretty things outside my front door (which is set back quite far from the street), without some loser thinking they have the right to just come along and take them. There's obviously a plant klepto on the loose in my neighbourhood... maybe it's time for me to get a dog, or some killer chickens!


  1. So sorry to hear about the strawberries. It spoils your trust and pleasure of putting things on display for all the other people who walk past and enjoy the scene. I love looking over fences at peoples gardens.
    Swift lives up to its name. I did bandicoot one this week to try and it was delicious but maybe I could dig a whole shaw.
    ps this is Miriam, I see I'm on another of the boy's log ons.
    The garden looks lovely in the early morning light.

  2. That's very disappointing about your plants/stand being stolen. How slack!

    Your potager is looking great though.
    Bet those potatoes tasted delicious.

  3. The garden looks fantastic. I'm so sorry to hear about your loss. Geese make very good animals, but they also make very good thevies...of gardens that is.

  4. I grew vegetables in my front garden in quite a disadvantaged area before I moved here. I really expected to have the garden (which was right on the footpath) produce stolen or at least never happened. It is rotten when you put in effort and someone else thinks it is their right to reap the reward. Love your potager. It may not have the bricks laid but it looks productive!

  5. Ruth that sucks about your strawberry plants, there really are some a--h---- out there. Still your garden out the back is looking great, nice to have a few new spuds from your own garden when they are so expensive in the shops at the moment.

  6. Sorry to hear about your strawberries - I have had several weird things go missing from the front of several places now. I think a lovely dog would be good - make sure its a big loyal one though - those can go missing too! My ipod was stolen on friday along with getting a broken car door lock.. old ipod so i am more annoyed about the lock. :( Senseless meanness like that makes me sad too. BUT you do have a lovely garden - from now on concrete or chain your front of house pretties down!

  7. Thanks for the comments you guys! I've just been out to the glasshouse and had a nice sun-warmed strawberry from there - so at least I still have those plants, and they are growing a lot bigger in there anyway!

  8. Hi Ruth, by now the move is well over and hopefully you're all settled into the new building. I hope you're getting the well earned rest you deserve. Your potatoes look fantastic! I'm sure the rest of the crop will be perfect.

    Merry Christmas!

  9. What a pity about the strawberries. They sound like they weren't just nourishment, but a treat for the soul and the eye in their baskets. What sort of people do these things? All ages and all types I guess.



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