Tuesday 11 January 2011

Tomatoes and garlic

Sorry to keep you all in such suspense with this, I know you were dying to know. The first tomato of the season was... Juliet! Harvested on 30 Dec. I do like this variety - it is F1, so obviously bred to be reliable. It has lots of fruit which are a quirky oval shape. They are sweet and firm and, most importantly, quick to ripen!

 Quickly following up were Brown Berry. I may have picked one before I left - can't quite remember - but I definitely picked them when I was home on the 7th of Jan. They are tasty little cherry tomatoes, but not too sweet (I'm not really that fond of super sweet tomatoes). And they ripen quickly too, yay.

This is Sunset's Red Horizon, which I thought would be the first pickings. I guess the size of the fruit is what's taking them so long to ripen - they are about the size of cricket balls now. Not far off tasting though!

Here is the garlic harvest, dug up on 27 Dec. I let it dry in the sun for several days and then plaited it using Gillybean's tutorial

 Then I hung it on my trellis to dry some more. ♥! I saved the five biggest bulbs for seed for next season and put them in a plait of their own. There's also a little plait of bulbs I had left over... the big one was getting unwieldy! Next time, I'll add flowers.

Monday 10 January 2011

Potager update

Hi again! I didn't intend to be away from the blog for so long - I just got into summer holiday mode, doing what I want when I want, and I happened to not feel like blogging. It was hot, a stack of magazines was calling, I had daydreaming to do... oh, you know the story. I love summer holidays. 

Well, I'm kidding a little bit, because I did more than just laze about. Above you can see what I got up to... the curved brick path is finally laid! It was hard hard work, as I knew it would be, which is why I put it off for so long. And the ground was hard hard dirt.
Here's another shot to show how the paths connect. In the foreground are potatoes, which are being steadily harvested. Right at the front I planted some dianthus. It will probably take a while to bloom, but I really felt the need for more flowers in my vege garden! Plus they should hide the messy edges quite well. In between them I'll probably sow some drifts of salad greens, or maybe rainbow chard.
 A side-ish view. Golden zucchini, going mad. To the right, potatoes! At the back left you can see the tomato grotto. The A-frame stakes at the back have peas sown under them and I think might be used for broad beans in winter. There's also a butternut squash plant sulking in front of them, I think it might be a bit late in the season for it. Of course if it does take off, it will smother the peas.

 This is the bit I meant to show you a couple of weeks ago - the Ellerslie-inspired flower garden. More plants are blooming now which is great, but it needs to fill in a lot more. Possibly more silver foliage is needed too.

After much (heartbreaking) fruit drop, I've been making sure to water Miss Rose Chiffon the peach tree every day. She's now clinging to her last 12 or so fruit and I damn well intend to eat them.
  I am proud of this petunia though, she's been flowering her little heart out. Pretty much carrying the whole show really.

Further down the row, thyme and catmint are good friends. I like the country-cottage feel in this little patch - maybe I'll just distribute herbs all over the place.

Well it's back to work for me this week so my holiday is over. Bring on the weekend...

Sunday 2 January 2011

New year

So here it is, 2011. I'm hoping fervently that it's better than 2010! I'm trying to relax at the moment, since I'm on holiday from work. But as the year ticked over I felt the urge to make lists - all the projects I've had in my head to make, things to plant in the garden, books to read etc. There were a lot of things written down and I know I won't get through half of them. But having them on paper at least means they're out of my head and I don't need to keep worrying about them.

I've been down in the dumps ever since that stupid earthquake - so to cheer myself up I'll be doing another series of "Simple Things" posts - just as a reminder to take joy in the little things. But first, I'm going to Timaru to stay with my mum for a few days, catch up with some friends, and make the most of this summer weather (don't turn, don't turn, don't turn!)

How's this for a new year's harvest? Spuds, baby carrots, borlotti beans, garlic, zucchini and the first two tomatoes. This lot all went into a lovely vege curry. I have some pictures and future posts planned about the garlic harvest and the first tomato (it wasn't the one I was expecting!).

Till then, happy new year to you all.


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