Wednesday, 17 September 2014
The September garden
After neglecting the garden a bit recently I put in some hours out there yesterday, cutting out old raspberry canes and tying in the new ones and mowing the grass. It always amazes me how mowing the grass makes it all suddenly look neater. I carefully avoided the many frogs that live here now, they are mostly in a "wild" strip down the edge of the garden. There are lots this year, in all sorts of sizes. The tiny ones are incredible, a whole perfectly formed frogling the size of a fingernail.
The best crop in the garden this year has been the pears. They've never really set before now, but this year there are dozens of both varieties, Doyenne du Comice and Beurre Hardy. The Beurre Hardy are a really good size and very heavy.
Another good crop this year has been these yellow tomatoes. I've never grown them before, they are Golden Sunrise, from seeds given to me by my blogging friend Flighty. We've been having them for lunch every day for a while now, and there are still plenty more ripening in this beautiful sunshine that we've been having.
The little Sungolds are still going strong too. I pop out first thing every morning in the week to get some for the biggest boy's packed lunch. I love sending them off to school with some homegrown things. There are allotment cucumbers every day at the moment as well.
We usually have salad for lunch at home, along with bread and cheese, it's always something simple. At the moment there is oak leaf lettuce, green and red, which never lets me down.
And something that the two littler boys and I really enjoy, French sorrel.
The leaves are always described as having a lemony tang to them. They are really different and delicious. I love them with tomatoes and a little salt and I'm hoping they keep going into the autumn. They are certainly still growing at the moment. In fact the plant is perennial, so it should keep going next year as well.
This is the salad bed, although there's not as much there as I would have liked. My last sowing of rocket bolted, so I'm left with spinach, basil, marjoram and more sorrel.
These are a few late carrots. I've no idea whether they will amount to anything, but no doubt the piggie will like the tops. I must have sown about eight thousand carrot seeds this year, and I've yet to eat a single carrot. In the triumph of hope over experience I shall be trying again next year though.
Elsewhere there's chard, which the snails are enjoying, and some spring cabbage, which the caterpillars are enjoying, and winter cabbages (no picture - they're really not very inspiring) that look so tough that nothing has attacked them yet. Could be a winner.
There are still plenty of the bee friendly flowers that the boys sowed, and in this warm dry weather there are still plenty of bees. Next year I want to grow a fluffy grey plant that I saw on television the other day that carder bees like. I can't remember what it was called though. Something about lambs or elephants I think. Anybody know? I can't remember what the programme was either, but the person with the plant was Brigit Strawbridge of "It's Not Easy Being Green" fame. Anyway, the bee was there combing all the fluff off the plant and protecting it from bumble bees so that his girl bee friend would love him. I need this sort of thing going on in my garden I do.
I'm still enjoying the pale pinks and whites of summer. All too soon it will be the yellows and oranges of autumn.
See, they're creeping in already.
Does anyone know what the correct etiquette is when it comes to fruit hanging over your fence, but when the roots are actually in your neighbour's garden?
My next door neighbour is very nice actually and I'm sure he would be happy for us to have these grapes. No doubt there are masses on his side of the fence too. I'm thinking grape jelly. Dare I risk straining something again though..? I've had two spillages out of three attempts. I wonder if I could put pears in with the grapes, I've got plenty of windfalls that need using. If I don't hurry I know the blackbirds will take the grapes.
The last thing in my garden at the moment is this little piggie.
Once the night time temperatures start dropping below ten degrees (fifty in fahrenheit) she'll come inside, although she'll still go out on the grass most days if it's dry enough. Today felt like a summer's day though, so no need to go anywhere just yet. I hope the weather's lovely where you are too. Enjoy the rest of your week.