September Harvesting

September evenings are now drawing in quickly, much quicker than I remember in my childhood days, but then again the Summer holidays from school seemed to last and last when we were children, and now it seems within a blink of an eye  they are gone, as children break up for the Summer and now already they are back at school again.

So while the temperatures brought an unexpected Late August heat wave on a holiday weekend here in the UK, its now dipped back to normal with a clear chill in the air first thing in the morning.

So before the rain set it Hubby and I got to work in harvesting the potatoes, along with  the ripe sweetcorn cobs, and clearing out the litter of spent brassica leaves and weeds.

Click onto any photo to enlarge.

Just two rows of potatoes dug up here.

So while Hubby got digging the main crop of potatoes up, Picasso, I got busy picking sweetcorn and also pulling up the spent dwarf beans, collecting the pods for next years seed.

While Hubby dug I sorted into sizes and any damaged with the fork will be used first.

 

 

 

Gathering dwarf bean seeds, the rows covered in weed ..

 

 

 

There were also the Dwarf Beans which had finished to pull up and collect seed pods  for saving next years seeds. The rows had got covered in weeds and so this area of the plot needed a good weeding and clearing out.

It’s very satisfying when  its all cleared and raked, I also went under the Brussels sprouts clearing out decaying leaves.

Cleared area after pulling up the dwarf bean rows

Ladybird bug feasting on the aphids and white fly

Look closely for the ladybugs on the  left photo, making a meal of eating the aphids.These little creatures are a gardeners friend, although the invasive species of the Harlequin Bug are now wiping out our UK Ladybird bug..

 

Sweetcorn ready to go into freezer.

Our sweetcorn has done exceptionally well this year, with the heat and often heavy rainfall which would fall in the night. On the left here you see 40 cobs ready for the freezer. There  were cobs still ripening ready to be harvested. Quite a lot, but when we went to collect today it seems our thief had got there first leaving only six small ones..

We are having problems with produce being stolen again on the plot.. We had onions go, and the odd cabbage, broad beans we knew were ripe also went.  You do not mind the odd thing missing but when they take a  lot.. or a whole row.. It can be quite soul destroying when you put so much time and effort into your plot to grow your own veggies..  We have thought of putting our Motion camera on the plot, but as this was a gift we do not want this stolen, as we get a lot of pleasure watching the hedgehogs roam on our garden during the night via watching the play back.

Hedgehog out earlier in the Summer on our patio

I have no problems sharing, we always plant more than we need and give family and neighbours that which we cannot store.

I would gladly give produce away rather than someone think its there right to take it..  Though I am under no illusions people have no qualms with taking what is not theirs..  I just hope they enjoyed what they have taken.. They obviously must need it more than we do.. So we keep planting more than we need .. And are thankful we can do so.

So until next time.

Take care.. and be thankful for what you have, for there are always those less fortunate than ourselves..

Through the Sweetcorn view of plot

Happy Gardening!

Sue

 

 

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August Update~ On the Plot.

August has been a very good month, lots of warm Sunshine, hot days, and short sharp heavy bursts of rain.. Though in the beginning of August we did have three days of solid rain..

This has been good for our growing crops, but also ideal conditions for our main enemy~ The Weeds!.. whose relentless battle goes on and on..

Click on the photos to Enlarge:

Even when you have weeded, set seeds, the battle is constant. Click photos to enlarge.

Now I have no problem with weeds, they are all beautiful in their own right, but some are just so invasive and spring up like a carpet, choking and taking nutrients from the crops. The plots are full of them

now re-weeded you can now see the lettuce, swedes, the carrots are too tiny to weed out too close.

 

 

 

 

 

We had several weeks of redecorating our home, so the plot was neglected apart from watering in the heatwave every morning.

This beautiful weather ideal for our Sweetcorn which has grown to the size of me now, and it has some lovely huge cobs just about ready for harvest.

The sweetcorn has loved the heat wave and we have some huge cobs ripening

We have enjoyed strawberries right up into the middle of July, when this next picture was taken. While the early Raspberry canes are now finished, our late raspberries are just beginning to ripen and I have already had three such punnets off, with lots left to ripen.

While this photo was taken in July, These raspberries were the early ones, we are now getting raspberries from our Autumn late crop

We have had some lovely tasty new first early potatoes these were called Foremost  we planted three rows of earlies and six rows of the main crop, which are Picasso Below you see hubby  who yesterday weeded out the rows as the tops had died down, though he is not digging them out yet until the end of Sept, as everything seems to be about a month in front of itself this year, probably due to the mild Spring.

Hubby weeded out the potatoes now the tops have died down, We have 6 rows of main crop and still two rows of early potatoes to dig up.

Above you can see the onions drying out in our home greenhouse, in the middle on the bottom shelf are tulip bulbs from our home garden, I dug up and dried out ready for replanting in the Autumn. On the right these are shallots  which can either be used for pickles or I like to add in stews. 

My Dahlia’s and Gladioli’s have been lovely again this year and they are still  producing lots of bloom

 Inside the Allotment green house we have yellow tomatoes ripening and we have fallen in love with these Crystal  Lemon Cucumbers  

Well that is what is happening on the Plot this month, I will leave you with some busy lizzie plants on our patio.

Until next time

Busy Lizzie’s in one of our patio pots

Happy Gardening!

Gardening and Leisure Time.

I know, I know, its been more than another eight weeks since I last did an update here on my Gardening blog. And I am sure there are those of you who have unsubscribed and I wouldn’t blame you.

But Life away from the internet is what I am embracing more and more of this year, to be honest long spells on the computer drain me more than working on the plot. 

So what have we been up to. Well at the beginning of July we took a holiday and had a wonderful time exploring the Pembrokeshire Coastline  in Wales, and surrounding area, All of that to follow.

But upon our return we had to get stuck back into our home garden and of course while you are away the weeds on the plot don’t suddenly stop growing. So we trimmed back some of our home garden shrubs and trimmed our conifers and made some mulch out of it with the use of a shredder, to spread between the raspberry bushes to save on weeding.

While away we had a kind neighbour who watered our outdoor pots, and the tomatoes in the green house were well watered because of our thoughtful daughter who had bought her Dad for his birthday in June, a Solar Watering system which my hubby rigged up before we went away in the allotment greenhouse and it worked a treat..

A good thing too as the weather here the whole of July has been wonderful, Sunny days and showers, perfect growing weather, weeds and all. With the last few weeks of record high temperatures which reached 38C.. A new all time record here in the U.K.

We are back now to more seasonal temperatures and have had three days of rain, so the English weather is more or less back to normal.

After we got the garden settled. We decided to re-decorate our living room, and dinning room. This done, we then set to and redecorated the Hall, Stairs and Landing.  We finished just two days before the Heat record struck and believe me, all we did that day was rest and drink plenty of liquids. We are just not geared up for such hot weather here in England, not even the fans we put on gave much relief. Our homes don’t have air-conditioning.

So first the plot in photos, since taking these, we have picked all the peas and in total have frozen, nine pounds in weight of peas

 You should be able to click to enlarge these photo’s

Peas, lettuce, beetroot, parsnip

Shelled peas sorted, bagged and ready to freeze

 

 

 

 

 

Another view, the poppies really attracted lots of bees which was our intention

Hubby on the plot, you see how lovely the poppies were we set on purpose down the side of the allotment. The Bees loved them.

Strawberries, Onions, Potatoes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Apples

Dahlias and sweetpeas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Behind the sheds and compost bins we left this area wild this year for the insects and butterflies. There is a large patch of nettles butterflies like to lay eggs on. This was where the pumpkins grew last year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More Poppies, these were huge pompom poppies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ok and now for some of the holiday photos.. Carrying on the garden theme we we visited a wonderful Castle and Garden in Wales, called Picton Castle

Picton Castle

The gardens were set in 40 acres of land from the formal walled gardens with herbaceous boarders, its herb collection, to the wonderful woodland paths that surround it which of course I just had to explore those magnificent trees.

Inside the castle was no disappointment either it was stunningly beautiful.

 

 

But for me the gardens was where the’Wealth’ lay, with the fabulous shrubs and flowers.

 

So below is a collage of the garden and for those of us gardeners who now have electric lawn mowers, give a thought to those back in the early 1900’s who had to push and pull heavy lawn mowing machinery.

We also went to the smallest City in Wales, in fact St David’s is the smallest City in the UK. but boasts a wonderful Cathedral. So the next collage of photos are some views from  St Davids and some surrounding coast line.

I hope you are all enjoying your Summer in your own gardens and exploring more of your own countryside. 

Much love and 

HAPPY GARDENING!

What a difference Eight Weeks Makes!

Its been a while I know since I posted an update. And what you see here is all to the hard work of my hubby.  After I set too in Spring and over did things. So I have kept to lighter duties on the gardening front. If you hover your mouse pointer over each image it will tell you what is planted. 

So while  Hubby has been busy planting and keeping the weeds down, I completed my knitting projects and also finished a painting which seems ages ago now that now hangs on our granddaughters bedroom wall when she comes to stay.

Eagle and chicks

Short sleeve top

This Short-sleeve top on the right  was completed, and no sooner was it finished than I was itching to start another as I came across some more bargain wool

This short sleeve top I did to add as a short top to the cardigan I knitted.

The colours are the same, its just my camera and the lighting that makes them look different.

I then set about wanting to knit a summer light jumper which I was hoping to take on holiday, but I didn’t finish that in time, I completed it when we came back  home

Summer Jumper,

The colour of this is a turquoise but again the light and my camera do not do it justice.

The back of the jumper pattern in close up here

The Pattern on the back on the jumper in close up

 

 

 

 

 

Now I am working upon a thicker Aran Wool Sweater. I have already done the back and working on the front 

Aran Sweater

The Home garden has been where I have been working, and getting my Begonias which have been stored over winter into pots. Lifting tulips out of the tubs and daffodils. While filling the hanging baskets and wall hangers with flowers for Summer..

Here is what the tubs of Tulips looked like back in April

Tulips

Happy Gardening and Creating!

Until Next Time. 

 

March Update~ Came in like a Lion.

Well I think we have certainly had everything thrown at us this month. Gales, heavy rain, with flooding in some parts of the UK, while others had snow on higher ground.  The Wind battered our lean too shed, which we were going to pull down last year, which we never got around to so the Wind saved us the job.. It was a second-hand shed when we got it, which if its true age be known, must have been over 40 yrs old, we had it for 15 yrs.. So it owed us nothing.

Here it is before, you can see why we called it our lean-too. We built our other second-hand shed using fence posts as a foundation base.

Hubby cleared the area and burnt the wood, spreading the potash on the garden. Nothing is ever wasted . And he put the compost and manure barrels on the foundations.  This is the rough area behind the sheds, and will get levelled out and dug over when some of the waste vegetation has rotted down.. This was where the Pumpkins were grown last year. 

This last week the weather has been better so we have worked hard on the plot. Hubby has now planted 3 rows of early potatoes, and 6 rows of Late potatoes.. 

Click to enlarge

 

The Peas are growing well, and will be put into a cold frame to harden off a bit.. Though you can sow straight into the ground, but we have found we have had more success planting them this way, as birds and mice do not eat them, so there are less misses in the row.. We will set more pea seeds later to stagger the harvest. 

Peas growing well

Cabbage, cauliflower, spouts, broccoli, seeds have been set along with Leeks.

Leeks and young strawberry plants before they were planted in their beds

We also made a new Strawberry bed, replenishing our plants with some bought off the local market..  We will add straw around them a little later. 

New varieties of strawberry plants..

It is wonderful to have some fine weather again and Spring to be in the air, the birds are now gathering worms and insects to feed their young and the home garden although it got quite battered by the high winds and rains for a solid week.  Now is beginning to show more colour. So the remaining gallery are flowers in bloom. 

So Until Next time..

Happy Gardening and Planting. 

February Update: What’s going on in the Plot.

These first early months of the year can be very unpredictable weather wise, and I know compared with other parts of the world we here in the UK have got off lightly so far with clement weather, albeit a few cold and frosty morning.

Click images to enlarge:

As the plot looked this week walking down it to the sheds

But we never count our chickens, before they have hatched as the saying goes, and well remember last years icy blast from the East that hit us in March.. It is easy to get carried away with some mild sunny days and think to start planting, but keep an eye out for those weather forecasts. 

Spring cabbage and plenty of sprouts we keep harvesting in the background

So while hubby has been keeping the garden hoed over and making sure the muck has been well dug in, 

In the greenhouse on the allotment plot the day I took this photo with the sun shining it was 14C aprox 57F outside, and inside the Greenhouse it was 26C.. nearly 80F

Onion and shallot sets in the greenhouse

Hubby unlocking the sheds you can see the raspberry bushes and blueberry bushes all pruned.

Inside we still have butternut squash, and the apples are making lots of apple pies still, We pick through them every once in a while and throw out any which have gone bad.. But you can see we still have plenty to keep us going, 

Butternut Squash and apples in the trays, In the buckets on the floor are the Dahlia tubas

Fruit Cake and Apple and Raspberry Pie

 We are still harvesting Carrots, Parsnips and Swedes too, along with Leeks. making some delicious warming winter stews. . 

We saved a few of the broad-bean seeds and these are them growing in a small cold frame on the plot. next to them were wallflower seeds I planted in the autumn they will be ready to plant out for next year.

Broad beans

On the home front, our bulbs I planted in several tubs of Tulips and daffodils are coming through, these are sheltered at the side of the house right now, but come Spring will go to the front of the house.. Primroses are out in one tub too. 

Tulips and Daffs

Bulbs in tubs

Other projects I have been doing have been more knitting, I got a lot of bargain priced wool, So set about knitting a bobble hat for my granddaughter.. Here she is modelling it 

And I had enough blue wool I wanted to use up before starting on my new wool, so I decided to start knitting a short-sleeved top to go under the cardigan  I knitted a while ago to make a twin set.  This is as far as that has progressed to date. I loved the pattern so much and enjoyed creating it on the hat.. I thought to add it to the centre of what was a plain patterned top, So I worked out the stitches for the centre etc, 

Knitted Top

Those who are new to following here, this was the cardigan it will match.

This is the finished result of my knitting.. It took me around 3 weeks from start to finish..

Well dear friends, that is my February Update.. I hope you are all keeping well, and that the weather isn’t too harsh where ever you are.. 

Take care until Next time. 

Selling paintings, blog visitors help..

Calling all my wonderful friends who visit me here on my garden blog.. I have a new blog which I follow who is needing a bit of a boost in getting known..
May I introduce you to Steve, who does some wonderful paintings in lots of mediums, including amazing pastels..
I hope you go and say hello and take a look at his painting skills..
Many thanks, and a post of my own crafting will be coming this week end.

Keep Busy~ Creating!

Its been a while since I posted here on my garden blog. I have been spending more time off the internet and more time with my hobbies. 

I decided after knitting the finger-less gloves  and snood in my last post to use the same burgundy wool to knit myself a beret.  I found a pattern in our local wool shop and set about knitting it.. nearly each row was different, and needed full concentration and record keeping of where I was when I put it down.  But I was very pleased with the end result. 

Hand knitted Beret.

After the Beret was finished my next project was to paint.. Now  my usual medium I enjoy using is acrylics.. But I had been following Steve on his blog, his love of oil painting and  through his encouragement to give it another try, and already had the oil paints in stock, I gave it another go..  

One of the things which always put me off was the drying time of paintings in oils.. But it also then has its advantages of blending areas where you see mistakes or you need to change. 

So I decided to paint one of my favourite little animals who are at this time of year hibernating, which is a little Hedgehog. 

I called it Hedgehog in Spring 

Hedgehog in Spring in Oil Paints.

Here you can see one which was active in my garden last year

Today as I type this the temperature outside is minus -4°C which is 24.8°F which is cold even for us here in England, and we have freezing fog outside today 

So I thought to show you the little bit of Spring we have in our garden at the moment as some of the primroses are out, and indoors is another piece of Spring in the form of these  Hyacinths bulbs on my kitchen window. The aroma of their perfume is wonderful and greets you each time you open the kitchen door. 

Hyacinths

At the moment I am snuggled nice and warm, reading books brought from the library. While the knitting was underway, I bought audio books to listen to. But I am well into Book one, of a trilogy of books, in the Cousins O’Dwyer series  starting with the first one by Nora  Roberts entitled The Dark Witch.  And I was lucky enough to find in stock in the library both two and three at the same time. So lots of lovely reading to be doing in this cold weather. 

Dark Witch (The Cousins O'Dwyer Trilogy) By Nora Roberts

I am also in the midst of putting a collection of my poetry together, in the hopes to get it self published.. This is something I promised my self long ago, and now feel the need to complete this particular project.   A sample of  my poems can be found mainly on my other blog over at Dreamwalker’s Sanctuary, the  link can be found on my side panel of my blog. 

I hope all of those in the USA who are in the ‘Polar Vortex’  (The link provides temps across USA, and sky phenomena with the Light and Sun halo’s)  So, keep safe and warm.. I know your temperatures are far, far, below what we are experiencing and its cold enough here and minus four, so goodness knows how you are all coping in the extreme cold..

Take care all of you thank you for reading and welcome to those who are new followers. 

Happy Creating

 

 

When Your Garden is put to bed. Get creative.

Another month has flown by and Christmas will soon be upon us. Just where has this year flown to?  They say time flies by when you are having fun, well, it’s certainly flown. And I have been having fun creating. 

In my last months post I shared my finished knitted cardigan with you, Well I have since been knitting some more.. I knitted a cardigan for my granddaughter and she wanted a pair of finger-less gloves. 

Then using the wool which was left over I knitted a snood, and another pair of gloves.  a I started a scarf last year which had sat in the knitting bag for ages unfinished. So I decided to make that into a snood too. The results of these below.

Then you may remember in January of this year I started model making a greenhouse, which was so intricate, you just had to be in the mood to concentrate with all the tiny fiddly pieces you cut out and pasted.. The flowers were made out of tissue paper and fine wire. 

 

  Its vases were beads, the flowers I cut and pasted and well, you will see when I add the photo’s just what went into it. The flower pots and watering can and little seed bags each made individually out of paper.

The furniture I made and glued together. including making the tiny pencil and paintbrush, to teasing out the frill on the cover on the box with a pin in the pieces of cotton. Even the handles on the draws I shaped out of metal were glued in place. 

What was my proudest achievement was my own bit of electrical work in the form of making a bulb terminal and light fitting, So minute.. I had to wire the bulb, and do the fiddly connections. And the bulb works  😊.. Yes, that put an even bigger smile upon my face.

Diagram of how to wire and fit the light inside the greenhouse.

Here you can see the stages that were required and I included the plan so you can see what was involved.. The bulb came separate with two prongs which I had to wire and cut to size and insulate. 

All the furniture was then glued onto the base and the items glued and put onto the shelves.  

Next I had to create the plastic casing for the greenhouse. Glue and fold it into its shape.

Now I know you Male readers out there may think this is simple, it was once I knew what I was doing.. But it was like me presenting you with a knitting pattern and expecting you to understand it at first glance.. 🙂 lol.  

All the sages now ready for assembly. This required LOTS of Patience..

 

Door frame and wooden base struts were added. If you look closely there is also a tap I made out of copper and eyelet and hose pipe out of tubing and thin metal I bent for the hose.

It still had a few more bits to add and the roof of the greenhouse needs black card strips yet to stick in place to cover the joints. 

Covering the joins with black card which was glued in place,

In the gallery below I will put more pictures of the Greenhouse making stages with LIGHT on.. 🙂  I glued some greenery around the edges for climbers. 

Thank you to all of you who have taken the time to comment and like my post.. Many thanks to all who follow here, I wish you all a wonderful Festive Holiday Season of Fun with your family and friends..

But most of all I wish each and every one of your Peace, Love and Joy along with Good Health that takes you into 2019 and Beyond..

I am taking a blogging break, so comments may be pending for a short while..

~ Love ~Sue~

🎄Happy Christmas🎄

and 

✨A Happy New Year✨  

 

Autumn Update~ Finishing Projects.

Fungi

Hello to all those who love this time of year, as we see the wonder of nature as she prepares to sleep and rest until Spring.  My little Hedgehog is safely now with all the leaves he/she gathered is now hibernating.

We did have another larger hedgehog the other evening that still has not gone to sleep yet. here he is on our lawn, caught by the night motion camera. [ Click to Enlarge]

My hubby did make sure our hibernating Hedgehog  was OK, on a mild day, as he opened the top of his nesting box. but the leaves and straw are pushed right to the top, So we didn’t want to disturb by moving anything, just to take a picture.  The box now has been covered with trimmed branches of conifers to help protect it further during  the winter months. 

So to catch up with our Allotment and Home Garden,  its been over a Month since my last post so Thank you in advance if you stay the course to read to the end of my post, Its much appreciated. 

So where to start?  Remember this picture below, we still had to clear out the greenhouse and surrounding weeds etc. 

The Greenhouse has given us lots of tomatoes and cucumbers this year, and the glut meant I made lots of tomato soup too.

I also collected seeds from the wall flowers and these two were set in August.. And are now growing in one of the raised beds  below.. 

Here again you can see what a difference, now its been weeded and dug through

Swedes before I weeded through them.

You can see the difference  now you can make out the individual plants. 

This area was in need of re-digging . The Logan berries are on the trellis while the raspberries were trimmed back. The Red leaf bushes  are Blue-Berries 

This whole area, was full of twitch, grass-roots, And had only been hoed over for several years and not really cleared out of the twitch which soon overtakes it. So Hubby set too and gave this section a real make-over, by digging it all out and reshaping the lines in front of the sheds

Here is that same patch from a different angle.. Now dug over and twitch taken out.

The Pumpkin our  Granddaughter grew from seed ripened to  a huge size, so heavy my hubby had to use the wheelbarrow and bring it home via the car.. 

Pumpkin ready to harvest

All ready for the Big Day

And Here it is all calved for the Fright Night!

Other Projects I have been busy with have been finishing up my knitting projects.. About the time I posted the last post I began knitting a cardigan for myself. Here you can see it ready for the next stage

This was one of the projects I have had going since my last post. Here all the pieces were done. All that was needed was to join them together and knit the neck and front bands in place.

And now this cardigan which was for myself is now completed 

This is the finished result of my knitting.. It took me around 3 weeks from start to finish..

 

But as I saw such good bargains of wool on sale, I purchased some Aran wool and decided I would knit a cardigan for our soon to be eight year old Granddaughter, I finished this in just two weeks from start to finish. 

In fact we had a wonderful week, with Halloween and then we treated her to this little fellow along with his accessories and his name of course, just had to be Pumpkin as we got him on Halloween.  She and he are learning to make friends. 

 Pumpkin the Hamster

 The plants don’t seem to know what time of year it is, I have had these Cosmos planted that I grew from seeds, they flowered on the front of our Garden. Yet ALL the Cosmos on our back garden for ages failed to produce buds, that is until the last couple of weeks in October when they suddenly sprouted buds and began to open.. 

Now all of our Dahlias have now finished due to the frost  but here were a few still in our garden two weeks ago. 

These Dahlia’s were in my home garden. This is just one of a special collection of three plants my daughter bought us…

And I fetched in the last of the Allotment Blooms knowing there was to be a keen frost, and this is my last two vases of these beautiful blooms that have lasted all Summer… 

The Greenhouse at home is now filled with tender plants for protection from the frost and the Greenhouse in the allotments has the tubas of the Dahlia’s drying off a little for storage later in  the shed.. 

This is the Home Greenhouse, The Standard fuchsia’s have been brought in along with the geraniums and the young olive tree…

Well I think that about covers what we have been up to over October.  To finish off here are some photos of Nature in Autumn.

Happy Creating!..