Sunday, 9 August 2009

Home Alone , and other things.

It's been a quite couple of days for me as Austin went off to Surrey to stay with his sister for the week-end, so I was 'home alone' I didn't have use of the car so the allotment was off limits as it's a good walk and I had twisted my knee stepping out of the shed last Wednesday. It's much better today thank goodness and on the mend. So I had a nice couple of days in the garden, pottering about albeit slowly due to the knee. I managed to get a few of the new plants recently bought planted in the beds. I took a few photo's whilst sitting in the garden, so here they are.

By the time Austin was back this evening I was a bit concerned about the lottie greenhouse as we have had a couple of hot days and I hadn't been up to water it. When he got back we went up and gave the plants a good soaking and harvested some tomatoes and a cucumber and a few small green peppers from the greenhouse and other bits from around the plot. It's been an amazing year for all that we have had from the plot, and there is still so much more to come.

A few photo's from around the garden this week-end.

The wild corner with the Japanese anemones which stand almost 4 ft or more.

An old favourite bench that has seen better days and needs re-painting.

I've at last planted these in the cutting bed, I love their scruffy petals.

A little Viola growing in a crack (self seeded)

Some wild life in the garden ( I took these for Kella ) she has some amazing bugs and creepies in her garden it's like a mini zoo !



Aubergine on the patio 'Baby Rosanna', it has lot's of flowers and many small fruits growing, apparently they only grow to golf ball size so just nice to roast with other veg, Yum !

'Baby Rosanna's' first tiny fruits forming.

Lemongrass update

The Lemongrass taken on 23rd June 2009
One of the Lemongrass plants taken today.
The lemongrass plants are coming on a treat and I can't wait to start using some, the stems are thickening, so it shouldn't be too long.

I have had this Hydrangea for many years. It's growing in a half barrel. I don't usually feed or pamper it and it's usually a deep purple. This year I decided to give it some feed for Ericacious plants, I wish I hadn't as it's now changing to pink, I hope it goes back to it's old colour when the feed has all gone from the soil.

My Lace cap Hydrangea taken 5th July
It's just starting to change to a lighter pink.
Taken yesterday, it's definitely changing colour.

Pooh Bear
At last I have finished my grand-daughters Pooh Bear cushion, it's the same as her brother's but Florence's has a pink balloon (sorry Pooh !) and pink edging. It's the longest I have ever taken to do a sewing project, the garden and the allotment take up so much of my time.

A close up of the hand embroidered Pooh, balloon and bees. The clouds have been quilted to make them stand out.

Today's harvest

I went up to the lottie to water the greenhouse this evening, and came back with this lovely harvest, plus a carrier bag of runner and french beans. The little squashes are 'Munchkin' and they are delicious roasted. The peppers are just as I like them which is small. The tomatoes are a mix of cherry, and others that I have forgotten the names off hand. My sweetcorn still isn't quite ready, I am waiting patiently. I have to get up there and weed and pull up spent flowers as it's looking a bit untidy.


Jan (Thanks For 2 Day) said...

Wow Maureen, what a post! You covered so many topics here I don't know which ones to comment on! My favorite photo is of the Japanese anemones because they're also my favorite plant. Last year, mine were about the same ht. as yours! They were fabulous. So far this year, they haven't grown nearly as high...perhaps it is the weather. It's been strange this year. Anyway, your garden is fantastic, as are your photos...and, your veggies look wonderful, too!

Maureen said...

Hi Jan, it's so nice to hear from you. Thanks for the comments and I am so glad you are keeping up with us all. Hopefully you will start blogging again one day.
Take care and thanks for visiting. xx

Kella said...

Sorry to hear you hurt your knee Maureen but glad to hear its on the mend.

The garden looks fabulous and I think you found the perfect spot for the daisy plant with the feathery looking petals you got at Hampton Court, it looks like it has always been there.

Well done on the lemon grass, mine are about the same size but I think, no change that, I know I have to many in my window box and its only because I'm watering in liquid feed regularly that they remain healthy, I will have to separate them into smaller clumps for sure. Like yours mine are also thickening up much quicker than I expected.

I’m sorry to hear your hydrangea is changing its colour, I think the soil in my area leans more to the acid side as most people’s hydrangeas are a vivid blue or lighter pink, plus when I got my garden it was full of healthy acid loving plants like rhododendrons and azaleas.

Well done on taking the photos of your garden’s mini beast, I know they aren’t necessarily your cup of tea. I’m glad to know my fascination is rubbing off on you J My garden’s/ zoo’s mini beast numbers and diversity are the best I have ever seen them which makes me really happy as it tells me I’m getting there in striking the right eco balance.

Your sewing project is fab, I love sewing and my mom was a keen seamstress but I’m afraid when she was showing me the ropes I didn’t always pay proper attention and so my sewing skills are not as astute as hers or yours.

Swell harvest you got there, I think I have to add squash Munchkin to my list, I take it they are a summer squash are they heavy producers? My sweet corn started to send up their male flowers last week and the female cobs are just starting to swell away from the stalk but there aren’t any tassels as yet, so I still have a long wait on my hand. The squirrels so far haven’t found my spent sunflower seed heads in the veg patch , so I’m hoping they won’t find the sweet corn when its ready.

I’ll stop my ramblings now, see you soon, bye.

Prospero said...

Hi Maureen. I was intrigued by you ericaceous compost experiment. Now, I didn't think that Hydrangeas were in the Ericaceae family. So it seemed odd.

I have some South African ericas. They are surviving the big heat, so I'm finding that an encouraging sign. They are just little seedlings and they grow very slowly.

But, I digress. So I looked up the ericaceous compost for Hydrangeas and found that it was used to stop blue Hydrangeas from turning pink. And ericaceous compost has nothing specifically to do with ericas - it's just that it's acid.

That's today's gardening lesson.

I like the statue in the first shot. How many of these do you have?

Flowers all look good. My aubergine is just flowering but has no fruit. What's up with that, doctor Maureen?

Hopefully you'll make it back to the allotment soon. It's probably getting lonely.

Maureen said...

Hi Prospero
I wasn't experimenting with ericaceous soil for my hydrangea, just the ericaceous feed. I saw the question and answer online (see below) so thought I would try it. Also if the hydrangea is blue or purple it needs ericaceous soil apparently which is what mine was planted in many years ago, but I wish I had never tried the feed now as it definitely turned it pink, very odd !! seeing as ericaceous soil keeps it blue you would think the food would as well.

( saw this online)
Hi Bob,
You do know that hydrangeas are calcifuges don't you?
That means they they are lime haters and require an acidic compost
to grow in, and also some ericaceous feed from time to time.
If they are in large pots and it would be a big job to repot them
I suggest you get some Sequestrene and give them a good dose of that, followed by regular applications of ericaceous feeds.
If they are smaller, then repot in an ericaceous compost,still keeping to the regular ericaceous feed as recommended on the bottle.
The north facing wall is no great worry. My hydrangea was in the shade
most of the day and was still good.

Hi Sam,
err, no I didn't know that! But I was told that they need ericaceous compost which they are in.
The pots are about 16 inches in
diameter by about 12 inches high.
Thanks for the information and I will get some Sequestrene plus
ericaceous feed for them.-

I have learned a lesson - DONT believe everything I read online !!!

I'm glad you like my statue, she is 'Pandora' the one who opened the box ! the box is by her feet, and I bought her many years ago. I have another smaller statue of 'Pan' with his pipes sitting on a plinth with little fairy/gnomes at the bottom, it's on my blog somewhere.

In my medical opinion !! ha ha your aubergines need pollinating, so get out your paintbrush my friend and pollinate !

Maureen said...

Hi Kella, thanks for your nice comments and it's lovely to have had such a lengthy one as well. I'm glad your Lemongrass is also doing well. I've been feeding mine with a little comfrey tea occasionally.

Yes I think you are encouraging me to look for my own creepies in the garden, yours are amazing except for the hideous caterpillar.

The 'Munchkin' squashes are summer ones and I bought my first one last year at RHS Wisley, and loved them. I tried everywhere to buy seeds, as the ones I saved didn't germinate. So I bought another plant at Wisely this year again, a bargain actually as it had 2 in the pot and it was only £1.59 so I separated them and grew them on a bit before planting them at the allotment.

They produce quite a few fruits, I will have to count them as they grow as I am curious myself now you've asked. They could be grown up something as the fruit is small and very light compered to the larger squashes. If I find where to buy the seeds I'll let you know.

Maureen said...

Hi Prospero, here's the link to the 'Pan and his pipes' statue:
If the link doesn't work just click on Panpipes on my post list.

Kella said...

Hi Maureen,

thanks for the info regarding the 'Munchkin Squash'. In my searches it comes up as a winter squash and is also described as a vigerous vine, with a high fruit production (which you mentioned).

Although there were lots of referances to the squash and its habits, seed suppliers were scarce like you said but I finally found a site which sells seed
they start the sale at £2.35 for 50 seeds.

I think I'll invest in this one next year because it seems it multiple uses, in that it can be used during the summer and with curing of the skin it can be used during the winter as well (have you found that it stores well). And as you say because of the small fruits I could easily grow it up an arch.

Anyhoo! thanks again for introducing me to this squash I look foward to trying it next year.

Kella said...

Maureen something has just occured to me. Its possible that you haven't gotten viable seeds from the plant because they have been used by you as a summer squash and as such the seeds probably weren't matured as yet. Try saving seed from the fruits taken of the vine at the end of the season. Maybe those will germinate.

Maureen said...

Kella hi and grateful thanks for doing all that research and tracking down the seeds for 'Munchkin'. I have to say that I've never stored them as I eat them all they are that nice ! but I get your drift about the seeds maybe need to mature more, so I will harvest some of the later fruit seeds as an experiment. I will however buy some as well.

Prospero said...


I am still confused about the hydrangea thing (who wouldn't). So, forget about the feed (probably poison) and try adding some peat moss around your plants. This will keep the soil nice and acid.

Thanks about the aubergine painting-by-numbers advise.

I saw your panpipes statue. But I prefer Pandora (such a darling). Where is that box, anyhow? Was it stolen? I think I need some Sequestrene!

Maureen said...

PROSPERO, I am still laughing after reading your comment, you cheered me up, not that I was down, but now I am cheerier !
thanks for that
Dr Maureen

Pam'sEnglishGarden said...

Hi, Maureen, You have become so.o.o knowledgeable about vegetable growing. You inspire me to try some new ones. Oh, dear, I am already thinking about next year's garden!
How do you manage your beautiful garden and your allotment? You are amazing!

Bob said...

Hi Maureen, Everything in your garden is looking great,the Japanese anemones are coming good here now, we have pink and white ones. Bob.

Maureen said...

Hi bob, thanks for the comment and the visit to my blog. I haven't got any white Japanese Anemones, but my next door neighbour has some from her grandmothers garden and they are lovely, I just have the pink.
Hi Pam, thanks for your confidence in my knowledge, but it's not that great honest, but I am pleased with what I have achieved since last year. I find it hard going some days especially when everything needs harvesting. The french and runner beans need picking every day, and the courgettes are going crazy too.
I admire you, keeping up with all your acreage, my plot and garden are diddly compered to yours.