Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Harvest time

I love this time of year all those days sitting in the wind and the rain cursing the English summer weather. When you want to be out tending the vegetable patch are forgotten about.

Its time to start enjoying the produces of my labour and as a bonus I get a welcome break from the long suffering. That said theirs a lot of work still to be done, all that harvesting and dead heading takes time.

The one good thing about the weather this year is that there’s a bumper crop. I’ve picked five bags full of runner beans already, the freezers stuffed full of the things, the onions are coming on a treat and I’ve never seen so many tomatoes in my life- I haven’t a clue what to do with them all.

The plums haven't turned out as nice this year as they have in previous years, but hopefully it won't affect the long sufferings plum jam she loves to make the stuff. Can't say I'm particularly fond of it but She does redeem herself with a rhubarb crumble to die for.

I won’t let her get her hands on my apples, I have a much better use for them. Me and my friend Tom make an amazing cider that’s full of flavour and will last right up until Christmas, the recipe was pasted down from my father and has been perfected over a number of years. The locals love the stuff.

Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Taking cuttings

Summers here the grandchildren have destroyed my lawn and the next doors barbeque smoke is killing my sun flowers.

Oh how I love summer!

Anyway enough grumbling for now, I’ve got important work to do harvesting the cuttings for my next crop of plants and collecting the runner bean seeds for next year.

I always choose healthy, non-flowering new shoots from the shrub and take cuttings of about 3in long.

Then I prepare them by making a straight cut beneath a pair of leaves and then remove several sets of lower leaves, keeping only a couple of leaves at the tip of the cutting.

The next stage is to fill a pot with compost, level and firm. Insert several cuttings around the edge of a pot, keeping their leaves clear of the surface and water well. And then leave cover with a carrier bag and leave in the green house, simple and its saves a fortune.

I always collect the best runner beans to use the seeds for next year that way you get the best possible runner beans, the long suffering just thinks I am being tight.

Monday, 14 July 2008

Open garden

Its mid way through summer already, not that you would realise it was summer with the weather we've be having.

I actually managed to get out in the garden the other day in between the rain and noticed that the plants in the garden, like most things in life when they get mid way through have began to run out of steam and need a bit of a boost.

Once they have completed that early flush of growth they really benefit from a good feed. I find that powder works best applied directly to the soil and then watered well to wash it down to the roots.

I want to try and get the garden looking its best for the weekend as the long suffering has signed us up for a blinking open garden thing, the last thing I really want is 300 people traipsing through the garden destroying my lawn and knocking over the flowers but the long suffering has insisted. And if I have to do it then it's got to look good, I am not going to let her up the road beat me to first prize.

Monday, 30 June 2008

Garden crime wave

We got home from shopping the other day and were confronted by the local gossip and head of the neighbour hood watch.

She invited us to the next neighbour hood watch meeting, before I had a chance to make my excuses the long suffering had accepted and that was that.

The next day an agenda arrived through the door and top of the agenda was garden crime. That had me twitching so I thought I`d make the effort and attend.

I dually showed my face and listened on to PC Barry waffle on about sheds being broken into in the area and july being the busiest time nationally for garden crime. The yobs are even lifting sheds up from the ground to get in them.

Mrs Briggs the old lady from next door but one had her shed broken into at the weekend, they stole everything, all her husbands tools and even the garden ornaments they have been collecting since they wed. About £4,000 worth in all, worse luck the insurance company would only pay a maximum of £1,000.

Thats it I said to the long suffering I m digging the tent out from the atic and were camping in the garden in july, no yobbos going to steal my lawn mower.

Monday, 16 June 2008

Summers arrived

I was out in the garden the other day taking advantage of the recent good weather. It`s been a long time coming and it probaly won`t last long so I thought I`d best make the most of it, putting in some much needed tlc to my vegetable patch.

The runner beans are shooting up now and it looks like I should have a good crop this year fingers crossed.

The strawberries have ripened up nicely so I picked a few for the long suffering before the slugs get them that will make her day a nice treat for tea time.
Another bit of good news, the tomato`s are starting to show signs of life after that blasted mutt knocked them all over. So all in all not a bad day in the garden.

Monday, 2 June 2008

Doggy Disaster

The long suffering agreed to babysit her friend`s new puppy and guess who got lumbered with the flea ridden mutt as she went to the shops?

yep muggings here.

I was watching the mutt in the garden when the phone rang- when I returned the mutt was having a right old chew of my tomatos. Never seen anything like it in my life!! .

I tried to get him out of there quick but it was too late he had knocked four of them over splitting the stem right through.

I ve pinched out the end of the stems and, fingers crossed, there will be no lasting damage

Tuesday, 27 May 2008

A day at Chelsea.

Last week I was reluctantly dragged to the Chelsea Flower Show by the long suffering. It's her little treat and once again she enjoyed her day out.

Me? Well if you think barging your way though hordes of yapping pseudo gardeners, paying a small mortgage for a cup of tea and a bun, looking at things that resemble film sets rather than somebody's back yard is fun ... then Chelseaq is for you.

The crowds are horrendous and the so-called "show" gardens are a million miles away from reality. I was just glad to get back to my veg pack - after I'd dragged the contents of numerous carrier bags across the flippin show!

I can't stand the place.

Back to reality, I spent the weekend in the garden - the first time for some weeks - and I decided to water my newly planted fruit trees, roses and shrubs regularly to help their root systems establish. I also gave them all a dose of Rootgrow - guaranteed to get them towering over the neighbours efforts!!

I also did some work weeding my borders and I stuck some young plants into pots and filled the old greenhouse. That'll give me the excuse to potter round the garden each evening - chcuk some water on my babies and have a couple of sneaky half pints in the shed whilst I'm at it.

Anyway - summer's almost here now - and I for one can't wait to get a bit of sun on my back.