Sunday, 28 September 2008

No time for gardening

With all the schools and students back hard at their studies, I'm being rushed off my feet with work.  I've had little time to get out in the garden this last week, so all I have been able to do is pick fruit (raspberries) and vegetables (courgettes, runner beans, cabbage).

Yesterday I managed to get a couple of hours in my Mum's garden, which needed serious attention.  It's small but shady and with the two wet summers we have had, has been overrun with creeping nettle, buttercups and ferns.  I waded in yesterday afternoon, and the photo shows progress so far - most of the space you see was taken up with a very large bracken plant which took me a full 30 minutes to dig out, involving rock moving, levering and a great deal of effort.

We have extra stones dug up from a neighbour's garden and the plan is to build up the beds to make them deeper, add compost/soil and some new plants.  The established plants should benefit from the extra room and sustenance.  At the top is a lovely bleeding heart plant, which has not done well recently as it has been swamped, so we hope it will do better.  I will post some photos next year!

I hope to be able to make some more progress this week.

Thursday, 18 September 2008

No rain since Tuesday!

For the first time in recent memory, we have had two consecutive days without rain!  Hurray!

So I got the "summer" pruning done on my fruit trees, except the gooseberries, which I will have to do when I have cut the grass.  My method is simple - cut the new growth of laterals (the side shoots on the branches) of apples to 3 leaves in length, the plum laterals to 6 leaves, the plum leaders (the main bit of the branch) to 8 leaves, and the redcurrant laterals to 5 leaves.  Works a treat.  So I now have tidier trees which I hope will produce more fruit next year.

Then I got on with one of my favourite jobs - there is nothing nicer on a sunny September afternoon than sitting in the sunshine, rubbing mud and outer skins off onions and garlic, before bringing them in the house for winter use.  The smell of dry onions is one of my favourites - maybe I'm weird, but that's the way it is...

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Harvest, despite the rain

Once again, the extreme wetness has prevented serious work in the garden.  The good news is the weather is forecast to dry up this week, so maybe - just maybe - I will be able to get the summer pruning done on the fruit trees (it should have been done in July!).

All there is to do at present is harvest vegetables - the flowers have suffered so there aren't many I can cut and bring into the house.

Here is a picture of my recent crop - some monster runner beans, a giant courgette - it loves the rain! - and the Worcester Pearmain apples from my 4 year old dwarf tree which is now cropping well.

Thursday, 4 September 2008

Between the downpours...

This afternoon, between what the weather man calls "showers" and I call "Monsoon downpours", I got out to pick fruit and veg - some runner beans, courgettes, and Katy apples.  Nice, eh?

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

September Rain

You'd think it couldn't rain anymore, but it just goes on and on.  Today we had more monsoon weather, yesterday we even had hail!  Still haven't done the summer pruning of the fruit trees, now over a month late.

So no gardening done since the weekend, everytime I plan to get out there the weather turns nasty.  Instead here is a photo of my favourite nasturtium - Tom Thumb.  It's a dwarf type, which is great for pots and small gardens.  I plant it under the rambling rose (New Dawn, see previous post) outside my front door as it flowers after the rose has finished, and also scrambles up the rose.  Very pretty.