Tuesday 24 August 2021

Harvest time


Not a bumper harvest , nor any prize winning sized vegetables .

Just a slow but sure and steady flow of different things every day .


And flowers for the vase .

 I want to grow more Dahlias next year . I love them !

These Runner beans are "Montecute Runners" a heritage variety that has been grown in Somerset since at least the 19th century . These were given to me by heritage seed guardian Adam Alexander .

He describes them as being reliable , heavy cropping and with good  flavour , which I didn't really quite believe , but  now I have tried them , I must agree , they really are very nice indeed . 

 I am saving a good number of the pods to ripen fully this time , so I can grow them again next year and hopefully get a much bigger harvest .

Those Peppers are Sweet Pepper Rainbow Mini-bell and I was a bit disappointed with these  . They didn't produce the lovely selection of colours as on the picture on the seed packet . The green ones were lovely and of course they ripened up to beautiful red . There were no orange or bright yellow ones at all ....just these very insipid tasting cream ones . They did  grow to a nice snack sized fruit though and I still have some more to come in the greenhouse . I will save the seeds from that green/red one . 

The Courgettes are only just beginning to come now , having only produced male flowers up until now .....and it's the same with the Butternuts for the second year in a row . I only have one Spaghetti Squash on the way , that I am growing for my daughter .

It has grown quite a bit bigger since I took this photo of it , my daughter will be pleased to know ! 

 It still didn't refill the water-butt completely , but everything has certainly benefited from this recent heavy shower of rain .

                                                    Some for the freezer !

                                                       Happy harvesting all ! 

Friday 13 August 2021

Crinum x powellii

                            Crinum x powellii looking it's fabulous best right now .

We have two huge clumps of these giant bulbs . I would like to divide them up and put some in other parts of the garden , but it is impossible , they really have their roots down deep and they just do not want to be pulled up !

 I'm not giving up .  I will try again , after we have some seriously heavy rain and the earth is soft .

Monday 9 August 2021

Impatiens tinctoria

I just love the flowers of Impatiens tinctoria and it does very well in my garden.

It comes from cooler and damper regions of East Africa , Ethiopia , Uganda , Kenya , Malawi , Zambia , where it is found beside streams and damp places .

The tinctoria part of it's name gives a clue to the use of it's tuberous roots , as a dye . Used in a similar way to Henna , for dyeing hands and feet . The dye produced from the tubers is red , also used for dyeing  cloth .

It has medicinal uses - being used to treat fungal infections such as ringworm and athelete's foot .It has other medicinal uses too , but I would not discuss nor recommend them here .

I grow it simply because I love the flowers . Butterflies, bees and pretty Hoverflies all love it too .

Unlike pretty pink Impatiens glandulifera ,which is also more commonly known as Himalayan balsam or Policeman's Helmet which is an evil aggressively , seed popping , invasive thug .... this one , Impatiens tinctoria is not invasive at all . 

It grows into a nice well behaved clump  !    (and here in my garden in Cornwall , it doesn't pop its seeds at all ! )  

It dies back and goes dormant over the Winter months .

 My clump of Impatiens tinctora has been in the ground in my garden for over ten years and is still a nice well behaved clump of about no more than two feet wide . 
 In my big tidy up yesterday , I cut it right back to the lowest new forming shoots and I will give it a good mulch . It will have enjoyed all the heavy rain showers we,ve been having and hopefully it will give me a second display of it's beautiful , sweet scented blooms through August .

Sunday 8 August 2021

Weeding , weeding , weeding !


There are two roses in this bed , an Iris , a nice clump of Impatiens tinctoria , a huge Chamaerops humilis , a couple of Dahlias  and hundreds of Cowslips and Primroses .

Ivy such a nuisance in this area of the garden , all in-between the roots of the Iris  and grass growing likewise through the roses . I had no choice but to take out one of the Roses to pluck it all out ! 

Look at all that grass at the front of this bed . It is coming up through all the Primroses , I have had to take them all out !

I gathered all the equipment I needed from the shed and wheeled it down in the wobbly wheelbarrow .
I promised myself , that I could have the pleasure and reward of planting out into this bed one of the Furcraea longaveas , or maybe Beschorneria yuccoides that I have been growing up in the greenhouse .   It was such a long time ago that I found the seedlings , that I can't remember which it is ! 
Anyone know ?    Anyway , either of these and it will be fabulous here ! 

Happy to be planted out ! ...and there is rain on the way to water it in  .

It should look lovely with the Iris next to it and a rock to shelter it and soak up the sun and give out some warmth at night .

I did a quick rearrangement  of those rocks . The large one on top , has a nice  hollow that collects a small pool of water when it rains and it is where the Thrush and the Blackbirds like to smash snails , so it is important that I get this right . I will come back to sort that out tomorrow , as I really want to get this wretched weeding done before the rain .

Meanwhile up in the vegetable garden , since the wind was blowing well away from our neighbour's direction , my husband  , after checking the heap for Hedgehogs etc got a good fire going to clear all the branches and weeds that we'd cut back at the end of Winter . He did a good job !  I didn't get even the slightest wiff of smoke in the garden , here , down below the vegetable garden and the heavy rain coming will ensure it quickly goes out this evening .

We plan to plant more fruit bushes here eventually .

Back down where I am in the ornamental garden , I plant out this lovely Aeonium . 

It is getting dark and beginning to rain ! 

I thankfully , manage to get all the grass out from around the second rose without disturbing the roots too much . The rain was really coming down now , so I knew the roots would be settled  in again . Anyway , these two roses need a good prune and mulch .  Which I can do tomorrow .

Now it is really dark and lashing down with rain and like we used to see on the Royal Tournament , I run with the wheelbarrow full of tools and heavy with clumps of Primroses and Cowslips up into the shed . Put the tools away and run back to the cottage , soaked to the skin !

                                                   Photo taken with the flash !

Passing the Carnivorous plants on the way . They are looking happy enough !

I think I will have a quiet and gentle day tomorrow .

Thursday 5 August 2021

Selenicereus grandiflorum

 .......and then the postman came .  Whoo hoo ! My Selenicereus cutting has arrived ! A lovely surprise to find that Yorkshire roots has sent me an extra one .

I was instructed to let the cuts callous over before planting them ....but I noticed there are a couple of tiny aerial roots , so I thought the best thing to do would be to lay them on a small module of quite dry cactus compost and leave them to do their own thing .

Those aerial roots should find their way down into the compost and my thinking is that the cuttings should produce new growth shoots all along the length  .

I ran out of chicken grit ! Chicken grit is good for doing cactus cuttings like this  .It is nice and sharp , for good drainage and to keep snails off . 

Lavender and Runner-beans

         It is always a joy to fill my basket with my own home grown Lavender and it is that time of the year again to harvest it . Leaving some for the bees !

I have several bushes around the garden , I couldn't be without Lavender . This particular bush is now very old and I am going to take it up and replace with some young Lavender plants I have grown from cuttings .

         There is nothing so beautiful as the sweet fragrance of Lavender around the home . 

Vases are filled and a pleasant hour or two ,on this rainy day , stitching little bags of Liberty Tana Lawn and lace , stuffed with Lavender  and tied with violet ribbons , sachets to be tucked away in drawers  or  given as sweet gifts . I fill a couple for sleep pillows . I find the scent of Lavender calming and induces restful sleep .

A good bowlful of Runner-beans  today  . 
Feeling grateful !

Happy harvest blessings !

Wednesday 4 August 2021

All things Bright and Beautiful !


I planted up this large shallow bowl with a few pretty things  and sunk my small collection of three carnivorous plants in their pots . They have to stand in a little rain water . Tap water will kill them .They must only have rain water . 

Carnivorous plants are fairly new to me , but I managed to get them through the winter and recently treated myself to another one . The varieties I have here are quite happy to be outside in the U.K. , where they catch flies , ants and other tiny insects . Fascinating plants !

The Blue Tits have finally discovered the coconut that I hung up for them a couple of weeks ago and they are loving it ! 
  I have bought another one , half to go into a lovely rice dish that I do and half for my cheeky little birdie friends .

Update on my Cordyline indivisa seeds  - Good news is they all germinated and I have now pricked them out and potted them up , each into their own little module .

 So all is well  !  Lovely blue sky this morning , it's going to be a scorcher again !

Monday 2 August 2021

I,m growing a Mango !



Yep ! I,m growing a Mango Tree ! The fruit was juicy and sweet  . I can't just discard that beautiful stone !

So I planted it into a small pot with some multi-purpose compost , watered it in and left it on the table in the woodshed .

Then I decided to do some research about Mangos and found out that I was doing it all wrong !

               So I had to un-plant it  , wash off all the compost and start again .

    So now then  what you have to do is ,very carefully , with a knife prise the stone shell apart to reveal the seed inside .   I used a very small pen knife but I think it would be possible to prise the shells apart with an ordinary blunt cutlery knife   PLEASE GET AN ADULT TO DO THIS FOR YOU .  Mine was very slippery .

                                             Be careful not to damage the seed .

                                 I can see the root there already just waiting to grow .

                          Next I took a paper towel /kitchen paper and made it slightly damp .

                                       Roll it up inside the damp kitchen paper .

                                    Put it into a zip lock plastic bag .

                                                    Label it .

 Then you have to put it somewhere warm . I am putting mine on the bathroom window , it is always fairly warm in there .

  And now I have to wait for about two weeks for the seed to begin to put out it's roots and those first leaf shoots  .  I,m so excited !      Fingers crossed   , I will give you an update in a couple of weeks  :)

Thinking about my Tree saplings

 The weather has been very extreme this year , first no April showers , then it became too hot for me to venture outside .We have recently had some rain , although still not enough to fill the water-but .

A little cooler now and I am able to potter about catching up with things .

I suddenly remembered my little Oak saplings and dashed to see if they were o.k . They have been nibbled by rabbits  ! As you can see they needed weeding .

I soon sorted them out , gave them a good drink and I might be able to revive the nibbled ones .

                                                        I do still love the bunnies !

                                            I put them out of reach of the rabbits .

The Ginkgo bilobas are looking good , I wont be planting them out  until they are much bigger though .

The last remaining Monkey Puzzle is waiting to be planted out maybe this Autumn . I grew all of these from seeds/nuts .