Welcome to our blog. It will follow the development of our garden from quagmire, after completion of our self-build, to a garden that reflects our eco-friendly principles. We are wanting to create a garden that meets our needs as a family but is also a wildlife friendly zone. Well that's what we are hoping, time will tell if we are successful.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Veggie trials and tribulations

One of the main points of the house and garden has always been to grow our own fruit and veg. This has met with mixed success. The giant sunflowers survived to produce this beautiful seed head.
 We are also succeeding with the courgettes.
 My son, managed to grow sweetcorn. This is an old variety so it has been a bit slow to take off. It is growing well now but I don't know if there is enough daylight left for the corn to grow to a decent size. He's done a lot better than I have managed before.
 The spinach is definitely still perpetual and the chives are growing well. The red lettuce finally bolted but after providing 3 months supply for 50p, I'm not complaining! The new lettuce leaves are growing in front.
Sadly, the peas died in the wet weather having been blighted with fungus.
Likewise, the cherry tomatoes that covered a whole bed failed in a mouldy mush.

The butternut squash is growing finally but with little chance of success,

unlike my son's efforts, I think they are pumpkin or some type of squash.

The curly kale is taking off so hopefully we will have some more greens in late Autumn
My sister gave us some delicious raspberries canes that are particularly tasty this year. Thanks!

The last of the desiree potatoes are ready to come up. They have been fantastic addition to our cooking recently.

 For many years I have been trying to grow carrots but this is the first time that they have grown successfully. They have been under a fleece layer to stop carrot fly getting to them.

This is despite the close proximity of the fleece to the chickens (see back left of photo)
 The dwarf beans have been good.
 I have no idea what these are as my son grew them. Any ideas?

 Swiss chard has been very tasty in salads.
 Meanwhile, our little extravagance has been the dehydrator. Dried apples are great but they just get eaten too quickly.
The chickens have been benefitting from their mixed diet of perpetual spinach and pellet feed. We're still getting 2 eggs a day, mosly jumbo size!

Sunny September

This summer has been so hit and miss with the weather but somehow there have been some successes. The colours are really cheerful as the rain hits us again.

Here are the blue Salvias and the orange ones whose name slips my mind. Any guesses?

These pink ones are Zinnia and are in my safe keeping from a friend. Hopefully they will survive the dog.

 The hydrangea quasiflora is looking rather elegant despite having a mid-summer prune thanks to Rosie.
 The wild flower bed is still looking interesting with cornflowers and other plants giving colour.

 I love the luxurious dark purple of the dwarf sweet peas. I hope to collect the seeds and have more next year.
 Thanks to  my son, we now have a new Photinia (discount from garden centre) which hopefully will grow in the corner of the garden on the remaining pebbles left over from the landscaping. I was pleased because most of the flowerbeds were too full to have any more plants in them. A drastic improvement on this time last year!

 Contoneaster and
Crocosmia are setting the garden on fire with colour.