Wednesday, 17 September 2014

The September garden


After neglecting the garden a bit recently I put in some hours out there yesterday, cutting out old raspberry canes and tying in the new ones and mowing the grass.  It always amazes me how mowing the grass makes it all suddenly look neater.  I carefully avoided the many frogs that live here now, they are mostly in a "wild" strip down the edge of the garden.  There are lots this year, in all sorts of sizes.  The tiny ones are incredible, a whole perfectly formed frogling the size of a fingernail.

The best crop in the garden this year has been the pears.  They've never really set before now, but this year there are dozens of both varieties, Doyenne du Comice and Beurre Hardy.   The Beurre Hardy are a really good size and very heavy.


Another good crop this year has been these yellow tomatoes.  I've never grown them before, they are Golden Sunrise, from seeds given to me by my blogging friend Flighty.  We've been having them for lunch every day for a while now, and there are still plenty more ripening in this beautiful sunshine that we've been having.


The little Sungolds are still going strong too.  I pop out first thing every morning in the week to get some for the biggest boy's packed lunch.  I love sending them off to school with some homegrown things.  There are allotment cucumbers every day at the moment as well.


We usually have salad for lunch at home, along with bread and cheese, it's always something simple.  At the moment there is oak leaf lettuce, green and red, which never lets me down.


And something that the two littler boys and I really enjoy, French sorrel.


The leaves are always described as having a lemony tang to them.  They are really different and delicious.  I love them with tomatoes and a little salt and I'm hoping they keep going into the autumn.  They are certainly still growing at the moment.  In fact the plant is perennial, so it should keep going next year as well.

This is the salad bed, although there's not as much there as I would have liked.  My last sowing of rocket bolted, so I'm left with spinach, basil, marjoram and more sorrel.


These are a few late carrots.  I've no idea whether they will amount to anything, but no doubt the piggie will like the tops.  I must have sown about eight thousand carrot seeds this year, and I've yet to eat a single carrot.  In the triumph of hope over experience I shall be trying again next year though.


Elsewhere there's chard, which the snails are enjoying, and some spring cabbage, which the caterpillars are enjoying, and winter cabbages (no picture - they're really not very inspiring) that look so tough that nothing has attacked them yet.  Could be a winner.


There are still plenty of the bee friendly flowers that the boys sowed, and in this warm dry weather there are still plenty of bees.  Next year I want to grow a fluffy grey plant that I saw on television the other day that carder bees like.  I can't remember what it was called though.  Something about lambs or elephants I think.  Anybody know?  I can't remember what the programme was either, but the person with the plant was Brigit Strawbridge of "It's Not Easy Being Green" fame.  Anyway, the bee was there combing all the fluff off the plant and protecting it from bumble bees so that his girl bee friend would love him.  I need this sort of thing going on in my garden I do.



I'm still enjoying the pale pinks and whites of summer.  All too soon it will be the yellows and oranges of autumn.



See, they're creeping in already.


Does anyone know what the correct etiquette is when it comes to fruit hanging over your fence, but when the roots are actually in your neighbour's garden?


My next door neighbour is very nice actually and I'm sure he would be happy for us to have these grapes.  No doubt there are masses on his side of the fence too.  I'm thinking grape jelly.  Dare I risk straining something again though..?  I've had two spillages out of three attempts.  I wonder if I could put pears in with the grapes, I've got plenty of windfalls that need using.  If I don't hurry I know the blackbirds will take the grapes.

The last thing in my garden at the moment is this little piggie.


Once the night time temperatures start dropping below ten degrees (fifty in fahrenheit) she'll come inside, although she'll still go out on the grass most days if it's dry enough.  Today felt like a summer's day though, so no need to go anywhere just yet.  I hope the weather's lovely where you are too.  Enjoy the rest of your week.

30 comments:

  1. You could try making jam with the grapes - I did one time when we had loads of grapes and very nice it was too. Adding the pears or any other fruit would also work no doubt as long as you have something high in pectin to get a set. I love your garden it is so real and not a touched up perfect looking one yet the produce is great. I wonder if yellow tomatoes are less susceptible to blight we have not done well with ours for some years now but like you with your carrots we keep trying!

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  2. Love your little piggie. I really miss not having any as pets these days.
    My garden seems to have gone from Autumn, back to Summer. Even a clematis has started flowering again. I was gong to take some photos today, but got distracted!
    Maybe the "lamb" plant you are looking for is this? http://www.crocus.co.uk/plants/_/stachys-byzantina-silver-carpet/classid.3621/

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  3. Your guinea pig is so sweet, she has such a pretty face and her coloring is beautiful. Your garden, oh my goodness. You have so much variety. I love the look of your salad greens. I'd like to try growing them someday. We eat a lot of salad here too, and often have the same kind of lunch with salad, bread and cheese. It's easy and relatively healthy, so it's perfect. Your pears look beautiful too. I'm glad to know you enjoy both the growing and the harvesting.

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  4. AH!!! Look at those pears!!! They are gorgeous!!!! And I am with you on the mowing....as soon as we do it it seems to lift the garden a bit!!! And I am wondering if the plant is Lambs Ear???? Hmmm....let me know as this plant I have a lot of in my garden and it is silver/gray in color and is fuzzy but sends up shoots that the bees enjoy! I would say go for the grapes pal! And I love your sweet piggie and all of those blooms still bursting in your space! Happy gardening to you! Such a great crop of greens you have there!!! Nicole xoxo

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  5. I LOVE when piggie makes an appearance! She is just adorable!!!

    Those grapes look delicious! I would venture a guess that your neighbor doesn't even know there are there, so probably won't miss them at all.

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  6. Aw poor piggie has to go inside soon! I still find it so amazing that she's outside at all! Anyone I've known to have a guinea pig has always just had some little cage indoors like a hamster or something and I've felt so bad. They probably never even let them out of the damn cage besides to clean it. Now I want some pears!!!! And how cute there are froggies living in the grass!

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  7. It looks like you've done a fine job as gardener this summer! So much produce! We have pears now but they sure aren't pretty! But they taste good. I am thinking a pear crisp with vanilla ice cream on top would be delish! Cute little piggie. My granddaughters each have one and they love them so much. ((hugs)), Teresa :-) PS - those grapes are yours.. they're on your side. :-)

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  8. Your garden and allotment are amazing! So much produce still, how wonderful. I would be all for going and checking with the neighbour I am sure he will say yes, but just in case you have more on your side than he has on his!

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  9. A lovely post and terrific pictures. It's good to see that there's plenty to be harvested, and flowers to enjoy.
    I saw a tiny, fingernail size frog on one of my plot ponds a few years ago, an amazing sight.Lucky you with those pears.
    Thanks for the mention, it's good to see that you've done well with the yellow tomatoes and like them. I'd say have the grapes as they're your side of the fence.
    Thanks, and you too. Flighty xx

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  10. You still have some beautiful colour in your garden (mine is looking a bit dead and neglected in places). Make grape jelly and give your neighbour a jar - grape jelly sounds delicious.

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  11. Your pears look delicious. Ours are not ripe yet, I hope they will soon be though. Salad, cheese and bread are one of my favourite meals! Grape jelly is delicious. It does need pectin to set, I know from (runny) experience. Cx

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  12. It was Gardener's World. Have a look at this:- http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p0263pgh
    Your pears look fabulous, and I know that the yellow tomatoes always do well for Flighty so it's good to know that you've had success with them too. Our bunny's hutches are moved down on to the patio for winter so it won't be long now until they're on the move. I'm trying to keep them on the grass for as long as possible so they can go out in their run each day it's fine, it's more of a hassle to put them out when the hutches have been moved.

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  13. Ah yes the September garden. I have neglected mine too, and will be out there this weekend. I agree that mown grass make sit ll seem nicer, although I always feel I should leave a wild patch for the insects. I've bookmarked the french sorrel. I am planning a winter salad bed. Would this be hardy enough do you think? My neighbour has a huge pear tree, that is dripping with them every year. And every year they go to waste. I'm often tempted to ask for some, but feel too shy.
    Leanne xx

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  14. Oh yum grape jelly, my little grape vine died, I will need to purchase another. We had four pears this year off our trees I hope they do better next year, your pears are looking great! Must be a year for frogs we even have a resident one in the greenhouse with a fat belly full of slugs.

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  15. I've never tried French sorrel. It sounds lovely, thanks for the tip!

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  16. Thanks for the trip around you're garden, so much going on out there my tomatos are yet to turn red :( as for carrots the best thing I ever try was growing them at about dustbun height, preventing pest and carrot fly I grew mine in a big pot stood on top of a crate and it really worked.
    Clare x

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  17. your garden looks gorgeous, very impressed with your pears, our fruit trees have failed to produce anything yet.....

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  18. Loved strolling through your garden. And I especially loved that last picture of the piggy:) The other night we let our bunny run around the basement, and she loved it. I'm thinking we may convince her to run around outside, too, but she still seems very afraid. Hope you're having a lovely week, too, CJ!

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  19. Your garden still looks so amazing, those pears are gorgeous. And of course little piggies need to come in when it cools down.
    Hugs,
    Meredith

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  20. Sungold have been incredible as have the cornflowers.

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  21. I saw definitely go for the grapes. If you've had to watch them growing, then you can eat them!

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  22. Just curious.. what happened to your blog list? I was going to click through on your list to check out for new blogs.
    ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

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  23. Still so much in your garden, it's lovely! We've (well only me really) been debating whether it's time for the piggies to come inside, but then we have a really warm day!

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  24. Just come across your blog and excited to find another lady who blogs about similar things :) Love your little piggy. I kept guineas for years- I had 14 at one point! But now fallen in love with ferrets as pets. We have just moved and are planning to become more self sufficient through growing more of our own food so shall be following you for growing tips :)
    Miss Tulip x
    The Thrifty Magpies Nest

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  25. Hi CJ, just catching up now that I am back, I have been reading, just not commenting. It looks as though you have still got lots growing and doing very well indeed, I have heard from several people that carrots have been terrible this year, so I don't think that it just you. I reckon that the grapes are fair game, but I think that I remember something about you being able to prune things that come over your side from a neighbours, but you have to offer to return what you prune, but I don't know if that means the fruit too. Have a word and they will probably say yes. Our grapes have all ripened while we were away, but I too am worried about the straining thing, although I would love to make some jelly. Perhaps I will pick ours and freeze them for now! xx

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  26. Those pears look wonderful. I love reading about your garden x

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  27. i do love seeing and reading about all the different apple and pear varieties you have.
    my dad grows yellow tomatoes (not sure what variety) and i love them mixing them in a salad with red tomatoes. very pretty on a plate.

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  28. Your September garden is utterly beautiful! I'm amazed by how much colour you have. Mine has been a wasteland since mid-August. x

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  29. The pears look so good, having you picked any yet? Sarah x

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