Monday, November 03, 2008

All is well

Well, after having not been up to the plot for weeks due to the weather/vandalism/lack of oomph and stuff, we finally got there to do a bit of tidying up. What with the vandalism and other issues it has been difficult to feel like going and sorting things out but once we got there and got going it reminded us both just how therapeutic it can be.
The weather has now taken a big turn for the worse and we've had several frosts now which has knocked back all tender plants, it is amazing how one day it can be all green and lush with things still in flower and then the next day it's all brown mush. The next couple of pics were taken a few days before the frosts arrived so we still have chrysanthemums, marigolds and sunflowers in flower.

Calabrese in the foreground with nasturtiums and the remainder of the borlotti beans drying on the canes behind

'D' mowing the grass on plot 2 where all the Chrysanths and Sunflowers are

Rocket (gone to seed) producing the most beautiful flowers

The plot is still producing masses of produce, Parsnips, courgette (marrow sized!), Curly Kale, Cabbage, Calabrese, Summer sprouting broccoli, Carrots, Swede, Squash and pumpkins. I actually like autumn and winter crops a bit more than spring ones I think, nothing can beat oven roasted root veg with a beef casserole and dumplings! The parsnips really have been amazing this year, I chitted the seeds at the beginning of the year (see here) and can only think that is why they germinated so well and have produced such HUGE sized roots. Sadly the carrots haven't been too great due to slug and carrot fly damage. The fly damage has been really bad this year and I am going to have to put up some sort of barrier next year to prevent it. Apparently they can only fly to 30 cm or so height so if you put a barrier of fleece around the outside of the bed at that height they won't get to them, sounds a bit far fetched but maybe worth having a go.

We also harvested the last of the Borlotti beans which I'm drying off to store so that they can be used in stews and soups later on. 'D' surprised me with an early birthday present before we went up to the plot, a pair of Felco secateurs which I had been after since I saw them at Chelsea flower show. They're not cheap and boy can you tell when you use them, they actually work well and cut things properly unlike the £10 ones we normally make do with and they should last a lifetime! The model is number 7 which has a rotating handle to eliminate stress on the hands when using them, the handle swiveling as you squeeze them together feels odd at first but it really does make them feel so easy to use. I can't believe I'm getting excited about secateurs ... I think I'm getting old!!!!!!


tina said...

That is JUST awful to have vandalism. I am so sorry to hear that. I hope you get it all straightened out. Your header photo is so awesome-such a neat and tidy veggie garden.

Anonymous said...

Well you are definitely getting old!! but i can understand you getting excited about your new secateurs.
Thankyou for finally updating your blog. At least i get to see how its going over there.

easygardener said...

I keep thinking about getting felco secateurs but I've already lost two pairs of cheap ones this year. On the other hand they do have bright red handles so they may stand out in the undergrowth. I'll go and stare at them next time I'm in a garden centre.

glosterwomble said...

Thanks Tina, the header photo does look good sadly the plot itself doesn't look so good at the moment!! Easygardener .. the felco secateurs are worth it an as you say the red handles will make them stand out when you put them down somewhere.
Thanks for you constant support and interest in the blog 'Anonymous' it's nice to know there are people out there!! xxx

Tattyanne said...

Glosterwomble, I love your blog! I agree with your comments about the autumn veg, you cant beet a nice piece of roast beef with roast potato parsnip butternut squash and shallots and of course yorkshire puddin! Mmmm bring it on! It is well worth the effort to put fleece around your carrots, you will definitely see an improvment, try it next year and see. I am inspired now to grow some borlotti beans, I've not grown them before, but will do next year. I sympathise with the vandalism thing, my shed has been broken into several times, but I will not be put off! Take care Tattyanne

glosterwomble said...

Thanks for your kind comments Tattyanne. Borlotti beans are great in stews etc have a go and I will def. try the fleece on my carrots!!! :)

Jo said...

I've been waiting for an update for ages!!!!

I suppose that the vandalism does take it's toll, wondering what you're going to find next time you get up there. I do sympathise.

I've grown Borlotti beans for the last couple of years in containers. I've never tasted one though. I've grown them for my dearest other half who read somewhere on the net that they're great as fishing bait!!! I hope those fishes appreciate all the care I've taken in growing them.

The winter veg looks so appetising. I'd love a photo of what they look like cooked. I have to say, the only veg which I do roast is parsnips. I don't grow squash due to lack of space at the moment, but after having a go at roasting carrots, turnips, garlic and onion, it didn't turn out too well, or I didn't like it. Oh well, back to boiling.


glosterwomble said...

Hi Jo!

Sorry the update has been so long in coming. Roast veg is normally really good, we cover it as it's roasting otherwise it can get a bit burnt. Or maybe you didn't roast it for long enough? I'd also leave out the garlic just do butternut squash, carrots and parsnip, all sweet and yummy!

Jo said...

Thanks for the advice. No, I didn't cover it. Maybe that's where I went wrong. I'll definitely give it another go then now.


glosterwomble said...

Hi Jo, I should say that when we roast veg we cover it for about 30 mins then uncover to brown off for last 10 mins (approx. times) This allows it to cook properly without burning, I've always found that garlic tastes too bitter to me when roasted and never liked it although others say it's fab.