Saturday, 16 June 2018

Getting Fruity!

Laburnum in the mist.

Chores've slowed down in the garden, but the lack of rain means walking slowly among my plant buddies on a daily basis to give them a drink. 

A great time of year for this, with everything coming into bloom, then blooms turning to fruit.  I love my ornamentals, but man, I adore my edibles.

Take a look at them all.

1.  The race is on.

I bought 3 berry plants last year, the labels of which have walked off into the sunset.  None of them bore fruit last summer, but this year, 2 of them are popping out red all over.

So on the race to fruition, who will get there first - us or the birds?

Breakfast waiting to happen.

2.  Peas in various finery.

It's our first year for blauwchokker peas & I'm loving them in all their stages.  We grew ours from seed planted in April.  They now stand taller'n myself & have great broadly veined leaves on nicely thick stems.

The flower is originally 2 tones of purply pink but then go blue as they wither.

Rampaging pea plants.

Then the blue tissue falls away & these black-purple pods slip out.

Pods jumping the fence.

3.  Today's flowers are tomorrow's sauce.

Slightly behind their pea friends are our rosella cherry tomato plants, but we got flowers!

Looks like a good crop coming.

I'm a fiend for eating most of our cherry maters before I make it back to the house from the garden, but these are feted for having a smoky flavour, so we're hoping to experiment with cooking a few.  Too bad for future sauces that our onions did feck-al this year, but we've got plenty of . . .

4. Garlic, garlic & more garlic!

Inviting vampires to dinner.

Our early purple Wights didn't clove, but these fellas . . . well, you can see it yourself.  Smashing. 

5.  Bean brigade.

We've 2 varieties of dwarf French this year - yin yang & fire tongue.  The yin yangs went in first & so, of course, are the first to bean up.

Yin yang beanies.

As you can see from the smudge in the photo, these guys have a white blossom.  The fire tongues have small pink flowers that hopefully will produce red speckled pods.

6.  Happy surprise.

You may remember my spring angst over my Louis Bonne pear tree.  While it bloomed to high heaven & beyond, its mate, the Asian pear, had no blossom.  Since I'd been told by the nursery that my bloomin' pear didn't self pollinate, I feared no fruit.

The Asian pear, which'd been given to me by the nursery to replace its dead predecessor, gave us great foliage then died.  Louis Bonne did this:

How'd it do that?

Such a shame that I'm the only pear eater in the house (har har har).  Do you know how many amazing pear recipes there are out there?  Come on, Louis!

Rebel Woody.
So while I'm dreaming of fruits to come, take a gander at my woodwardia. 

It was supposed to frond out scarlet, unfurl bronze, then green.  The colour in this photo is pretty accurate, so not what advertised, but I'm not complaining.  Loving this fern.

There's my #SixonSaturday.  Make sure you drop by The Propagator who's our meme host.  You'll get a gander at his six, & links to SoS-ers from all over the globe.

See you soon!

Saturday, 9 June 2018

Prodigal SoS-er

Spying on the neighbours during rest breaks.

The garden's in post-spring frenzy.  There's me flying behind, clinging to its coat tail. 

As such, it's been about 6 weeks since my last SoS post, which means you've missed my bluebells & irises & the 1st dwarf French bean flowers.

Fortunately, there's plenty of other #SixonSaturday bloggers, keeping pace with the season.

Be sure to check out The Propagator for his Six & links to all the rest of the gang.

So, the garden.

1.  Summertime & the ground elder is blooming.

The last time I lived with ground elder was 3 gardens ago.  At that time, I waged war.  An older & less healthy me decided to live with it in this garden.   I mow the flowerbeds it's taken over, not planting anything else there.  Around the edges of the deck, it grows with impunity.

Elegant ground elder.

Some local residents are glad of its presence.

Drunk on ground elder.

2.  Peony.

The clasped burgundy hands that surprised me by poking up this spring, have come into glorious bloom, upstaging everything else in the garden.


This peony's such a well formed shrub, I hesitated cutting any of the flowers.  Then either the wind or a cat or a passing banshee bent one of the stems.  How are we blessed with anything that beautiful?

Indoor peony.

3.  Shade garden.

Fighting with slugs over hostas never seemed worth it before, but I wanted a gillenia & something with a different foliage to contrast it.  After an initial slug nibble on the hosta, I circled it with dead cedar fronds, & the slugs've left it alone.  Think the plant combo's working out quite well.

Gillenia, hosta, herb Robert, ferns & Doodle tail (w/possible sleeping BigNose behind the chair).

4.  Too stupid to breathe.

All those long weeks ago, my last blog entry generated conversations about what the fruit trees were at the bottom of our garden.  Best guess from the best guessers was plum or cherry.  However, I'd convinced myself that it was the same type tree as the neighbour's on the other side of the fence.  The dried fruit on that tree were too big to be plum or cherry.

Then our hero, Fencing Guy, enters stage left.  He says to Hot-On-The-Tree-ID-Trail-Me, those trees don't have the same bark.  Meaning my tree & the one next door.

It's a struggle, gardening & not being very bright.

Anyway, in that same vein, I was very excited to plant our terraced area of the garden.  It had pavers over it, which I lifted to discover soil.  Well, if we add a little this, add a little that, then this here's where the maters would grow.

Seeds were germinated, pricked, potted on.  After the last fear of frost, out to the terrace with myself.  Dig, dig, dig.  An inch or so down, builder's rubble.

The soil was plant material accumulated over the years.  I knew the garden'd been neglected for a raccoon's age.  Just too stupid to breathe, that's me.

Anyhoo, the terrace as it looks today.

Veg garden.

5.  Mystery visitor.

When lifting the terrace pavers for the tomato planters (that need to sit on gravel, rather than concrete), I found this little guy. 

Snakes are common where I come from, but the only snake I've seen in the UK is an adder.  This fella doesn't really look like a snake to me - something about the head.  Is it a snake?

What's my name?

6.  My favourite thing.

I don't think I've ever shared a photo of my favourite tree, the Crooked Cherry.  Some day I'll tell you how it came to be called crooked (no relative of Nixon) & how it came to live with me.

Until then, here's Ole Crooked with valerian, Carolina allspice & what I call loose strife but others call toad flax.  I'm probably wrong (see #4 above).

Keeps getting better.

Ditch them maters.

That's what's happening in my garden this week.  Sun's shining, tomatoes, peas & beans are blooming, last mess of beans've germinated.  Time to put my feet up.

Or maybe not.  Looks like someone has other plans for my afternoon.

Hope to see you again, soon.  Until next time . . .