Saturday, 30 June 2018

Taking the Heat




Yellow Queen Columbine.



It's time for my #SixonSaturday, a selection of goodies that've appeared, failed or thrived in the garden this week.


Here, we're having unusually high temps & no rain.  The garden hose & I've become one entity patrolling the brown lawn, sunburned leaves & ripening fruits.




1.  Beans!

It's a veritable bean fever in our garden. We've got fire tongues & yin yang, to which we add the blauschokker & spring blush mange tout.


Beans & more.

Our resident cook has the easiest & most delicious way of cooking these bad fellas.  Let them sit in boiling water for 5 minutes (no cooking, just sitting), drain, toss with a bit of sesame seed oil & the sesame seeds themselves.



Easy side dish.


2.  Astrantia Wars.

Someone gave me my first astrantia nearly 10 years ago & I've been smitten every since.  I don't know the variety of that one, but it had a large faded blossom, like your favourite purple jeans sent through the wash too many times.

Don't get me wrong - I love the dark & vibrant astrantia.  This year, however, my heart is torn between two loves.


Astrantia Roma


. . . and . . .



Astrantia Maxima

Still loving that faded jeans vibe, I guess.


3.  More foot race than war in the corn field.

My first batch of corn plants were Sutton's Sundance.  During the hardening up process, a good third of them died, which effectively tossed my block planting over the wall.

By that time, Sutton's was out of corn plants, as were most everyone else except for Harrod's.  It was a risk buying from someone else, what with the potential their plants would be younger, not to mention they weren't the same strain.  But without more plants, germination was going to be iffy.

The joy when the Harrod plants arrived & were about the same size as the Sutton plants.


Corn Bouquet.

Three weeks later, my best laid plan is foiled again.  The Harrod's plants lag significantly behind the Sutton's Sundance.  I assume the difference in strain is the problem. 


Harrod Shorty in front, Tall Sutton in back.

Hand pollination, here we come.  Hopefully a few plants will produce a few kernels.  Next year, though, think I'll go back to growing from seed.


4.  Mystery tree.

Remember the unknown fruit tree at the bottom of the garden?  Every morning, this particularly fat pigeon tries to have breakfast there, creeping down the branch toward its goal, but eventually cascading wings over tail & out of the tree with an empty belly.  It's even tried eating from the holly tree next to it, but no joy.


Pigeon bait.

As to the tree's identity, I'm thinking it's a cherry tree.  But then you SoS lot told me one of my alleged cherry trees is actually a plum, so . . .


5.  Mater ties.

My mother used old stockings to tie up her tomato plants.  I always used garden twine, which in my hands, wasn't effective.  By the end of summer, my tomatoes looked like Romans relaxing over their dinner.

This year, I went shopping for tomato cages & discovered Velcro ties instead.  The new-fangled always tempts me, so out came the cash, home went the Velcro.  The maters loved them.


New ties.

As the maters grew toward the roof of the cages, more Velcro was needed, but it was a little too close to payday.  Perusing the situation, I decided to take the bottom tie off & move it to the top.  And wow . . .


No bottom tie needed.

By the time another layer of ties is needed, the base of the plant's big & ugly enough to support itself.  Great stuff.


6.  Free stuff welcomed here.

One of my neighbours had a leftover eggplant & decided we looked like a good adoptive home.


Orphan eggplant.

My mother grew aubergine & canned all sorts of delicious sauces with it in.  Being the only eggplant eater in my own family, I'd never tried growing it. 

Recently, one of the cooks in the house converted, but even if it were still only me, who turns down free plants?  So we shall keep you posted on this lovely item.




Inspector Butt



And that's me done writing.

To keep up with the latest international garden sagas, drop by The Propagator who hosts this meme.  He always has a cracking Six himself, plus a comment section full of links to all the others

Hope your garden is surviving the weather & gives you plenty of tales to tell.  If you've not joined us in SoS-ing, why not start now?

Until next week, stay hydrated, use sunscreen, & eat your veg.

See you around!


23 comments:

  1. I love that Astrantia. It has the most beautiful centre which makes it almost like two flowers in one. The resident cook’s recipe looks delish.

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    1. There's something irresistible about an astrantia. And the recipe, fabulous!

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  2. Good tip that the velcro to tie the plants .. I hadn't thought about it. On the other points of Six, I must admit that astrantias are really pretty flowers. I don't grow them (until now) but will change next year!
    I just finished my lunch but seeing your beans plate makes me mouth water...

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    1. Definitely try the bean recipe. It goes really well w/a spicy stirfry or other spicy dish. The Velcro idea, I saw at the Sutton's website (I think) but it's sold in longer lengths & more reasonably priced at other online sites. I'm really loving the flexibility it gives me.

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  3. Lovely astrantia. Funny about the pigeon..we have the same issue here on a fig tree. They are constantly tumbling out of the branches. Are all pigeons just bad at determining the carrying capacity of trees?

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    1. Pigeons are the optimists of the bird family. While I was out in the garden this avoe, the pigeon was sitting in the cherry tree, staring at the fruit & not moving. Think he might be formulating his next plan.

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  4. I love growing aubergines but haven't done so for a few years. Worth growing for the lush leaves and purple flowers alone.

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    1. My thoughts exactly. But the fruit is certainly a plus!

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  5. That's a great selection of beans! I've only ever grown broad beans and runner beans before.... next year we're taking a break from broad beans, but maybe the following year I should be more adventurous and try growing a different type of bean?

    And I never turn down free plants - a fellow allotmenteer offered us a gooseberry plant a couple of years ago. Dad said no (he always says no when offered free plants), but I overruled him (it is my allotment after all) and did a swap for a couple of strawberry plants I had spare :)

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    1. I am loving my bean collection. It's great, having wonderfully fresh veg on the table. And yes, why turn down free plants? Was your Dad being polite? I've seen so much on Twitter about gooseberries this year, I must taste one to see if I like them. They look so luscious when they're ripe.

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  6. I have a love affair with Astrantia too. I love the pretty little flowers. I have some Alba Astrantia which are my favourite.

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    1. I saw your Alba & was pretty smitten w/that as well. It seems I go from loving the darks to loving the lights to loving the faded. They're just so nice to have in the garden.

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  7. It all looks great! Love the bean recipe, will look forward to some aubergine ones later. We eat tons of them, they are fab food - but you might need to tickle the flowers a bit to help pollination along the way. I'll stick my neck out and agree you have what looks like a fine cherry there . . .happy to be corrected, though! :-)

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    1. I think we're safe w/the cherry ID. My mis-IDed plum was bought at a village plant sale, never had fruit but wonderful foliage. I got a good laugh over the whole thing. So now, will proceed to education myself on flower tickling.

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  8. Oh dear, shame that Harrods corn is not up to scratch. I just threw a few sweetcorn seeds into the ground. Only one survived but it is a monster!

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    1. You'll be joining me in the hand pollinating, I see. I don't think the Harrod's are bad. The Sundance is an early crop strain, so shoots ahead.

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  9. Oh dear, shame that Harrods corn is not up to scratch. I just threw a few sweetcorn seeds into the ground. Only one survived but it is a monster!

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  10. What have the Romans ever done for us? I have a few ineptly tied stems of tomato plants which have resulted in just such a louche,relaxed posture.

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    1. I see nothing of the sort in the photos you've posted. Are you keeping the slithering ones out of sight?

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  11. Your garden looks very productive! I've barely done any veg this year as we're hoping to be moving and I miss pottering around and tending to the plants greatly. Weeding in the flower beds just doesn't have the same appeal!

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    1. Moving definitely puts a spanner in the gardening works. Hopefully you'll be back in stride next year.

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  12. Great blog! Will deffo follow from now on.

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    1. Look forward to seeing you again!

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