- How the Arctic is ‘bustling’ in winter (bbc.co.uk)
We were faster than the starlings this year and harvested 2 buckets of dark blue grapes from the vine on the front of our house yesterday. Those were then washed and picked off the stalks, juiced, filtered, and preserved as a rich fruit juice or light cordial in sterilized bottles.
4.5 litres in total, that’s not too bad for a north-facing wall in London, I should think. And it has quite a nice flavour, too.
A good pear harvest, which we attribute to the much reduced pear rust infection now that a heavily infected tree in the neighbour’s garden is no more.
Only two Braeburn apples survive from the original five or six, but given that this is a tiny tree in a tiny pot, often fallen dry, I think it has done pretty well. I think I will probably set it free from its pot and put it into a bed this coming spring.
After years of waiting, caring, sometimes neglecting but always hoping, we are overjoyed to announce the first flower of our indoors strelitzia reginae.
It truly is the most amazing flower.
Ah, I love it when the garden begins producing. We enjoy regular and generous harvests of Swiss Chard already. The Mange-tout peas will be ready in two weeks, radishes in a few days, and herbs are available in abundance.
All just 3 steps out of my garden door, how cool is that?
Yesterday’s supper is today’s lunch: fresh garden vegetables soup with slow cooked crisp pork belly and spicy chorizo.
1.20 m above ground, 3 m long, and practically the size of one small bed in the best sun-kissed corner of the garden, not taking any of our limited space away. Container gardening with a twist.
This should be perfect for herbs and some salads, and hopefully be a little less slug- and snail-ridden than ground-level beds.
Can you spot the difference?
Their speed of growth is simply amazing. One plant in the middle stands out, but the others show similar growth (not as evident from the photo).
The banana plants were covered with a sheet of reeds and bamboo to stop harsh winds or heavy snow from reaching them, covered on top with an old linen sack.
When we returned from our short break mid afternoon this Easter Monday, the thermometer reported a glorious 17 Celsius in the shade, and the bananas had lifted their protective covers up by more than a foot. A clear sign that they thought enough is enough.
Aaaaaaand the winner is…..
[…insert dramatic slow drum beats and an annoying pause…]
Well done, Nectarine. First to blossom in the second year running.
Monty’s back, so it must be time to get a spring clean started in Ye Olde Orangerie. Now it’s all nice and tidy and awaiting seedlings, while this black and ageing fellow awaits nothing but the passing of time, at least until feeding time at 6 o’clock.
The garden has been very productive this year. We have many, many more raspberries, tomatoes, peas and beans than every before, plus all the herbs, several batches of leaf lettuce three mini-pomegranates and five olives. Only the courgettes were better in previous years.
We enjoyed some of the runner beans when they were green, young and tender. A good amount of those is still in the freezer. I harvested approximately 1/4 of the remaining beans today, after deciding to let them grow into real beans. The girlish colour-scheme aside they look marvellous, don’t they?
We also made Blackberry jam, Mango jam (with late Indian mangoes) and two batches of yummy Tomato Jam.
Not bad for a tiny suburban garden, methinks.
I decided to call him Nutmeg on account of his black and brown fur. While the little General watches proceedings from an elevated position, I believe that Nutmeg might become the boss soon. He is clearly interested in the job.