Sunday, 25 September 2011

Tomato Watch

I managed to find a few more red ones.

And yes, those two are meant to be yellow. And the little dark ones, well, they're meant to be dark.

So then I did everything I could to strip back as much foliage as possible, chop off the fledgling branches with flowers and/or very small fruit that would never amount to anything, so each plant could put as much energy as possible into turning what exists, red (or whatever colour it should be).

Look at all that lovely fruit.

Last weekend I managed another bowlful. I would check during the week, but it is now dusk when I get home from work. I could go out with a flashlight - or I remember thinking last year, of investing in a headlamp (thus keeping my hands free).

I also found these three rather odd looking specimens. Don't quite know what to do with them, especially if they're as seedy as the other one I picked. Maybe I could make some tzaziki.

And these courgettes - no idea what is going on here. This big one in the middle - well, had it got just a little bigger I would have picked it, but it seems to have disappeared!

We're back to the same number of tiny ones. Edible? I'm just not sure.

I picked another bowlful this weekend. Given the rate I go through tomatoes, this isn't exactly a bumper year.

Hey ho, maybe next time.

Friday, 23 September 2011

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Okay so ... poetry

That looks like such a strange word up there, "poetry".

I'm about to share my own poem, that I wrote perhaps some 29 years ago. A lot had happened in that particular summer, to do with love.

It was longer when I wrote it, but it was, I think kindly, cut down by my Creative Writing teacher at Triton College. The original is long destroyed, when I ruthlessly threw away everything of my early writings, when my parents were moving house to their beautiful new place, and so many remnants of my life still existed in the old place. Oh, there was some bad writing in there.

But as we have just passed the Harvest Moon, I thought it might be appropriate. I mean, it would be another year before I could even think of posting this again.

So without further ado -

The Harvest Moon kicks out the old, dear moon,
Young once, and winking.
Each crunchy leaf takes me
Farther away from you.

Monday, 12 September 2011

Full Moon in Pisces

Just soz y'all know.

Hmmm ... Gardens, Cats, and Astrology?

Or Gardens, Cats, and a Hot Babe in a Bikini ...?

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Trellises for Cats

So last weekend, we (or rather my husband) finally put a trellis in the longstanding gap-at-the-back that has existed since we moved in, over 4 years ago. It's been a long time coming, but it was worth the wait.

You see the gap at the far right? Where you can see the tree that is actually behind the fence level? I've never really pointed it out before but it is and always has been a major ingress for the cats and other assorted wildlife. Even the back neighbour's extremely annoying little dog. Not that there are many cats left hanging around, since Ginger kicked them all out.

Well, we've been meaning to plug that for a long time now. Providing, of course, there is still ingress for at least one or two cats, but not a Jack Russell.

What with the holding it up to mark drill points, and measuring, and all that, Ginger got a little suspicious, and so when we temporarily put it down, he decided to stage a sit-in protest. Or rather, a lie-in protest. It took some doing to shift him, and he wasn't happy.

Ah, but little did he know, and although I said "don't worry about the cat(s), he'll get round" husband decided to accommodate.

Behold, trellis with cat hole.

He was so very excited and pleased with this he insisted I go to Phoebe's to get a climber (my husband, not the cat). I was happy to oblige.

However, considering what is down in the soil, when trying to plant it I encountered some obstacles:

That was pretty solid, and wasn't moving. I don't have the time or the energy to dig massive big rocks or bits of concrete out of this soil anymore.

So in the end, we stuck it in a pot. Hey, it looks fine. And we're out of here soon.

I decided to buy an evergreen climber, and this is called a "Bluebell Creeper", or Sollya heterophylla.

And with that, coupled with the fact that the next door neighbour's landlord took responsibility for the fence on the left (which really was ours ...) and repaired it (we meant to, honest!)

the garden is now completely enclosed, for the first time ever. Nothing can come in or out, except cats of course, perhaps foxes, and even hedgehogs.

Do you know what my first thought was?

"We could get a dog now."

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Meagre Harvest

It's a good thing I'm not trying to live off anything I grow.

So far, this is the sum total of what I have been able to harvest from my garden.

Not too impressive, huh?

There have been perhaps 10 ripe tomatoes overall from this lot. And those, as you see, are the smaller variety. Not even a meal, really.

The foliage looks impressive, but apart from the one plant, every fruit is green. Green, green, green.

The big question is: why? I checked back and they were planted the second to last weekend in May. Maybe a week later than I would wish, but it's now September and none of these are red (or whatever colour they are supposed to be), or even approaching being so.

Who do I blame? Homebase and Jamie Oliver? Maybe I should have stuck with the rather uninspiring variety from my local garden centre, instead of buying mass-produced plants from a nationwide DIY conglomerate, even if Jamie did put his name on them.

Maybe, like my sister's patch in France, 4 years in a row of tomatoes in the same place does mean the soil is tired, and it's time to move to a new location.

I may have to rethink gravelling the whole top, and consider putting some raised beds in.

Or how about the crap summer? It's official - The Met Office confirms it was the coolest summer in 20 years.

And one courgette?

There are a few other possibles, very very small, and though promising, time is most definitely running out.

And those cucumbers - I had one in a salad last night. Quite seedy. Not inedible, not much flavour though.

Back to those tomatoes - I'd better dig out that recipe for Green Tomato Chutney.