Veg Patch

To read the story of my Veg Patch in chronological order use the links in the Blog Archive

Thursday, 20 September 2012

The Author is currently away. Next post will be in Early October. Please don't desert me!! 

Friday, 14 September 2012

Under attack again!

Once again my poor vegetables have come under attack. In my last post I explained how I had planted out my Kale under the super de dooper new ready made net thingy.. Well fat lot of good that did. 

A quick inspection two days later revealed this..

Decimated .. Again!!!!! 

So with another load of plants to put out which included Offenham Cabbages and Pixie cabbages, I knew I was once again going to have to do battle with the enviromesh. This is no mean feat as it can get particularly windy in our garden even on calmer days... So the plants went in. 

and the cabbages and remaining Kale were covered over.. 

Its been out for 4 days now and so far only a few tiny nibbles on some of the plants, so keeping everything crossed. 

My other cabbages, the Savoys, that I planted in the spring are getting huge. I have them in two spots, but one row was looking decidedly under the weather.. 

They had been undercover, so it must be attack from the ground rather than the air. A quick inspection and the cause was found... 

Snails!! Huge snails, they have been feeding well. And lots of them. I decided that the best way to get rid of them and all the damaged leaves was simply to cut them off and hope that the cabbages carried on growing. 

They looked a bit naked when I had finished but no snails.

I had to remove three altogether as they were rotting, so I popped some of my new ones in the spaces, just so as not to waste any space. 

And then went back under cover, once again they are still ok at the moment.. 

I also planted out some Chioggia Beets

Which should look like this if they grow. 

Nothing much else going on in the veg department, its that time of year where stuff is finishing and I am still waiting for the winter crops. 

The flowers are still beautiful 


and Sweet Peas

Out and about this week we have been walking in the forest around Beaulieu and its starting to get a bit Autumnal and very pretty..

We walked along the source of the of the Beaulieu river and saw this beautiful scene, Very English I think you will agree.

Lots of other beautiful things to see in the forest. 

Every time I walk, I keep waiting for Robin Hood and his Merry Men to jump out on us, I know its the wrong forest but its a nice little daydream.. 

There are lots of woodpiles at the moment and Gibson quite likes them. 

and on one of them was this amazing patch of Lichen

And finally minding his own business was this beautiful caterpillar. 

Enjoy the weekend.. we shall. 

Friday, 7 September 2012

More Strange Veg!

I think I could be likened to a bus. No blog for ages, then two come along at once. But suddenly, things are happening outdoors again. 

My Seedy Penpal veg has now reached a decent enough size to go out, so first to take up residence in a bed was the SIlver Chard. 

Now I must admit, I dont know why its called silver chard as it is quite clearly green, but I can only imagine it will change colour with time. I don't know how long it takes to grow or what sort of size it needs to be, so I plan a bit of research this evening.  I also have never cooked or eaten it but I will hopefully be able to find out how before its due to be picked.

So thats the Chard and the other colourful plant is the Cavalo Nero, Which I believe is a fancy name for Black Kale. 

This needed a cover as its a brassica, and  there are loads of white butterflies around at the moment. I have been fighting netting and enviromesh all summer and frankly, am a bit fed up with it. On a recent trip to the local farm supply store I spotted these.

Anything with "Easy" in the title will attract my attention, so it came out of the packet and was extremely simple to put up and place over the plants. 5 minutes instead of half an hour is always a winner with me.. 

Its a bit wonky but who care, if it works, I shall be back to buy a load more. 

So thats the colourful veg out, and now on to the strange stuff. I am sure you remember my rude carrot from the last blog, well now I have even ruder tomato's

What on earth made it grow like that? and its not the only one. On that limb of the vine there are three others with additional appendages.. This one dropped off when I moved the plant to take a picture, but the others are intact so it will be interesting to see them ripen. 

And finally today a strange egg. I had alien eggs last winter and now following on with my earlier Lilliputian carrot, I now am the proud owner of a very tiny egg!! 

I shall fry it for breakfast one day and take a picture.. its very sweet but too small to fit on the egg rack, it will just drop through!!

Well thats it for Vegetables. The flowers are still looking great and a busy bee was in the cosmos for ages. 

My ornamental bird thingy is looking great amongst the Dhalia's

And out and about walking in the New Forest we have seen some really nice animals roaming around.

And finally here he is going in the sea this morning for his daily dip, cresting the waves... all he needs now is a surf board and he could be on Britain's Got Talent!! 

I shall be enjoying the sunshine this weekend and planting my winter hanging baskets. 

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

The Summer is over ( Or is it)

Living by the sea we are very much ruled by the seasons, and the school holidays. The last 6 weeks have been very busy here with lots of people coming for a day trip or a longer stay. One of the benefits for us is that the local businesses try even harder to entertain everyone. So this is sort of my apology for not blogging for quite a while. We have been having far to much fun. 

This week though, marks the end of the school holidays, and as children all over the country are off back to school, wearing blazers that their mum has promised they will "grow into soon" we have our nice beach back and for the last two days we have been bathed in glorious sunshine. I therefore need to pull my finger out and sort out the garden.

Where to start? I planted lots of seeds a few weeks ago and they are almost ready to go in outside. This meant I finally had to clear the disaster area that was once my carrot bed. 

Under the mesh it was in a right state. You may remember in my last blog that the carrots were rubbish so I had abandoned them .

There was however one positive moment. If only "Thats Life" was still on the telly, I could have sent them this picture of my amusing carrot. 

It didnt take too long and I now have a nice empty raised bed for all this stuff. 

My Kos now needed to be outside so I popped them in next to the now dangerously leaning sweet pea tower. 

Elsewhere things are doing well. The Butternut Squash are doing nicely

The Broad Beans are now a decent height

And my winter potato collection has made an appearance.

I am still getting Tomato's  and Strawberries as well 

Now onto other things. The chickens have been eating everything in sight and are looking very healthy.

They are producing so many eggs, I am having to dream up ever more inventive things to do with them . Jim fancied some Scotch Eggs so he found me a recipe of Heston Blumenthal's at Waitrose.  I decided to give it a go. 

My first and only comment about the recipe, is never trust a celebrity chefs timings. He obviously has lots of people doing prep for him. He said it would take 30 minutes. It in fact took me 2 hours. Have you ever tried to peel a hot egg that has only been boiled for 1 minute 45 seconds. It was supposed to ensure the middle stayed runny. I burst 5 eggs before I peeled one. I got there in the end and they tasted great, but I wont be hurrying to make them again. 

The pup has had a great time as well. He has been on all our adventures with us and seems to have enjoyed himself. 

We found this fireplace in the Middle of the New Forest, whilst walking. Apparently it was in a hut that was part of a camp used by Portuguese Soldiers during the First World War. They were there to cut trees for wood to be used building the trenches.

Then, another day we had a day trip to the Isle of Wight. We took advantage of a deal and went over as foot passengers. We sailed from Lymington .

And landed at Yarmouth. Its very Pretty. We then walked along a river to Freshwater Bay on the other side of the island. 

I know they have found lots of Dinosaur fossils on the island over the years but I wasn't expecting to see this in a front garden on the walk back.. 

Another day, another day out. This time we went to the Bournemouth Air Festival. We got there early and bagged a prime spot on the pier. We had a wonderful day and Jim took some amazing photos. 

And Finally last night as an end to the holidays, we went to the beach with our neighbours, who were back at work today and had a barbecue and a bit of sea fishing. 

So thats what I have been up to for the last 10 or so days.. 

Gibson says goodnight and enjoy this late summer sunshine!!