Veg Patch

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

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Gardening Gift Bonanza!!

Christmas has been and gone and its now only 363 shopping days until the next one!! This year by way of a change, when I was asked by relatives, what I would like as a gift, I was able to say "Something for the garden please" . Now I know that sounds vague, but they have all visited and have some Idea about what I am doing. I hoped they would come up with some good ideas. 

I was not disappointed. 

First box opened was this

An extremely handy heated waterproof pad to germinate my seeds on. And then the next parcel was this great Mushroom Growing Kit.

Jim was also in receipt of garden gifts. He got a very nifty pair of garden clogs. 

And finally from my lovely niece, this great egg storage box. 

Gibson thoroughly enjoyed his first christmas and he also got lots of gifts.. 

This sort of sums it up !!

I hope you all got great gifts. The best one I have heard about so far is one of my gardening friends, who got two sheep! She does live on a farm though. I don't think the neighbours would be impressed if I had a couple in the garden. 

Still no gardening news to report. The hens are considering entering the trials for the commonwealth games swimming events. They are getting better by the day. I think they will be as relieved as me when it finally stops raining. 

I have though cleaned and tidied the greenhouse in preparation for the seed growing which I will be starting on 1st January 2013. So hopefully not long before my vegetable growing adventures start again. 

Happy New Year and don't bother making any resolutions because you know you wont keep them . 

Friday, 21 December 2012

Happy Solstice..

Well I have been waiting all morning and it would appear the Mayan's were wrong. Nothing has happened, the world hasn't ended and all is good. 

In fact today is the Winter Solstice and that is great news. The sun is shining, I have just been to the shops and everyone is smiling, all is right in my little part of the world. 

So with no news at all from my rather wet and soggy garden, I just thought I would put on this quick post to wish all of you a very happy holidays from Gibson..

Saturday, 15 December 2012

WInter - Well its almost on its way out!!

That may seem a little optimistic, but I have always been a glass half full type. Its only 6 days until the shortest day of the year. December 21st marks the day when we get the least light, that means on December 22nd the evenings will once again, very slowly, start to get lighter, and the mornings wont be quite so gloomy. 

One up side to the longer hours of darkness means I have been getting a bit of a lay in, both the dog and the chickens have been sleeping later as it is still dark. Now they will begin to get me up earlier, but you know , I really dont mind. 

Thats because the increase in light means things will once again start to grow. 

I have great plans for my little plot this next season. With the help and advice of lots of people I have met online through this blog, and various other gardening sources, I have been hatching my plans. 

I need to sit and write a proper list of things I will be growing in the beds. Two things I shall not bother with again are Carrots and Parsnips. The disaster that was my carrots, is well documented in previous entries, and my parsnips are still in the ground and still taste of absolutely nothing!! 

Chillies seem to be quite high on my list this year. I am very partial to them, and had some limited success. I have accepted a challenge from one friend, to plant on 1/1/13 and see who gets the first chilli. I have also joined a chilli trial another friend is running. I got a nice envelope in the post yesterday containing this.. 

Five little envelopes with three seeds in each. It looks like I shall have to take a bit of care not to mix them up. Not knowing what type of chilli they are is quite exciting, and I know I will probably bore you to death over the next 6 months with tales of my chillies.

My other project is my ongoing attempt to get a wildflower bank growing next to our stream. I sowed Yellow Rattle seed at the end of the summer as the first job, so watch this space ..  

Elsewhere in the garden all is very very quiet. I am still harvesting leeks, cabbage and Sprouts but thats all.. 

In my last blog I mentioned we were going on another of our adventures. We had a beautiful walk around a place a called Hengistbury Head. The beach there is home to some of the most expensive beach huts in the UK. In the summer we wouldn't dream of going anywhere near this place as it is usually packed. But on a crisp december day, we were the only people there.. 

It is a beautiful spot and unusually you are allowed to sleep in these huts. Thats why this was a headline last summer Beach Hut makes national news

Well thats about it for now, thought I had better just put on a quick update .. 

Christmas is fast approaching so here are a couple of festive pictures of the Christmas cake and door wreath I made and our Christmas Tree. To all of you that celebrate.. Happy Christmas, and to those of you that don't.. Happy Holidays. 

Monday, 3 December 2012

Its December so it time for Sprouts!

The few things I have left growing in the plot have been tested this week. We finally had a frost. Not a very hard one, but hopefully enough to give my errant parsnips a bit of flavour. It also meant that we could finally sample the Brussel Sprouts. 

I planted them months ago, and they have been slowly growing and taunting me with there lovely little sprouts. So it was time to give them a try. 

Out I went and picked the plant with the biggest on it. A few minutes later, and they were in the trug and back in the kitchen.

A quick peel and they were ready to be steamed. 

They were absolutely delicious. We had them with some chicken and mashed potatoes. I have literally hundreds ready to be eaten, so we shall be enjoying them for some time. I have promised a few to friends for Christmas. 

Nothing much else is going on that I haven't already reported, so here are a few pictures of the frost on the plants. I love how it makes them look. 

Not everything has suffered though. My brave little Antirrhinum are still happily flowering. (They are in the shelter of the house) 

These come from seeds I originally bought at The Lost Gardens of Heligan about 10 years ago. I keep as many seeds as I can each year and don't think I will ever have to buy them again. 

I have also taken a lot of cutting from my Penstemon. They have taken very well, so I should have lots of them next year as well. 

Once the frost has cleared, the sun came out and so the hens took the opportunity of a nice dust bath under a yucca plant. 

They were closely supervised by the ever present Gibson. 

Well thats it. It looks like tomorrow is going to be a nice day. Cold but clear, so we shall be off on one of our adventures. Watch out for pictures next week.