Veg Patch

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

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Tough Old Broad (Beans) !

My broad beans have been the only thing growing on the plot for the last couple of month so sorry if you are a bit bored with me going on about them. They have been glorious, covered in flowers, but sadly as there have been no pollinators about, nothing much has happened. 

Well the arrival of snow here, for one day last week caused me a bit of heartache, how will they be after it has cleared? 

They were well and truly buried as the picture in my last blog showed. By Tuesday, all of the snow here was gone and so off I went to see what the damage was. 

They were looking very sad, Lots of stems were broken off, or bent beyond saving.

 But amazingly, they are still flowering!!

A bit of clearing up and building was required to get them off the ground, in case it does snow again. 

I lost about a third of the stems, but hopefully now, as soon as some busy little bees turn up, I will finally get broad beans. 

In other plant news, the sprouts go on and on and on. We are about sprouted out. But luckily the dog loves them, so he has a bowl a couple of times a week. And in case you were wondering, yes, they do cause him to have wind!! 

I also noticed that my Rhubarb has started to come back. This is great news, as we didn't get to eat any last year as it was its first. Am looking forward to crumbles and rhubarb wine.

The hens didn't like the snow when it was falling and spent the day sitting in their house, but once it was on the ground, it gave them a whole new scratching experience. 

Gibson enjoyed a nice walk to Mudeford, but as it was a 9 mile round trip, he needed a bit of a rest for a while.. 

Out and about, we were watching the ITV sunday night series, Mr Selfridge, Which I don't think is that great, but there is generally nothing else on. I remembered that he had some links to this area as he lived in Highcliffe Castle for a while. A quick bit of googling and we discovered he was actually buried in St Marks Church in Highcliffe with his family, so last week whilst on one of our walks we went into the churchyard. 

We were looking for something impressive, After all, the store in Oxford Street, is just that, very impressive. All the big graves and tombs were searched but we couldn't find him, Then as I was walking along a row  by the wall, there he was. 

A very plain and unadorned grave in poor condition. What a shame. He is in the family plot, his wife and mother got something far grander, he obviously still had some money when they passed away. 

His mother is in the tomb on the left and his wife Rose next to her, don't know who the other two are as the names have been worn off the stone. 

And finally. This blog has been about my dream, a vegetable garden and the life that goes with it. Well this year, its my husbands turn. So I will be adding a few entries about his new project.

Meet Red 6

She is a 1970 Triumph TR6 who has sadly seen better days. Currently under major restoration she should be with us in April. I think this is going to be another wonderful year. I may have to change the name of the blog to

The Good Life - Absolutely!

Saturday, 19 January 2013

A snowy day by the sea.

Yesterday we awoke to snow. Its a very rare thing down here on our little sheltered part of the south coast. Last year when the rest of the Uk was covered for weeks on end , we had about a dozen snow flakes that lasted for half an hour.  Having spent the previous couple of winters trying to get into London to work and driving on the M25, I felt a little cheated. 

So it was a delight to see again.Even more so as Gibson and the hens had never seen it and I was curious as to how they would react. 

The garden looked beautiful.

We had to clear the snow off the greenhouse roof in the late afternoon as it was getting deep and we didn't want it to crack the glass. This was taken earlier in the day when it was still not too deep. 

The beds were obviously buried and my previously glorious broad beans were suffering a bit. 

The hens were not at all impressed. They came out for a quick bite to eat and then spent most of the day in the Hen House. Cant say as I blame them. the run got covered very quickly and although I brushed it off a couple of time, I gave up in the end.

We wandered down to the beach to have a look, The salt in the air meant that the snow was a bit slushy on the ground but it was still pretty. 

And finally Gibson. Well he loves snow. It has been difficult to get a decent picture of him out in it as he is charging around and rolling in it most of the time. He did sit still briefly and Jim managed to get this picture. 

He enjoy's eating it as well.. 

Have a great week , we plan to. 

Monday, 14 January 2013

The first of the year..

My last post, which I have to admit was two weeks ago, was about my chillies and the trial I am involved with. 

Well I planted them on the first of January and left them sitting in the greenhouse in a heated propagator. I went out every day to check them but nothing was happening. Then the other's in the trial started to blog about the seedling's that they had appearing. I was a bit miffed. Why were mine not growing? had I been sent duff seeds. 

After a flurry of emails and tweet's it became apparent that as a chilli newbie, I had made a bit of an error. Even thought they were in a heated propagator, the unheated greenhouse was not the place for them. So a quick trip down the garden and the propagator became resident on the windowsill in the nicely warm spare bedroom. 

It didn't take long, two days later and Hurrah!! the first seedlings of the year popped up. 

One of the Hungarian Yellow Wax and one of the Chilitepin. The second was a bit of a surprise. The blurb sent out with the seeds implied that they are quite difficult to grow and in fact only seem to germinate after they have passed through a birds digestive tract!! Well unless a bird had got to them before I planted them, the closest these have been to a bird, was as they passed the chicken run on the way to the house. 

Today I was pleased to see that one of the Habanero that I bought in Florida has also sprouted. 

In other garden related news, the next round of Seedypenpals is about to begin. I am looking forward to seeing who I get paired up with this time.. 

Finally another first. Gibson's first birthday to be exact. He had a nice day with a cake and lots of treats. We bought him a nice new lead and collar and his first bone. 

Nothing much else to report. The rest of the Uk has snow but not here, thank goodness. 
If you do have snow please take care. Hopefully I will have more to report soon. 

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Its a New Year Whopper!!

Happy New Year to everyone. Hope you all had a great time over the festive period. But now its January. For some people, this is a depressing month, but not for gardeners. The promise of spring is about and that means our love affair with plants is in full swing. I cant wait. I am full of plans and have so many seeds if I grow them all, I wont have room to plant everything out. 

With this in mind yesterday I headed to the plot to take stock and see what needs to be done. 

Things are still growing, but mostly coming to an end. The sprouts are still sweet and nutty but there are not too many left now. 

The leeks are the same, delicious but not many left

The Spring Greens are looking nice and so are my early broad beans. 

And I noticed today that my brave little chives are growing again.

One bed is full of stuff I left at the end of last summer, Dave and Bob, the pidgeon's have been snacking over the winter so now it looks very sad. 

The Kale and Kos are now shadows of their former selves. 

And finally the parsnips. I gave up on them before Christmas. We have had one very slight frost all winter. This means they have grown, but don't taste of anything. So I stopped trying them and left them to themselves. I decided to dig up the remaining few and get rid of them. The first couple came out pretty normally and then out came the subject of this blogs title.

It was a whopper.. I couldn't believe it as I dug it out. I photographed it next to my garden trowel to give some idea of size. 

The following parsnips were also very large. I ended up with this lot

Shame they are inedible .. 

But now onto new plants. A while ago I mentioned I was taking part in a Chilli growing trial with a group of gardeners I met online. Well 1st January was planting day. I had read it was worth planting the seeds into warm soil, so on 29th December I went out and got the pots ready with seed compost, and a bit of water, and popped them in the propagator to warm. 

It didnt take long to pop in the seeds and label each row with its number

I have now found out what the varieties are so if you really want to know you can read all about them on the Vegetablism Blog. 

I also entered into a light hearted competition with a couple of others to see who could grow the first chilli. For this I planted the Habanero Chilli I bought in Florida.

So thats the first planting of 2013 done. Now its a waiting game to see what happens next. 

I have bought my first useful gadget of the season. A nifty little ( and I mean little) set of watering roses.

You screw them onto the top of a used water bottle

You get a very fine flow of water which you can direct easily. Perfect for seedlings. 

And finally just a bit of Gibson news. Its his first birthday on 9th January, so next blog I will probably have some birthday pictures. 

Here he is surrounded by his Christmas presents.