Saturday, 27 June 2015

Making Jelly

red currant and jostaberries

There is unbelievably lots of red currants this year. I have already made 14 small jars of jelly. The recipe is quite easy and quick to prepare. I use Dr.Oetker 'Jam Express' gelling powder. 
The first step, of course, is to clean and wash the red currants from stalk and leaves that always come in by picking up. Then, break down the berries with the stick mixer and cook them for a few minutes to release the natural pectin from the fruit skin. 

Use tomato strainer to get the clean, thick juice and bring it back to the boil. Stir in sugar and gelling powder and cook for a few minutes until they completely dissolve. Skimming some foam will be needed. 
Before you start to make the jelly, wash up the jars and put them into the oven at 120°C. Pour the hot jelly into the jars and cover with a lid. 
  One sachet of Jam Express (25 g) and 500 g of sugar are enough for 750 ml of juice. Of course, you need to calculate your amounts.

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Flowers in June

My garden definitely looks the best in June. The most of the plants are in full bloom now. After the rain at night, everything looks fresh and bright. I know it is not possible, but it always seems that the good rain makes the garden miraculously grow overnight. 

Hemerocallises are full of buds. They open a new flower every day. This one is called 'Ed Murray'. Isn't the color just gorgeous?


Lysimachia 'Alexander'

Hemerocallises 'Olive Bailey Langdon', 'Shola', and 'Catherine Woodberry'.

The rose 'Falstaff'

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Roses in June

'Alnwick Castle'

'James Galway'

'Paul Bocuse'


'Sally Holmes'

Monday, 15 June 2015

What a Disappointment!

 I haven't checked my Japanese persimmon tree for quite a while. The foliage is lush and healthy and it grows up well.  The last time I photographed the fruit there was nothing wrong with them. But today, to my great surprise and disappointment, I have noticed a few fruits laying down on the ground.

This looks like Botrytis (a fungus) to me. And, this is what I found on the Internet when doing a research on the matter.

Fruit Drop

  • Occasionally, persimmons will drop excessive portions of their crop before the fruits fully ripen. It's called fruit drop and is believed to be physiological. Some of the root causes include overgrown shoots, inadequate sunlight, improperly pollinated blossoms, and excessive watering or fertilizing. Trees suffering from fruit drop may improve after the problem branches are girdled and eventually cut off.

Well, the excessive portion of the fruit is not the cause of the fruit drop, I am sure. This is the very first crop of the Japanese Persimmon I have and there were only 14 fruits on the tree altogether. I only hope that the nine fruits that remained will live up to be harvested.

Monday, 8 June 2015

Harvesting Peas

I harvested the peas today. Not so long ago the pods were still empty. There were some flowers on the stems as well. And today it was ready to pick up. No wonder, the weather is very warm and we had a few good rain showers last week.

It is a well-known cultivar called 'American Wonder'. The peas were big and healthy and I haven't found a single damaged pea. The total yield from the 2.3 x 1 m bed was 2.2 kg. 

I am going to transplant kale on the bed where the pea was. In crop rotation, it is almost ideal to plant the kale after the peas as their roots host the nitrogen fixating bacteria and fertilize the soil the natural way. And the cabbage family is very hungry!