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Saturday, 29 August 2015

Just a Few Garden Notes


I have to pick up the hazelnuts before the squirrels do! 


Tomato harvest continues.


Autumn is knocking on the door.  


The south border needs a total make-over. Lots of hard work. I am to take all plants out, dig the ground, add compost and organic manure. Finally, I am to plant a new border according the plan I made.




Monday, 17 August 2015

Some Rain, Please

The scorched grass and Magnolia shedding the leaves.

People take many things for granted, like rain, for example. But, the things are quite different. Even when the weatherman says it is going to rain tomorrow, it doesn't mean it will. So, I have been watching the cloudy skies ever since Friday night, but not a single drop fell until this very moment. It has just started to fall. I have never thought I would be so happy. Yesterday was the natural disaster declared because of the drought for my county. There will be significant damages in agriculture. Yes, the irrigation systems help but, one has to let water in. But, where is the water when we haven't seen the proper rain for months? Oddly enough, only this part of Croatia suffers such a dry weather. In my opinion, whoever denies the climate changes has wrong.
I hope the rain will fall long enough to water the garden properly.


I water my vegetable garden every other day. It keeps rather well all things considering. I harvest tomatoes every day. I cannot eat them all so, I am going to collect some more and cook tomato salsa for winter. Those big boys above weight about 700 g (20 oz) each.


As you can see, slugs don't mind the hot and dry weather. They ate this Hosta almost overnight. They prefer this one with tender leaves, Hosta plantaginea. The other Hostas in my garden looks well.


The Hibiscus I got last year is flowering for the first time. The flowers are really big - 20 cm!



Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Squashes, Tomatoes and Aronia


I picked up the very first 'Hokkaido' squashes yesterday. The squash soup with some sour cream was my supper accompanied with toasted bread. 
This morning I harvested tomatoes. I have several kinds and love them mostly in salads. I prefer to eat fresh raw vegetables as much as I can.


I finally picked up Aronia berries before the bird have noticed them. Last year they literally ate all of them overnight. They are very sour to taste, make your mouth pucker. I decided to process them and made some jam. Aronia is meant to be very good to one's general health being rich in pigments with high antioxidative activity.



Our investigations have demonstrated a remarkable hepatoprotective, a very good gastro-protective and a pronounced anti-inflammatory effect of Aronia melanocarpa fruit juice in rats as well as a bacteriostatic activity in vitro against Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli and an antiviral activity against type A influenza virus. Research of other authors has demonstrated that Aronia melanocarpa anthocyanins can normalize the carbohydrate metabolism in diabetic patients and in streptozotocin-diabetic rats, have an in vitro antimutagenic activity and exhibit a distinct immunomodulatory activity in human lymphocyte cultures and in patients with breast cancer, suppress the growth of human HT-29 colon cancer cells, inhibit the N-nitrosamine formation in rats and decrease the toxicity and cumulation of cadmium in liver and kidneys. Currently, there are no data in the literature about any unwanted and toxic effects of Aronia melanocarpa fruits, juice and extracts.



Monday, 3 August 2015

End of Heat?


After two weeks of heat, the temperatures dropped. I was not working much in the garden because it was too hot. We had some rain overnight, but it is not nearly enough for thirsty plants. I need to water my garden frequently. Thanks to dense planting, the flower borders look pretty good.
It is time to clear some vegetable beds, e.g. the one where the French beans are. The heat got them, and they certainly won't be flowering again.


The lawn looks like a patchwork having some completely dry and green pieces, depending whether they are in a full sun or in the shade. I never water the lawn, it is a waste of water. And, I am not an 'immaculate lawn-freak'. It is almost impossible here in this climate anyway. It would require too much care.


I am harvesting courgettes, cucumbers and kohlrabi on the regular basis. It is the last of the lettuce in this display above. It is time to sow endive and radicchio, but the one I sowed directly in the vegetable beds are all gone. They are most certainly eaten by slugs. I sowed them yesterday into modules, for safety.


To end this post, I am showing you the stump attacked by a woodpecker. Well, that is the second time this year, but who can blame him? He only wants the food hidden somewhere inside the wood.
The hottest month in a year passed and, I hope, the unbearable heat is over.