Wednesday, 17 October 2018

The last few days I was preparing the vegetable garden for winter sleep. I picked up most of the vegetables and cleared the beds. I only left a row of swiss chard, leeks and kale. The weather is still very warm for this period of the year (21°C!) and they look pretty good.

After clearing the beds, I did some weeding and tilling and covered it all with straw. 

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

The Four Seasons 2018

Monday, 8 October 2018

Still Harvesting

It is October, and the weather is still very warm. The mornings are fresh, but the daily temperatures reach 22° C. I finally harvested all of my pumpkins and squashes. I love to eat them simply baked into the oven. Sometimes I make the pumpkin soup or bake a pumpkin pie.

These have orange flesh and are good for baking. We call them the Misir pumpkins because they originate from Egypt.

Here are Cucurbita moschata 'Musquee de Provence', Cucurbita pepo 'Hokkaido' and Cucurbita moschata 'Waltham'.

Cucurbita pepo 'Jack be Little' is small and I mostly use it as an autumn decoration.

The last of chillies and zucchini.

'Musque de Provence'

Friday, 5 October 2018

Planting Peonies

My new peonies have arrived, and I simply had to prepare the bed for them today. They came bare roots and need to be planted as soon as possible. The thing was I had no time to make a new bed sooner so, I needed to finish it all in just one day.

Starting early in the morning was just about the right time to do the removing the turf and digging the ground. I knew it would be hard labouring job! It took me three hours to finish this about 7 m2 big area.

I have found about ten Cockchafer larvae in the ground. I have just transferred them to another place. I hate killing them for no reason. It takes usually four years to grow up into adult beetles which are nowadays so rare to be seen.

This is what I finished by the noon. A quick lunch and I was back to some more digging!

Planting is the easiest part of the entire operation. One important note -  do not plant paeonies too deep because they might not produce flowers. The hole needs to be spacious to hold the roots free. I use to put some soil around the roots and then water it. I repeat it until the buds are covered with about 2 cm of soil. This way the soil will settle well around the roots. 
The bed is still not finished. I am going to mulch it with dry grass clippings and make an edge of used bricks.
These are mostly the white flowering peonies. I accompanied them with the geraniums 'Rosemoor', 'Orion' and 'Nimbus', Allium christophii and Allium Ambassador'. 

Friday, 31 August 2018

Late Summer Fruits

These are the last of kohlrabi, cucumbers and tomatoes. Courgettes still have lots of flowers and a few new small fruits. The summer was pretty rainy, and the tomatoes were infected with blight (Phytophora infestans). The most resilient to the fungus was 'San Marzano' and cherry tomatoes as well.

It is interesting to watch how the pumpkins turn the colour from deep green into the bright orange. They are not yet ripe, I'll leave them out until the vines dry off. 

The walnuts are already ripe and fall off. They are pretty big this year. 

I have cleared off the stems of French bean 'Blauhilde'. They went up high this year and couldn't pick them up without the ladder. I found dried pods with seeds today. What a wonderful surprise!

Tuesday, 21 August 2018

The Harvest Goes On

Swiss chard

Climbing bean 'Blauhilde'

Courgettes and cucumbers

Climbing French bean 'Marviglia di Venezia'

Sunday, 19 August 2018

Pumpkins and Squashes

I am a big fan of pumpkins and squashes, especially the one that keep long into winter and spring. Each year I sow several varieties of squashes and pumpkins, one of them being 'Hokkaido'. I sow it every year. It's lovely squash, with orange flesh which has many of uses in the kitchen. You can bake it, make soup or sauce, use it in cakes and sweets. I have already started to pick them up. This year the vines climbed up over the dried jostaberry bush. Even though the vines are hollow and herbaceous, they hold the relatively heavy fruits without any problem. I am always surprised how strong the vines are.

The other mush bigger pumpkin is Cucurbita moschata 'Musquee de Provence'. I am curious what they taste like because I grow them for the first time this year. According to what I read about it, it should be excellent. They said 'even the squash haters will love Musquee de Provance'.

Friday, 13 July 2018


We have enough rain this summer and everything in the garden simply thrives. In July, the flower borders are at their peak. 

Leucanthemum, Echinacea, Kniphofia, Hemerocallis, and ornamental grasses in the hot border.

Just take a look at the climbing French bean 'Blau Hilde' in the back! They are two metres high. I am looking forward to picking them up.

Wednesday, 11 July 2018


'Ed Murray'

'Siloam Show Girl'

'Olive Baily Langdon'


Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Harvesting Peas

This year's pea crop is exceptionally good. I always sow the 'American Wonder' variety. Its vines are supposed to be around 50 cm long. Somehow, it always grows bigger than that, and I use to make the support of twigs.

I got about 5 kg peas from the 1.5 x 2 m vegetable bed. I usually pack them into plastic boxes and freeze for winter. 

Thursday, 7 June 2018

Garden in June

It must be a good combination of the weather conditions, my work, well fertilized and mulched soil that makes my garden so plentiful and abundant. I must say, I haven't noticed any pests or diseases so far. Maybe a few slugs here and there, but that's nothing in comparison to some other gardens where they ate all up.

Everything grows well, here are the Oregano, Thyme, and Lemon Balm in the centre of my vegetable garden. 

The French bean 'Blauhilde' grows happily together with the pot marigolds.  

The red currant soon will be ready for picking. I have six bushes, and it will be plenty of berries to make the jelly. 

Friday, 1 June 2018

Vegetable Garden

Yesterday morning I made a new vegetable bed which is not on my plot, but behind the fence. This part of the land belongs to the town, but it is not used for any purpose. It is secluded and away from the view of people being divided from the town park by the green fence of Forsythias. I keep it clear from the weeds anyway. Last year I decided to make some beds and plant the vegetables on that part of the land too.

In my regular vegetable garden, some five days ago I planted the tomatoes grown from seeds. The courgettes are sown directly on site. I use the edges of the beds to sow the salads for further transplanting. 

The pea plants are tall again though they are supposed to be low growing variety 'Wonder of America'. I always put some branches into the soil that serve as the support.

The French bean 'Blau Hilde' is growing nicely. I made the sturdy support in the Spring to keep the lush growing plants in the place. One I am looking forward to dark purple pods of this heirloom variety.

The beetroots 'Cylindra' and 'Boltardy' are looking good.

Monday, 28 May 2018