ghoti_mhic_uait: (Default)
Andreas and I have just done some weeding, so now seems like a good time for this.

I got two mirabelles from the mirabelle tree, which is two more than last year, and they were delicious. The almond and fig didn't fruit but look to be holding their own, the rosemary doesn't look so healthy but is hanging in there. There are two redcurrants, a blackcurrant and a blueberry which produced a handful of fruit between them. Lots of chives. Two tiny pepper plants in flower, so I'll look for fruit in a month or so. Jerusalem Artichokes flourishing and will feed us well. Raspberries which have so far produced very little but one plant is covered in white fruit now so we'll see if any of those survive the squirrels long enough for us to eat. Strawberries still look alive, still no fruit. One fuchsia looking very sad. And surprise! One of the pumpkins I planted last year appeared this and is producing flowers right now.
ghoti_mhic_uait: (Orange rain)
I noticed earlier that chamomile needs to be sown by the end of May, and that it is May. So the children and I have just done that, covered the bare section of garden in lawn chamomile. That also ended the dithering of lateral thyme or chamomile - sure, thyme might be slightly better, but either is better than nothing, and in any case I was probably going to decide chamomile anyway.

We also planted some purslane seeds, will have to see how that goes.

My pepper plants are tiny, but living, and everything else is thriving. I've a tiny fig and a diminutive almond, three growing currants and a blueberry, a happy looking fuchsia (before its sibling was stolen, this was a miserable fuchsia), a rosemary, a handful of raspberries and strawberries, one potato and a lot of Jerusalem artichokes. Two clumps of rather downtrodden clives. Also, on the other side of the path, a Mirabelle with rather fewer aphids than before I put a lot of mail-order ladybirds.

In other news, I have new glasses which always makes life easier.

Watching: some kind of Lego superhero thing, because we're excited about the Lego Batman movie which we'll watch later.
Reading: Death's end by Cixin Liu which suffers somewhat from being the first thing I've read since Ninefox Gambit but is otherwise rather lovely
Eating: a lot of veg and hummous, in a tomato sauce with soft cheese stirred in at the end, served on spaghetti with garlic bread and salad, and a fruit salad made by chopping all the most attractive fruit in the shop, adding chocolate covered raisins and chopped dried apricots and leaving to soak with vanilla sugar and apple juice, and then serving with creme fraiche mixed with more vanilla sugar.
Playing: lots of lovely bridge!
Making: working on a sleeveless dress in bronze and black stretch velvet.
ghoti_mhic_uait: (Default)
Today I noticed that I missed some Jerusalem artichokes when harvesting last year, and they have turned into new plants. This is not unexpected but is still pleasing. Last year I harvested exactly one dinner's worth of veg, from half our growing space.

What was unexpected is that both the birds and I missed a raspberry, so I have a tiny baby raspberry, which brings me up to 6 again. But Andreas did some weeding and I have fewer pepper plants than I did before he did that. So we've talked about how he needs to get me to supervise before he does that, he just forgot.
ghoti_mhic_uait: (Ghoti)
Aldi has chili and pepper plants in their specials this week, and add I've had good experiences growing chili, I thought I'd give both a chance. They said transfer asap, so Judith and I did that this afternoon and I thought maybe it was time for one of these posts again. So.

6 chilis, 6 bell peppers.
2 clumps of chives
1 rosemary. My rosemary was stolen last year at mother's day but not this year!
2 strawberry plants, I think I might plant some more later.
5 raspberry canes
2 redcurrants
1 blueberry
1 blackcurrant
1 jostaberry
1 miniature fig
1 tiny almond, with blossom!
1 Mirabelle tree, blossom in by bud.

I was thinking of planting lateral thyme or chamomile to fill the gap between the big things, too.
ghoti_mhic_uait: (Vegetables)
There wa a big hail storm yesterday- this year has had hail like when Benedict was tiny, and I haven't noticed in recent years.

Half of my baby squash plants appear dead, and the strawberries which had flowers no longer do.

Raspberries, currants all seem still to be OK. The strawberries and Jerusalem artichokes (plus random potato plant) seem ragged but potentially OK.

The angelica seems happy and unbothered.

I think the moral of the story is, plant Scandinavian plants and they'll probably be OK.
ghoti_mhic_uait: (Vegetables)
Six raspberries of three different type. A number of strawberries (elsanta). One blackcurrant, two redcurrant, a jostaberry and two blueberry bushes. Angelica, lemon thyme and a few mystery plants that are probably from the edible flowers I planted last year. One of last year's onions has reappeared. Shoots of Jerusalem artichoke and radishes. Lots of weeds.

The rhubarb appears to be dead. The ginger died, and the other herbs (except the rosemary, which was stolen). The mirabelle is in uncertain health, I'm neither giving up nor hoping. I might try again with rhubarb, and may even eventually turn the front garden into permanent stuff only rather than the crop rotation I'm sort of trying.

The most exciting of those is the angelica. I've had candied, and am keen to do that myself, but the BBC say I can also use the uncandied peel as a sweetener, and recommend it for rhubarb or apple in particular, and the leaves apparently work as a herb with fish or salad.
ghoti_mhic_uait: (Ghoti)
I recently took care of my grandmother's wine recipes, and have been slowly been putting them online. My grandma was a keen vintner, and I have fond memories of demijohns bubbling in the corner of the room, so I was keep to recapture that feeling.

Having no experience, I started with a quick mead which I bottled today. I felt that would give me an idea of how I was doing relatively quickly.

I also have an elderberry wine and an apple wine in demijohns fermenting, and hopefully I'll be OK to keep a demijohn or two on the go while sampling my wares. I'll let you know how the mead is when I try it!

ETA:Verdict: it has the appearance of a rose, and in taste, medium dry and fruity/spicy. Very pleasant, I'm really pleased.

Oh, and I'm also keeping a mental list of who gets wine based on who gave me fruit :) I'm assuming that the best wine is pumpkin, or maybe marrow. So I'm thinking next year I might mostly try to grow squash.

That's the other thing I've been doing, I started growing things in our tiny front garden. We'd previously thought nothing would grow there, then last year I learnt why - the council had been spraying it with weed killer. So I fenced it off, and they didn't spray this year. Some of my plants lived - I've a reasonably small herb patch now, thyme and tarragon and chives and parsley, my rosemary didn't live but I'll try again with that next year. Also some soft fruits, which just need a couple more plants, and the rhubarb I planted for harvesting next year is growing nicely. We had some tiny carrots and onions, and my garlic is still growing. My broccoli mostly got eaten by slugs or something, but it was my first go.

I'm actually doing really well at not despairing that it wasn't perfect, and planning to improve next year.
ghoti_mhic_uait: (Hooded crow)

Yesterday it was buds only, but this morning, all the buds had opened. Spring has really sprung (which explains why it's so hot).

Similarly check out the spring watch in my favourite bird-watching blog, [ profile] docbrite. (Actually, I love his religious posts too, and of course he's an author)


ghoti_mhic_uait: (Default)

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