Archive for the ‘Fruit’ Category

First raspberries!!!

I have been on a business trip to Lincolnshire for two days and I got home today to find that we have RASPBERRIES growing on our canes!!! Yeay!!!!! They look delicious, cant wait to eat them!

Also good news is that apparently the weather on Saturday is set to be SCORCHIOOOOOOO!!! I feel a day of garden improvements coming on… I am already eyeing up the last remaining overgrown flower bed as our next do-er up-per!

Plus it is only 8 days until our Italian adventure! I am so excited. Will make sure I take lots of fab pictures to put on here.


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Recently I have been having some success at growing plants and flowers from seed. I have grown garlic, onions, sunflowers and yesterday I saved all of the pips from some fresh lemons and planted them in little pots to grow into lemon trees in our conservatory. It is such a blessing having the conservatory as it gets ROASTING hot, perfect for keeping plants used to warmer climates in.

Today as I am STILL suffering the leftovers of the stomach bug from hell, I couldn’t eat some lovely fresh cherries that I took for my lunch to work. So instead I made everyone save their cherry stones (I washed them after!!)  and I am going to also plant these into pots in the conservatory. The variation that I have seeds from are the American Bing sweet cherry variety, which are delicious and a beautiful deep red colour.

Now cherry stones grow into actual humungous cherry trees, so I dont think I am going to realistically need more than one of these in my garden! My (rather ambitious) plan is to grow some cherry trees and then give the saplings away as presents to my friends and family! I was going to plant them in pretty plastic pots with a bow tied around and a gift tag (I may involve my friend Annie in the design process of these!!)   If I get plenty of successful seedling trees I may even do an ‘honesty box’ idea similar to the one I mentioned earlier on or even sell them online if they do well and are of a good quality and standard.

Ooooh….. I do get ahead of myself….. worth thinking about though…!! x

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Rhubarb Rhubarb!

On my errands this morning I also decided to get my friends Paul and Annie a little thank you present for giving us their chicken coop. Paul is a keen gardener so I took myself off to Grange Farm Nursery down the road and bought them a lovely rhubarb plant! I chose the Timperley Early variety as I had heard that it is very tasty, seems to do very well in most garden conditions and I also had noticed that on every ‘posh’ rhubarb crumble or rhubarb flavoured yoghurt, it was always Timperley rhubarb that was used in it!

Now while I am happy to buy el cheapo plants from supermarkets for my own garden, I do like to go to the good old fashioned garden centre for presents for my friends. Nothing against the supermarkets of course, but the plants I buy from Morrisons, etc are always a bit of an experiment, as they may have been flown in or travelled from a fair distance away and they are kept in polythene wrappers all day under glaring artificial lights until someone takes pity on them and takes them home!

The plants grown at the nursery, on the other hand, are all grown in polytunnels  on site or brought in from local growers, so tend to be of a better quality.

Either way, the rhubarb plant I chose for Annie and Paul is a bit of a monster. James is quite keen to grow rhubarb in our garden because he likes the ‘Alice in Wonderland’ look of their humungous ruffle edged leaves and long red stalks.  My friend Lisa recently gave me some of her own home grown rhubarb and it looks fantastic, so much better than the types you will find in the shops.

Rhubarb is pretty easy to grow, it does not mind the type of soil that it grows in and whilst the advice all seems to be that it should be grown in a sunny spot, I know at least two people who grow their rhubarb in partial to full shade and it has done very well. Rhubarb plants are called ‘crowns’ and all the advice does say that you should not take rhubarb sticks from the plant in their first year, but the lovely sales assistant at the garden centre today advised me that if you take a few sticks during the first year, it will not damage the plant really, but try to leave a few. The best crop of rhubarb tends to come in the plant’s second or third year.

Timperley rhubarb does not need to be ‘forced’ ie a bucket or clay pot is placed over the plant to encourage rhubarb sticks to grow, as it produces well during february on its’ own.

I hope Paul and Annie like their rhubarb plant!

Lovely rhubarb

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Gooseberry Picking!

Gooseberries ready for cooking!

I actually had no idea that we had a gooseberry bush in our garden! It was in the front bed when we moved in here and just looked to me like some sort of ordinary shrub. It was only when my parents came to visit that my mom pointed out that it was a gooseberry bush, and showed me the little hairy grape like fruit underneath the leaves!

Now I am really not keen on the sour flavour of gooseberries, and I am not one of life’s cookery experts, in fact I hate cooking, James is the chef of the house. So last year my mom had our little harvest of gooseberries and turned them into gooseberry jam, gooseberry fools and even rhubarb and gooseberry crumble!  Today on my potter around the garden I found that our little gooseberries were ripe and ready for the picking, so I harvested them. Not the biggest stash, but they should make a nice jam at the very least!!! One word of caution though: when picking gooseberries always wear thick gardening gloves as they are prickly little blighters!

this year's gooseberry stash!

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Marvellous potato plants

Well today I have taken myself (and a cup of tea) off for a potter around the garden to give you a status update on the vegetables and the fruit plants.

First stop: The vegetable patch. James’ potato plants are looking AMAZING and are now beginning to flower, with lovely white and yellow flowers appearing! The onions seem to have grown overnight and are now about ten centimetres tall, and the broad beans are looking lush, green and growing quite fast also.  The sweetcorn was planted some time after the other plants in the vegetable patch, but is catching up with the onions! It is all looking great at the moment.

Next I went to have a look at our lovely strawberry plants which we have planted in the rockery at the base of the black maple tree. These plants are so pretty, with bright pink flowers. No sign of any fruit yet though!

We have created a raspberry patch at the back of our garage so we will have to see how these plants take (see new flower bed post).  We are (with the help of http://www.redrobingardens.co.uk) putting together the new raised bed tomorrow which is SO exciting! We have planned to put the french climbing beans,the yellow courgette plant, and the lettuce, rocket and spring onion seedlings into the raised bed, and we may even have some room for some more fruit or vegetables! I can’t wait!!!

Strawberry plants

Me, a cup of tea and my laptop

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