Tuesday, 31 May 2011


Not great weather at the moment, cold and rainy and super windy. This evening I repotted the tomatoes. They're doing pretty well!

Slug deaths today: 18

Thursday, 26 May 2011

The first pea flowers

Today I saw the first two pea flowers:

It's been very windy and rainy over the last few days, so not managing to get out in the garden much. But there was a spot of sunshine yesterday morning, so I took a few pictures of the garden. 

The potatoes are looking healthy: 

 The pots of sweet peas are growing well:

And I enjoyed some salad leaves for lunch from here: 

Slug mortality daily rate: 15

Monday, 23 May 2011

Thrifty gardener

I need some more ties for the garden, to tie up the sweet pea plants, so I got cutting up some old tights into strips:

They make perfect plant ties. That's a trick I learnt from my dad.

Today I planted some more climbing and runner beans seeds, to replace the plants the slugs have destroyed. I also planted some nastirtium seeds, I hear the slugs don't like them much. And the flowers are pretty, and edible too!

Slug death count today: 39

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Nightmare in Grainy's Garden (for the slugs, that is)

Tonight, I crept into the garden, gloves on, torch full beam, with murder on my mind. One by one I picked off the slugs. I was going to keep a tally of slug deaths, but I lost count at fifty. Over fifty slugs have been killed this evening! 

I didn't feel particularly happy about it, but they were all placed in a pool of very salty water, and they will not live to eat another one of my bean plants or salad leaves, or to tell another tale of how tasty my radishes are. 

And after that pleasant story...I'll leave you with a picture of the pretty flowers on my tomato plant. 

Good night, out there!

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Darn those slugs!

The slugs have eaten all of my climbing beans, and the rubeckia I planted out the other day. I think I might need something a little more powerful to get rid of them...

According to Gardeners World, the grapefruit shells trick is to lure the slugs to hide under them, then you can collect them more easily. I'm also going to try putting pots of milk or beer in the soil to trap them. I read also that coffee is a good slug deterrent, but Radio 4 listeners mostly disagree...

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Greenhouse fail

It was very windy yesterday afternoon, and whilst I was at work my little plastic greenhouse fell over, tipping all my lovely tomato plants out. Luckily my hero Steve was at home, and he managed to scoop up most of them & save them, but sadly a few plants have been lost. 

I've brought them all in for the time being, and put them on the kitchen window ledge. 

I had a grapefruit for breakfast, & scattered the shells near the spinach and radishes, to see if it deters those slugs!

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Foxgloves, bees, and a harvest

The first of my foxglove plants is flowering: 

The bees are loving the campanula:

We enjoyed a nice lunch today which included the first two radishes, some lettuce and some pea shoots straight from the garden. 

Other jobs I did today: planted out the rubeckia that Dad gave me, put the jalapeno pepper plant into a bigger pot, pinched the tomatoes, and repotted the mint as it had grown too big for it's pot. It's cold, and very windy today, so didn't spend too long in the garden. 

Thursday, 12 May 2011

This means war...

In her lovely book The Glory of the Garden, Joan Wolfenden suffered the same problems as any gardener at this time of year: 

"Slugs have eaten nearly all the lettuce. They've left a few baby cos and I shall cut up grapefruit shells and scatter them round the sugar peas and lettuce and tonight with murder in my heart I shall go out in the moonlight with torchlight and bucket. How I hate killing them, but it has to be done. "

Murder indeed! I had to kill my first 2 slugs today, they've eaten nearly all my marjoram, and now they're working their way through the radish and climbing beans. 

Watch out slugs. torch and bucket at the ready...

Monday, 9 May 2011

Tommys and pots

Dad gave me lots of tomato plants which I've brought back to my garden: Sungold, Harbinger and a rare variety, Brandywine. Also I have a Jalapeno chilli plant, some Argyranthemum and some Rubekia (rustic dwarf). They're all in the little greenhouse now. 

The potatoes are loving a bit of rain, they've gone crazy!

The potatoes that I planted in a bag are growing well too. 

Sunday, 8 May 2011

The original Grainy's Garden

I went to Stafford for the weekend. Here are some photos from my Mum and Dad's garden. 

Tomatoes in the greenhouse:

A pot of lettuces;

A field of forget-me-nots: 

Radishes harvested for lunch: 

Bluebells, and other bells: 


Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Wild garlic risotto

140g risotto rice
1 litre chicken (or vegetable) stock
2 knobs of butter
a few strands of saffron (if you like, not essential)
some thin strips of courgette, pre cooked in a griddle pan (not essential either)
a handful of wild garlic (about 20 leaves)
1 glass of dry vermouth or white wine
1 medium red onion, chopped

Serves 2

Put a knob of butter in a hot heavy based saucepan. Always stirring... Cook the onions for 7 mins. Put in the rice for 1 min. Put in the vermouth. Then keep adding the stock til it's all absorbed. Add the saffron, the wild garlic, another knob of butter and the parmesan, cook for 1 more min, season, & serve. Put a wild garlic flower on top to look pretty...and it tastes good too! 

Improvised by me, but inspired by Gennaro and Jamie.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

More wild garlic (a lot more)

Took a little detour walking home this evening, I went via a little wild wood very near my house. There was the most amazing display of wild garlic. Millions and millions of beautiful little white flowers covered the whole place. Look at these photos! 

I grabbed a few handfuls of leaves to bring home for tea. 

BWS tips button

Monday, 2 May 2011

All day in the garden

A glorious bank holiday Monday; I spent all day in the garden.

I planted out some more peas. One of the peas is yellow, an albino pea! I've planted him out anyway to see if he grows, and if his peas are yellow too.

I potted some butternut squash seeds, from a squash I cooked last year.

The radishes are growing well:

I earthed up the potatoes again:

I moved 2 sweet peas in pots to the VIP area:

I put the plastic cover on my little greenhouse, the tomatoes are doing well in there.

Some lavender plants that I thought were dead are resprouting, so I've repotted them into 3 pots:

And I found a use for the larger stones I picked out of the soil underneath the lawn, a little border around the veggie patch. It looks much neater now!

I also planted some cabbage, and some more spinach as the last lot wasn't growing too well.

A lovely day!