Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Sloes and blackberries in the hedgerows... and more potatoes

Sloes and blackberries in the hedgerows, I can't resist passing them on my way to work without talking a picture. And I ate the first blackberry of the season! 

Dug up some more potatoes for tea, I roasted them (with some wild garlic olive oil) and they worked really well, very tasty with the last few broadbeans and peas. I had them with some homemade lasagne. Lovely!

We're off on our hols for two weeks tomorrow, look after Grainy's Garden please Mum and Dad!
We're going to Dinan (near St Malo) in France, then on to San Sebastian and Bilbao in Northern Spain - San Sebastian & Asturias featured in episode 1 of Rick Stein's Spain, a new BBC programme. We're also staying for 4 nights in a hotel in Asturias that has an 18 acre organic farm, they have a gardening blog here. All very exciting.

Monday, 18 July 2011

Friendship roses

My friendship roses in full bloom. 

Thanks ff! x

More potatoes, tomatoes, courgettes and sweet pea pods

More potatoes dug up today: 

Made into a lovely dinner by my ever so wonderful husband. With sausages from the Pontyclun butchers. 

Betcha these lovely looking tomatoes are going to ripen when I'm on holiday! 

The lawn is looking rather wild at the moment (and I like it)

Amazing sweet peas: 

And some sweet pea pods I've collected (from some of the flowers I forgot to dead head):

A lovely Grainy's Garden birthday present from two lovely friends:

I planted out these courgettes today, some where the beetroot have failed to survive the slug onslaught, and some where the carrots have just failed. Oh and one courgette was growing in the rosemary pot, I suspect this is one of those pesky magpies who I spotted eating the courgette seeds, I think he must have picked a seed up in his beak and dropped it!

A lovely orange runner bean flower:

One slug death. He was a monster. 

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Potato harvest, and measuring up

My Mum & Dad came to visit this weekend, and I harvested some of the potatoes so they could take them home. It's so lovely digging up the ground and finding little potato treasures! Here they are: 

Also we were measuring up the garden for my greenhouse. Dad's found a lovely one in a catalogue with curvy sides, it'll look very stylish! We're going to order it after our holiday (off to France and Spain for 2 weeks on Wednesday), and the company will deliver it to our house. Most exciting! 

Here are some more sweet peas, I picked them last week & gave them a friend for her birthday. They smell so good!

Dad enjoyed drinking some Old Slug beer to accompany our Sunday lunch today in the Boar.

Talking of slugs, 12 were destroyed in the making of Grainy's Garden today. Some massive ones were busy eating my broad beans, grrr.... RIP guys.

Friday, 15 July 2011

Felin Fach Griffin, Brecon

Last night, for my birthday, my lovely husband took me to the Felin Fach Griffin, in Brecon. This place is highly rated by a few of my friends, and it was about time we tried it out.

It was amazing. We picked a beautiful, clear day to drive the hour trip to Brecon, and boy was it worth it. We arrived an hour early, so had a drink outside, & explored the kitchen garden. They organically grow a lot of the vegetables and fruit that is then cooked up in the kitchen, so we were oh so very happy to enjoy the peas, garlic and tomatoes that travelled only a few steps from the garden to the kitchen. We ate clams for starter, cooked in a butter and parsley sauce, with home baked bread, and accompanied by a complimentary birthday champagne. Then the most beautiful Welsh lamb with crushed peas and garlic potato mash, and creme brulee. Fantastic food, in a really relaxed rustic surrounding, followed by another exploration of the garden, where we met a super sweet little shy black and white cat. Spot him in the photos, amongst the broad beans and nasturtiums!

They have regular planting days, with bbq in the garden. Details of one on 22 September is here:

And they have a blog, where they get excited about the first pea harvest, just like me!

I love birds...

...but  don't love them when they half eat my first ripened tomato then drop it in a nearby plant pot!

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Birthday bird table, green house, friendship roses, and a ripening tomato

My birthday present - a handcrafted bird table commissioned specially by my lovely husband.

Also very exciting news: my Mum & Dad are getting me a greenhouse for my birthday. 

The friendship rose my ff gave me last year is flowering today!

And a tomato is turning red.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

The potatoes are good

I couldn't wait, I ate one of the potatoes today. It was good! 

Here's today's harvest, broad beans, peas, a potato & some lettuce. 

Monday, 11 July 2011

Good potato news

Was chatting with my friend today, and mentioned my dying potato foliage. She says they're meant to do this, it means they're ready for harvesting! Good news. I've read a few of my gardening books, & checked a bit online here and here and it looks right. So tomorrow I'm going to cut off the foliage, leave for a couple of weeks, then see what the crop's like. They're Pentland Javelin (first earlies), and apparently they don't always flower, mine haven't. 

Here's one of the flowers I boyght the other day, it's an osteospermum (tradewinds) bronze, also known as an African Daisy, from South Africa. It's a lovely terracotta colour.

The strange purple flowers on the climbing beans are turning into tiny beans!

And the hedgerows are getting ready to provide a lot of blackberries!

11 poor slugs.

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Raspberry planting

I bought these lovely plants at a garden fete yesterday, all for just £2. Four different plants, including Centradenia Violet.

My lovely work colleague has been enjoying eating some raspberries that she's grown in her garden. So this week she gave me a cutting from her plant. 

I've put it in at the back of my garden, by the wall and to the left of the magnolia tree. I also planted out some of the alpine strawberries that I grew from seed earlier this year. 

A nice little pea and broad bean harvest for dinner:

And some chives that we had with a potato salad. 

On the down side, my potatoes are rapidly dying. I really think this is because they're not happy with the clay soil. It could be that I've not watered them enough, but the potatoes that I grew in a bag (and in shop bought compost) are still growing well and looking healthy. I must dig this up and see if any potatoes have grown. 

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Sweet peas in a jam jar

A jar of perfect flowers.

A massive kill tonight, 19 slugs.

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Bute Park flowers

I took a walk in Bute Park this afternoon. There are some fantastic flower beds there, here are some photos I took. Can anyone help me identify the flowers please? 

 Perfectly formed aliums.

Gracie's favourite

The argyranthemum's are flowering! Grandma Grace's favourite. 

Most of the calendula was destroyed by the slugs, but some I planted under a plastic bottle and they're looking ok! 

The Viola tricolor (Heartsease) are throwing their lovely seeds everywhere.

And some of the sweet peas are lovely two coloured flowers: