Wednesday, 31 August 2011

A Seren is born

Yesterday we collected our kitten from the wonderful Bridgend Cats Protection. We have called her Seren, Welsh for Star. She is so beautiful, we love her! 

Seren playing with the catnip mouse I knitted for her

And playing with her ball of wool

Seren hasn't been outside yet, so in an attempt to keep this blog post gardening related, here is a list of plants that are poisonous for cats. So, I'll have to move the aloe vera plant out of her reach, and get rid of the foxgloves in the garden. I honestly don't think I can stop growing sweet peas though! 

Friday, 26 August 2011

The butt of all water

Here's the water butt that Dad fixed to the house's downpipe for me yesterday. 

And only one day later, after a massive downpour, it is full to the brim. 

Thursday, 25 August 2011

I present to you: Grainy's Greenhouse!

I am now the proud owner of a completed greenhouse! It is amazing. 

A massive THANK YOU to Dad, Mum and my husband for their impressive construction skills and hard work over the last two days.

The lovely greenhouse is from The Greenhouse People

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

The pea and the tomato

Look at this tiny tomato! Or maybe it's a giant pea...

More tomatoes:

Here are the shallots that I have picked so far, we ate some of them in a lovely cucumber salad with a coconut milk and lime dressing (a Rick Stein recipe which we had with a beef rendang curry, very tasty).

And here are some more climbing beans. 

And the radishes I planted just a few weeks ago are nearly ready to eat - they're growing much better in a pot than they did in the ground. 

Grainy's Garden Greenhouse Grows

I have the honour to present a short GuestPost for this now famous Blogg.
Today up at the crack of dawn Grainy's husband & I started work on the new greenhouse. We confused the slugs who thought it was their new abode !!
As you will see from the Pics it is an impressive affair ideal for the exotic plants which have so far been only available in Kew Gardens & the like.
The project was delayed by torrential rain showers but the intrepid workers soldiered on - only dusk halted operations. Completion is expected tomorrow - weather permitting !!

Monday, 22 August 2011

My greenhouse has arrived!

The Greenhouse People delivered my greenhouse this morning! 

Here's a pic of the van I took through my window.

And here's the greenhouse. It's all in bits at the moment, we're going to put it up on Wednesday. 

Friday, 19 August 2011

Drying shallots and the last of the peas

Shallots drying in the sun

The jalapeno pepper plant has a few flowers

I cooked some of the potatoes Pomme Rissolées, which is basically sautéing them in a whole lot of butter. They were nice, but I think the Pentland Javelin are best when I roasted them. 

I also harvested the last of the peas, more tomatoes, rubber and climbing beans, and pretty much all of the basil I grew from seed this year, and we had a lovely dinner of all this with some salmon from Fish at 85, a new fishmongers and cafe in Pontcanna. 

The sloes in the hedgerows look ripe to me. Most of the websites I look at say they're ready to pick after the first frost, but I don't think they'll still be there by then. 

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Positive news

My Dad gave me a newspaper the other day, called Positive News, it only has, well, positive news in it. 

This lovely quote was in the paper. 

Now that's what I call a potato harvest

I dug up the rest of the Pentland Javelin potatoes today. They were the ones I grew in a big shopping bag. There were so many treasures in the soil! Look! 

A good harvest. 

Oh here's that little wooden stool I reclaimed the other day. It's so lovely. I sat on it whilst I was digging out the potatoes. Very useful.

A photo (especially for Marie) of the purple climbing beans! 

And the runner bean flowers:

And once the flowers are gone, here are the results! Mmm. We'll be eating them for tea tomorrow.

 Here are the runner and climbing beans intertwined. 

I found a much bigger caterpillar on the nastursiums today. 

So I popped him (and the flower) onto the bird table. Here he is, trying to make his escape before the birds swoop down to eat him (I think he was successful). 
 Lots more ripe tommys!
 And this juicy fat one is a Harbinger tomato.

Friday, 12 August 2011

Skip jumping

I like skip jumping. I get free things, people are throwing away, from skips. On Wednesday I got a lovely old basket that I'm going to plant flowers in, a big flower pot, and a little wooden stool which will be great for gardening. Here's the basket. 

I never actually jump into the skips by the way!

Yesterday's slugs death count: 7

Caterpillars eating nasturtiums

My nasturtiums are growing really well now:

 But look at these little fellows who are happily munching the leaves! After a bit of Googling, this blog here shows it looks like they're cabbage white butterfly caterpillars. I put them on the birdtable.

 And this poor cabbage has seen better days. Slugs, watch out, I'm after you!

I also pulled out the remenants of the one surviving beetroot plant, it wasn't really growing at all, and the others disappeared. Similarly the spinach I planted is nowhere to be seen. Grrr slugs.

Better news: on the tomato front, here's a lovely Chadwick tomato I ate today:

And here's some Florence Fennel that seems to be growing well. 

I lifted one of the shallot plants (one that looked like it wasn't growing too well), and though the bulbs are small, they look ok. I've put them in the garage to dry, I'll leave the others growing for now, I should really wait for a dry day to take up the rest. 
 And the radishes I planted the other day are growing so fast! And they're growing much better in a pot than they did in the ground.

Pretty tasty jam

That mulberry and blackberry jam I made the other day is pretty tasty! And pretty too, I found some lovely fabric with pictures of strawberries and blackberries on, and have made little covers for the jam jar lids so I can give them to friends for presents.

I just can't stop myself picking the lovely berries on my way home after work. 

I'm going to put these ones in the freezer to use later. A friend told me to just freeze them as they are, you can wash them when you take them out of the freezer, it's much easier to wash them when they're frozen.
 I even put a few on the bird table to see if I can encourage the birds to use it.