Monday, 28 September 2015

Golden autumn

The single surviving sunflower this year
The geese are back, the pumpkins are swelling: it's definitely autumn here. The geraniums and lemon verbena have moved back into the conservatory as have the aubergines, which are now having a feeble second attempt at flowering and actually producing a fruit (good luck to them).

Second time lucky?

Flowers in the conservatory? Winter is coming...
Some plants are not preparing to shut down for winter, though. Our hardy Scottish artichokes have put out new growth and even some new chokes!

New season artichoke
And the squashes are doing well, especially the Pink Fairy. Talk about prolific - I think half our squash crop is going to come from this one plant which has spread wide and far. I've been warned they can weigh up to 10kg per pumpkin and there are probably ten pumpkins on it. Join us for a pumpkin party soon...
Pink Fairy, a vigorous sort
While we've been painting, painting and painting (yes, it's still going on, but the end is in sight), the grass has been growing to tremendous heights. We should have an excellent mulch crop to cover the unused growing areas for the winter.
Swedes Marian and lush grass
Because of the mild summer, the growing season of some veg has been incredibly long. I only composted the last of the mangetout plants this morning. No lettuce has bolted so we still have plenty left, but I've ordered some winter lettuces for sowing next week (Density, Valdor, Lamb's lettuce and Claytonia) just in case. Broccoli, beans, courgettes (I've settled on five plants as the ideal number for two people) and carrots are still going strong and the first sweetcorn looks on the cusp of being ready.

Busy veg garden
Leek bed, with sunflower and nasturtiums
Pretty rainbow chard
The asparagus seedlings are still minuscule. I've covered them with a cloche to aid their survival, but I haven't got high hopes. Anybody know where to buy Scottish-grown crowns? My ideal birthday present... Here's how the asparagus seedlings look now:

Martha Washington asparagus seedling
I've also been collecting tea herbs to dry for the winter. Mint, catnip, rose, calendula and camomile so far. They're very easy to dry in the dehydrator, but soon they'll be even easier to dry when the Rayburn comes back into operation.

Good camomile crop
Next on the gardening agenda is the big potato harvest. We're out of early potatoes now and have started on our maincrop, Setanta. Since we had no blight this year (the potatoes were in a new bit of ground that had previously been paddock) they have grown much larger than last year. We've already had several jacket potatoes and, of course, chips.

Jim's specialty: homemade chips, double fried in beef dripping
Just a final coat on the window surrounds and the chimneys to paint beforehand...


  1. I can lend you Tuftie (or Tuftie Mini) - the sunflowers planted by them (when you see them at it you cannot call it sowing) are flowering all over the place. - Keeping the fingers crossed for the aubergine(s)!

    1. I think Tuftie would get a bit lonely here with no other squirrels around. Yes, I would just like to see one fruit on the aubergines, to know that it can work...