I haven’t been able to do much except ramble through the garden this week but look forward to having a clearer week shortly to get back on track with all that needs doing. Even seasonal harvesting tasks like picking tomatoes have had to be neglected, mainly because that means they would then need to be dealt with. They started fruiting much earlier this year – at least a month before the early September of last year’s crop. In the larger greenhouse are several plants of ‘Gardeners Delight’, Sungold, Sweet Aperitif and an orange cherry tomato. Like last year, the Gardeners Delight tomatoes are imposters (below left) – large, stripey and relatively tasteless. At least the larger size means less tomatoes to skin for chutney, production of which began today – I usually make a dozen jars, one for each month, but with 5 jars of 2014 chutney left my consumption has clearly dropped this year! On the right, the first of the small orange peppers are fully ripe.
This time last year the smaller greenhouse was home to several trays of autumn sown seeds – not so in 2015 (making it a pressing task for next week), but at least there are cells of wallflower and stock sown in June and probably ready to plant out, along with the first of several plants collections from Hayloft, the purchase that triggered my plant buying embargo for next year. This greenhouse in particular needs a good freshen up and the capillary mats in the gravel trays need a good wash before next year’s seed sowing starts in earnest.
Thank you to Julie of Peonies and Posies who hosts a monthly greenhouse catch up – do have a look at her September greenhouse post if you have not already done so. It is always interesting to see what is happening in other greenhouses, both big and small.
I am also linking with Lucy of Loose and Leafy for her monthly tree following, even though there is little to report on the Hamamelis vernalis ‘Amethyst’ that I have been watching. Measuring it today shows it has grown a further 4cms, now reaching 119cms. Like almost all my other witch hazels there is a mass of flower buds (below left), last month being the first time I realised how early these buds developed – after all, it will be at least three months or so before they begin to open. Notwithstanding this, there are still fairly new leaves (below centre) on the plant and there is no sign of any autumnal colouring yet. The seed pods are still intact, and the pink hairnets I showed last month are now also enclosing various other seedheads around the garden. I suspect things will be looking rather different both in the greenhouse and for this witch hazel by this time next month, when autumn will have its foot firmly in the door!
Thank you for letting me know about the link box – it hadn’t simply closed itself but had completely vanished! Which was alarming and very perplexing! However, I’ve got it back now and have taken the liberty of adding a link to your post.
Thanks Lucy – I was a bit late and wondered if I had missed it but it said it had closed a month ago although I could see there were more recent links added to the page. Glad you were able to sort it out.
Keeping up with the tomato crop has had me up to my elbows in spaghetti sauce. Thanks good ness for a week of cooler weather for stocking the pantry. Now it’s on to apples and pears. I have to keep reminding myself how delightful it is to have dinner in a jar available all winter long.
Yes, apples too – so far I have to content myself with giving them away, but I do not to get on and freeze some. Good idea to make some sauce with the tomatoes though – haven’t done that before but I shall definitely make a few batches of that to freeze too
Love the pink hair nets!
I’m sure that I came across some information a while ago in one of the garden mags about ‘Gardener’s Delight’ proving disappointing Cathy so I don’t think that you are alone. Will return when I can remember what was said. Several plant collections from Hayloft! Tell us more. Hope that you have the chance to have a good catch up this weekend. I’m off out once I’ve finished my coffee.
I think I read that about GD last year too and I am going to check out where I got my seeds from and write and tell them. I have to confess that I had to go into my emails to see what I had ordered from Hayloft – which certainly says something if I couldn’t remember…. I had definitely wanted to order more scabious, but ended up with more penstemon, phlox, geranium, helenium and alstroemeria too…see what I mean? 😦
I have to do something with all my tomatoes, too, Cathy. What seemed a good idea in seed-starting, planting season, makes my pause at harvesting time. I just canned 19 quarts of pickled beets and there’s still loads out there in the kitchen garden. I think I’ll be making a trip to the food bank! P. x
My – you have been busy! It’s easier when things can just go straight in the freezer like soft fruit, but it’s when they have to be peeled, or cooked, or pickled… 😉
One of the nicest things about having too much produce is sharing it with others. My neighbour brought over some fresh figs last week and I sent her away with cucumbers and tomatoes. I’ve been researching recipes for preserving apples and pears, other than chopping and freezing. It is time-consuming but worth it to have home-grown, home-made food in the store cupboard. Our Gardener’s Delight toms have been delicious so far. Your peppers look fabulous.
You can buy dehydrators fairly cheaply and I used this successfully on apples but it would work for pears too and lots of other stuff as well. Peppers always seem to do well for me, for which i am grateful!
The production in your garden has been truly amazing this year, I am quite amazed you can keep up with it.
Thanks Charlie – it’s been easier since I finished work!
I love looking at your northern greenhouses and seeing the tomatoes & capsicums growing, yours are looking great, I’m posting my green house review a little later today.
Thanks – I had years of failure until we moved the greenhouse to a different part of the garden, one where it got more light.
Thank you Cathy for this peep inside your greenhouse – a tomato lovers heaven!! Yours are well ahead of mine, although mine are ripening daily now. It is quite a job though to keep up with all this bounty isn’t it? My freezer is overflowing with soft fruit that was picked during my absence in America – we have also been freezing blueberries in the last couple of weeks and the autumn raspberries are just about collapsing under the weight of fruit. My kitchen worktops are disappearing under pears and apples, not to mention the plums – there is only so much chutney we can eat! I read the comment about tomato sauce – I always make this and love finding a bag in the freezer in January. Some recipes include garlic but my experience is that it is best to add garlic when you reheat it – it can make the sauce taste bitter when it is frozen.
Thank you again for joining in and good luck with your ‘spring clean’ – hopefully we will both have sow our hardy annuals by next month!
I am still giving apples away, Julie, but must knuckle down and get some frozen myself! I don’t use garlic as the Golfer has an allergy to it, so no problem there – at least it will be quicker to make sauce than chutney and there won’t be the lingering vinegar smell! My raspberries haven’t started on their autumn cropping yet, but the blackberries are on-going. The good news is that because it was a wet day I got some seeds sown – yhay!!
Sites like Hayloft are dreadful for getting you to go “off list” and wind up with more in your basket than you had planned for. I’ll have to check my notes on my toms, my feeling had been that they were later this year, but we started picking at the beginning of August. They are definitely coming in to their own now though. I have some seeds sown but none germinated, I fear the propagator cooked them, as it is in the conservatory instead of the wooden greenhouse, which needs a serious rebuild.
Good to hear from you – will be off to read your post later! The upside is that they have such good deals and are always very good at replacing plants that don’t do well. Interesting to compare tomato performance – like soft fruit, I keep a record of when and how much I have picked