Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Tomatoes and Sweetcorn

I've been saving up my tomatoes trying to get enough to dry them and decided do a batch yesterday.  In their raw state they were quite tasty, though maybe they could have been a bit sweeter,  given more sun on my greenhouse.  I didn't expect the wonderful flavour that would result. They are soooo sweet and moreish and I'm definitely going to make more.  In fact I'll be buying up the larger supermarket ones when the prices drop.  It's so much cheaper than the little pots of sun dried tomatoes!

Cut in half, seeds and green bit removed.  Sprinkled with salt and some dried oregano.

After a couple of hours in the dehydrator they had begun to shrink and were very tasty.

I left these for about 6 hours, but larger ones would take longer.  I squished them into a couple of clean jars and covered them with olive oil.  They should be fine in the fridge for a couple of weeks, and will liven up some salads or perk up some bread and cheese.  If you've got lots and want to keep them longer they apparently freeze well.  Just pack them into plastic bags

Also yesterday we had the first of our sweetcorn and it was delicious.  When I checked my seed packets I realised the Wagtail ones hadn't been opened.  Oops! sorry if anyone ordered some after I recommended them before :(   These are Swift F1 and I've also got some Lark F1.  Both have done very well, with just a few of the top kernels undeveloped.  Usually I find they are very patchy.

I love the way the lines twist round the cob.  Nature can be so beautiful! 
 And very tasty :)

Take care

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Garden Pics

Hello lovely people!  Thank you for all the recent comments.  It's great to be able to share bits of my life with you all!
The poor garden has been rather neglected lately.  I seem to have been busy doing Other Things and only popping out to pick the flowers and veg each day and pull out the odd weed.  I've made a start chopping back some of the stuff that's finished but it needs some serious work now before the bindweed  and chickweed take over.  Guess that's my next project for a while!
The dahlias and gladi's are cheering the place up.

The sage plant is taking over the path.  That will have to come out!

Leeks growing well next to some beetroot and chard that struggled to get going.

Brassicas netted to keep the pigeons off.  Beans in the background finally doing well.  I'm a runner bean convert after swearing I would never grow them.  The french beans were useless this year, but we've had runners nearly every day and loved them :) 

The "Sweet Lightening" squashes gave up and died off apart from a couple of tiny ones that I left and I noticed today they've each got a little squash that's ready to pick.

Tomatoes in the greenhouse are doing well.  I've been picking some each day and it looks like there'll soon be a bit of a glut. The yellow "Sun Baby" ones are very prolific and "Gardeners Delight" is always reliable.  I'm going to try drying them in our dehydrator this year.

And finally, Lottie doing what she does best.   Sunning herself in the warmest place she can find!

Take care

Monday, 20 August 2012

Finished Blanket!

I finally finished the Cath Kidston inspired blanket a few days ago and I think it's my favourite one so far :)   The border was a variety of trebles and chains, made up as I went.  It was going to be wider but I think I'll leave it as it is for now.

It's not a huge blanket,  but just the right size to sit on my small double spare bed where it matches the bedding and looks nice and cheerful and cosy!

Not sure what I'll make next.  I really don't need any more blankets but it seems to be an addiction haha!

Thankfully the weather's cooled off a bit today.  Saturday was spent helping our daughter move to a new flat in London.  The place she was staying was lovely, but a bit of a trek by bus and tube to the centre, where she has found some temporary work, hopefully leading to something more permanent.  Just our luck it was the hottest day of the year :(   Not what you want when there's umpteen bags, boxes etc to lug down loads of stairs and drive across town, twice!!  Her new place is tiny, so most of it has come home with us again.  Don't know where it's all going yet, sigh!


Saturday, 11 August 2012

It's Gladi' Time!

If you're looking for some easy to grow flowers for cutting with a big "wow" factor you can't go wrong with gladioli.   I planted some new bulbs this year and they are all starting to flower now.  "Faro" is a beautiful lavender colour and "Greenstar" is a lovely chartreuse, changing to yellow as it ages.  I've also grown lots of the darker, velvety ones like "Plum tart", though after a few years they tend to produce hundreds of tiny new plants and I need to dig those out and start again with new ones.
I should have staked them, but didn't get round to it as usual. They seem to be doing ok though,  squashed in with the self seeded fennel and crocosmias.  

It's all getting a bit jungly in the veg plot and needs a serious tidy once the Olympics are over.

The echinops flowers are covered in bees all day.

I've noticed a few ladybirds with very large black markings.  Are they Harlequin ones I wonder?

While being glued to the tv for the past couple of weeks,  I've managed to "almost" finish my blanket.  I've done a plain treble border, but want to add something more interesting.  Maybe a bobble or tricot  in red?  Still thinking about that,  and then there's all the ends to tidy :(

Bye for now!

Wednesday, 1 August 2012


Just watching the Olympics again.   Hasn't it been great so far!   I thought Zara Phillips getting a medal from her mum was so touching.

Nearly finished the crochet hexagons, just a few left to do, then I can start joining them together.

The sweet peas are coming thick and fast every day.  I've decided they look better when separated into pale and dark bunches.  The pale ones seem to have much stronger scent, but I love them all.
I think some of my favourite dahlias were among the ones that didn't make it through the winter, but there's still plenty of lovely ones starting to flower.

Hollyhocks looking at their best at the moment.

Poppies everywhere.

The sweetcorn is doing surprisingly well,  given the rubbish summer we've had and will be ready soon.   I'll definitely grow this "Wagtail" variety again.


Edit:   Oops! just discovered a few weeks later that the sweetcorn is actually "Swift" and "Lark" varieties.  Sorry :(