Fruit


I have been very naughty, starting a blog then completely failing to keep it up to date. Still no apologies, was busy doing other things.

And, it has been a busy year although trying to sum up our successes I find I can’t remember anything, although that could just be my presnt conditions, more on that in a minute. In terms of produce we didn’t get perhaps as much as we would have liked but did pretty well with:

broccoli, kale, cabbages, onions, garlic, courgettes, parsnips, plums, damsons, redcurrants, gooseberries, apples (although not nearly as many as last year), some strawberries and a few runner beans.

Actually, thats not a bad list for our first year. It is overshadowed by a potato crop completely devastated by slugs, the little tiny buggers burrowed their way in and left a hollow shell. There was a lot of swearing involved in digging them up. Lesson for next year is to plant smaller amounts more regularly and dig them up quick before they get a  chance to become infested. The other disappointment was the tomatoes. I know they are supposed to be easy but we never seem to have much success. They never seem to ripen in time and I think they got blighted this year as well.

Still, major success at our first village show in July – prize winning biscuits, chutney and courgettes, the only classes we entered! Particularly pleased with the courgettes as they beat the local prize winning veg grower who won every other class of veg. The was much silliness and merriment, dancing with morrismen and entering a bidding war for our own biscuits!!

The other major development over the summer was the Amish-style erection of the new chicken shed and the arrival of 3 new chickens in October. May I present: Nora the Explorer, Jemima Puddlechicken and Courtney Clucks who join a less than impressed Gilbert, Ethel and Vera.

The late part of the summer and autumn was overshadowed for me by the affliction that is morning sickness. Yes, number 3 is on the way, due the end of April, and did put an abrupt halt on my gardening efforts. Luckily it passed in good time for Christmas and I have enjoyed way too many mince pies and consequently look imminently ready to pop rather than only midway through. Nevermind, will deal with that later.

So, on with the show. Well at least hopefully at some point, it has all stalled due to ridiculous amounts of snow and now completely waterlogged soil but we’ll see how things look next weekend – we are aiming for a trip to the garden centre for some rhubarb and a pear tree or two…

I have had such a good weekend after a blinkin awful week. I was going to post earlier in the week but it was turning into such a rant I thought better not to. In brief it involves an argument with my daughters head about the gritting of pathes around school (or lack of), getting home from a weekend away to find we had run out of oil (such an embarrassing novice user error), spending 4 days trying to get an oil delivery and then getting a failed delivery because ‘the roof is too low’ – its not like they haven’t delivered to us before? Anyway we now have oil (from a different supplier) but still no central heating as the boiler now needs bleeding. The best thing about this whole palava is that it didn’t happen the previous week in the middle of a minor ice-age.

Rant over – I had a great weekend! We had friends visiting, spring was present in abundance and we spent the whole weekend in the garden, not entirely 100% productive, especially on Saturday due to some pretty sore heads, but today we really made some progress. The boys got stuck into some digging and the girls continued the mammoth pruning and we even managed to plant something. Spent hours deliberating where to plant the gooseberry bush we got for Christmas. We seem to have fruit bushes randomly planted in various locations, so the dilema was whether to try and keep them all a bit more together or to put it in the best position? Went for the best position (I hope) and decided to just accept that everything will be a bit jumbled.

Planting the gooseberry

Planting the gooseberry

 

Gooseberry bush

Gooseberry bush

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PS Edited to add some photos