raspberryfool: (Gardening)
As the gardening year draws to a close, let's have a quick resume of what's been occurring. I've been harvesting various crops and have been pleased with the results, which thanks to a dry, sunny and warm summer, have been pretty darn good. The tent has done it's job nicely but it's now tattered, torn and falling apart.This year's tomatoes have been a marked improvement over last year's blighted washout. I picked my first few 'Sunstream' in late July and they've been cropping well since. The 'blocky plum' shape seems to be well-established in my grow-out line now, with only one plant giving me smooth, ovoid fruits. The rest look like little peppers, decorative and very tasty. I've saved my F5 seeds for next year and by the F7 generation the line should be stable. I haven't really been taking notes this year because the plants are fairly consistent. Perhaps I should designate a new name to my line; perhaps 'Stream of Sunshine' would be a good one.

Inside the tomato tent

Elsewhere in the tomato tent, the best-performing variety has been Real Seeds'  'Lettuce Leaf' bush tomato. It was my saviour last year; this year it's produced those small, slicing tomatoes with great consistency and a lovely, deep and complex flavour. But they're still interesting enough to produce conjoined or fasciated fruits and some 'mini-beefsteak' shaped tomatoes all on the same bush.
Also from Real Seeds came 'Jen's Tangerine', a lovely French variety that produces fruits ranging from cherry tomatoes to small slicers. These start out ripening pure yellow and then turn a lovely, golden yellow-orange. These have also been prolific producers and will definitely be a choice for next year. 'Gold Medal' has been a disappointment again; the first fruit has only just started colouring up. i'll save some more seeds but it won't be on my priority list next year, though I suppose I could grow it as alater-ripening crop to see me into the winter months. 'Black Cherry' is delicious as always but I only grew a few plants and I must remember to save some seeds from those too. Here we see Jen's Tangerine at the front and Sunstream behind:

Jen's Tangerine (front) and Sunstream (rear)

I'll post a few more pictures taken this summer sometime this week if I remember. Meanwhilst, what happened to the wascally wabbit? Well dear reader, just after my last post its owner returned from holiday and managed to recapture it. I haven't seen it since. I'd like to say I miss it but I don't, well not really. Oh okay, I miss it just a tiny bit but the thought of my plants going unmolested gives me comfort.

raspberryfool: (Gardening)
The garden looks particularly lovely this time of the year, especially since the weather decided to edge the thermometers back above the ten-degree mark. On Thursday, I looked out from my bedroom to see the lilac in its full glory. You can also see that I've been busy with building stuff, more of which later.


My garden has lots of bluebells, which my father planted to brighten up the drab spaces. There are both Spanish and English types, and even some pink and white ones scattered around in odd corners. They look particularly good in the morning, with contre-jour lighting:



Inside, the tomato and bean plants have been growing quite tall, and were clearly longing to get their roots into some good, warm soil. Here are the windowsill crew looking wistfully out of the windows:



So I decided to get busy and plant them out, but not before building the tomato shelter. I've been a little more adventurous than the usual sheets of polythene tied to poles. I bought nine bent cane supports from a pound shop, about a mile of string and I used the sheeting from last year to construct a mini-greenhouse. The point is to keep off the rain, which can lead to late blight infection if the plants remain wet for long periods. I planted out the plants today after their week's hardening off period; hopefully we won't now get a series of hard frosts that will send me scurrying out to protect my babies:


Remember the rascally rabbit I wrote about last time? To stop it munching its way through my entire stock of pea plants I built a fence around 'Midsummer' plot:


The rabbit actually disappeared for a few days; I hardly saw it last week but it appeared again today as healthy as ever. It's acting much more like a wild rabbit now and it's more wary of my presence. Perhaps the local cats have been chasing it around! I think it's a doe anyway, it has that cute, 'butter-wouldn't-melt' look that only females can muster! The final picture shows some of the damage it did; the plants in the centre and lower right are the youngest and obviously the most tender. Luckilly they've just started to recover, putting out new leaves.


Tomorrow, I'll plant out the rest of my French beans inside the 'Midsummer' cage, then I'll sit back and watch my bountious harvest develop...