Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The store cupboard is groaning.

Second flush of roses/
The last week has been a busy one.
The Victoria plums have all ripened
The first five pounds.

and I have bottled six large jars,
Chutney making.
the remainder have been made into Old Dower House chutney,
in total seventeen jars, most will be for ourselves but a couple are for friends.
Sun Gold, now coming along nicely.
Tomatoes are coming fast now, what had started off as a potentially bad crop has turned into a good one, they were very slow to get started and slow for the first fruits, they are making up for it now, I might even have enough to bottle. We only grow the Sun Gold, I have been tempted to try other varieties, but Sun Gold  are the sweetest tomato so we will stay with what we know.
Peas and runner beans continue to produce, I am once again trying to find a good way to freeze the beans, maybe I just don't like frozen veg but this time I have used the vacuum sealer bags and I have not blanched them at all, we will try one of the bags I have already done later this week and see if there is any improvement to the frozen beans.
Seed grown onions.
The last lot of onions will get harvested in the next couple of weeks, these we grew from seed, rather as an experiment, they have all grown to a good size and it's a far cheaper way to get onions rather than the sets, but we will stick with sets for the early ones that we do in the tunnel.
The Calabrese is now ready for picking, they have also done well this year, the biggest failure has been the potatoes, we grew seven different types, none have done well mainly due to slug damage, these are not the big slugs that you can easily see but the small 'Field Slugs', the damage they have done is incredible, we grew extra potatoes this year as it's nearly impossible to get a decent potato in Ireland, the Irish like flowery spuds that produce potato sludge if you boil them, the only way to cook them is to steam them, even then, they are dull and boring. We had already decided that we would have to do potatoes in the tunnel this autumn to keep us going, we would have been using whatever undamaged potato's we had but a trip to the garden centre yesterday surprised us with Charlotte seed potatoes already chitted ready for planting, Charlotte is one of the potatoes that we had grown this year, and unfortunately lost mostly to slugs.
Today was a bright warm day, we haven't had too many of them this summer, the warmth brought out masses of butterflies,
there were Red Admirals,
Peacocks and Meadow Browns, not the easiest thing to photograph but we managed to get a couple of shots.
The roses are now having a second flush,
they recovered well after suffering black spot,
not something we have had before,
cool damp weather is the perfect breeding ground for all these fungi.
The early autumn flowers are now looking good,
the Echinacea  and Bergamot are looking lovely, so are the obedient plants,
Physostegia virginiana.
Hubbard day olds.
We now have the final batch of Hubbard chicks, they have nearly doubled in size in just a week, that will be the last rearing for this year. it will all start again next March.
Before firing.
The pottery classes are going well, but once again we have three weeks off as my teacher has several shows to do over the next three weekends, after all she does have to earn a living.
After firing.

I finished my last project just in time for firing, I have another project on the go and I must think what I want to do next. It's great fun and I think I'm learning a lot from her.
Suzy hatching, he cant be comfortable.
Freddy relaxing.



  1. Really good harvest, beautiful garden , you certainly are living the good life.x

    1. Apart from the potatoes everything has done well this year. I love my flower garden, it's a lovely place to sit and watch all the insects and hear the birds singing.

  2. Amen, a good life it is. Those butterflies are beautiful. I'd give you both a gold star for effort but i think you have enough rewards.

    1. Thanks Lynda, the butterflies were very late this year.

  3. Wow all looks wonderful. The pictures of the cats are so funny :) and I love the pottery.

  4. Thanks Chickpea, as you are now finding out it is quite hard work to keep producing, but great fun. I based my pottery on Troika which I love but count afford, this particular design is great for flower arranging.