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Monday, 30 November 2009

Where Does The Time Go????

Gosh! I thought that as the days grew shorter and things slowed down on the gardening front, I would find myself with too much time on my hands, with lots of time for blogging and dabbling in crafting activities. How wrong was I??

This last week I haven’t had time to not even smile at the garden, so there is no present updates on that front and to make matters worse Wednesday and Thursday there was a lovely break in the weather with lots of sunshine and mild temps and I couldn’t even get time to fit in a visit to the plot, BUMMER!!! (My hubby was home all week as well so I would have been able to go on my own and leave the bambino home, *^%%^^$& !!!)

So what kept me so busy you are probably wondering? Well I had a commissioned jewellery job to complete for a friend, which if I was not unwell a couple of weeks ago I would have completed a while back, as it is the cold made me lose a week plus some, which meant many a 2 O’clock to 4 O’clock morning bedtimes this past week.

She wanted some dragonfly brooches for her teachers and something for the two male teachers.

I attempted some very snazzy cuff links (for the brave male in your life/ for the lady who wants to jazz up her borrowed/ owned male shirt) and was really pleased with how they turned out. I thought I would have had some leftover for the blogshop after showing her them on Saturday but she took the lot. So after this blog update its back to the loft for more creating.

Since I was stuck in the loft for long hours each day last week I decided to take a few photos to show you all what I have to look out onto when I come up to breath.

See I told you we had some lovely gardening weather this week down my way (seen while sitting).

This is if I stand and look out the window.

And when I stick my head out of the window this is what I see ( I love touching the lumps of moss).

Other things that kept me busy was the kitchen, the weekend before last I was busy turning the green tomatoes I picked previously into chutney, golly there was a lot, I also did a small pot of apple jam. The tomato chutney was made following the Glutney recipe from River Cottage Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. This recipe is certainly a fail safe recipe for garden veg gluts and I’m always pleased with the outcome. The apple jam was made simply by equalling the weight of the chopped apples with brown sugar and I added some spices such as cloves, bay leaf, nutmeg, cinnamon, and mace. Stewed it down till it reached setting stage and bottled in sterilised jars. End result was 15 jars of chutney and 4 jars of apple jam.

Well I know it doesn’t seem that much but the above mentioned stuff along with everyday life and a husband recovering from some minors surgery (not to worry he’s fine, went back out to work today), my last two weeks have left me time poor and shattered, thankfully I made it to bed early Saturday and Sunday night so I’ll be feeling good as new soon.

Oh! by the way check out what I harvested from the greenhouse on the 21st of Nov, how cool is that! This is the result of my ‘Extending The Tomato Harvest Period Experiment’. I’m afraid I didn’t label the posts I mentioned it in before and now I can’t even find them to link back to. So I’ll try to briefly explain what it was/ is about. In latter part of June I took the removed side shoots of the outdoor grown tomatoes and rooted them in water in the greenhouse. As they grew they were potted up into pots at least twice before ending up in their final black bucket pots. I also restricted their growth to a cordon style and to a particular height of no more than roughly 3ft/ at least three trusses of flowers. The whole idea was to see if I could extend my outdoor tomatoes by growing their clones in the greenhouse which should crop a little later and longer because the plants are protected by the elements when the weather change for the worse. So far so good the autumn was uncharacteristically mild so that was definitely to the plants benefit. And as of right now there are ripe tomatoes outside in the greenhouse waiting to be picked. A couple of cuttings even made it inside on to the kitchen window sill but I kept these in much smaller pots which forced them to concentrate on ripening the fruits quicker. So the question remains home picked Christmas tomatoes? I’ll have to wait and see.

I almost forgot to update you on the progress of my South American root veg. the Yukon has had lovely tubers on them since October but I’m yet to harvest any and as of last week the oca has begun to grow tubers, nothing yet noticed on the ulluca though.

Anyhow! Here are some more photo updates on my pass blog hiatus period.

What I Got Up to in The Garden October into November.

Beds were cleared and weeded, the compost bin overflowed quite a few times as a result.

Tender plants were moved from the greenhouse to the conservatory (chili plants, sweet potato, Greek basil, lemon grass and Vietnamese coriander) and from outside into the greenhouse (the South American root veges: Yukon, oca and ulluca). I also moved my succulent hanging basket (which sits as the center piece of my vege garden mini pond) that I started this year into the greenhouse, for although the plants are hardy, there is quite a lot of water retaining crystals at the base of the basket. This would definitely cause water logging over the winter which may cause me to lose some of the plants.

The mini meadow area was strimmed down (I removed the seed heads carefully first) then the area was raked quite roughly to remove some of the faster growing grasses which opened up some bare soil. Then I distributed the seeds from the saved seed heads and the seeds I saved from the field poppies that grew elsewhere in the garden this year evenly over the area (some of the wheat and oat seeds were already germinating with the warm wet environment of mid October). I then netted the are to prevent the birds taking the seeds.

In October month I was still fortunate enough to be harvesting a few summer crops, with some like the runner beans giving of their last right into November.
08/10/09 - A continued bumper harvest of plum tomatoes made me a second batch of chunky tomato sauce.


15/10/09 - The very last of the patty pan squash and sweetcorn (eaten as baby sweetcorn and baby squashes) included in this harvest.

15/10/09 - The last of the container grown potatoes, a main crop variety.

15/10/09 - WHAT THE !!!!!!!! a little aubergine. It never did get much bigger than this, I ate it anyway :)

The borlotti beans shelled and chucked into the freezer because as you can see from the green beans not all got to dry on the plants or in their pods.

03/11/09 - The last harvest of the runnerbeans.

03/11/09 - A combination of outdoor and greenhouse tomatoes.

09/11/09 - Still harvesting outdoor and greenhouse tomatoes, picking enough to keep the two tomato bowls filled.
Other developments in the garden has been the self seeding of the 2008 over wintered parsley plants. As you can see the mild weather has encouraged a plethora of parsley seedlings in this years sweet corn bed and where I wanted them in the cracks of the brick footpath boarding the beds.

Well I think this blog post is more than long enough so I’ll end it here and will try to complete my October into November updates over the next couple of days.


  1. OMG girl you are my hero ! I am amazed at what you achieve and with 2 children, a husband and a home to run, not to mention the gardening, cooking and crafting, I'm worn out thinking about it. I love your posts I really do.
    Chill out now !!
    M xx

  2. Hero!!! Blush!!! Maureen I bruise easily so don't me on to high a pedestal, that way when I fall I still have a chance of landing on my feet :)

    But seriously I sometimes feel like I'm not actually doing enough or that I should be doing more.

    Writing a rereading my blog and the comments left by my blog's readers helps me to appreciate what I do and to not be so hard on myself.

    So thanks for caring enough to say "you go girl!" and for reminding me its ok to take it slow from time to time :)

  3. Wow, you've been busy, Kella. I'm impressed with your tomato experiment, you've done well.

  4. Thanks Jo, I'll definately be repeating this growing plan for tomatoes again next year, it has proven the extra time and effort is worth it.

  5. wow really had a bumper late crop...and so busy a time...but winter is fast approaching so maybe you'll have a little time to relax before the spring!!



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