Saturday, 9 August 2014

The Garden in August

It's hard to believe we're into August already. The days are getting noticeably shorter and the weather is cooling. We've had a lot of rain. Why is it that, just because July was so hot and dry, we have to get all the stored up rain dumped on us over the space of a few days? I've got totally soaked several times even though I had a coat and umbrella.

Anyway, this is a great time of year in the garden so this is just a bit of a tour round ours so you can see what's happening.

On the vegetable front we are still eating the Rooster potatoes. This is them scrubbed up ready to cook.


These blue potatoes are now ready for eating too. Their skins are a deep purplish blue and, surprise, surprise, so is the flesh.


The courgettes are almost ready; I don't like them to get too big.


There are Brussels sprouts coming along and some cauliflower just about big enough to use.



We've been eating the butter beans and frozen some (after blanching). They are almost finished now.




I love the inside of the bean pod. It's so silky soft.


We've also been eating these turnips. they're delicious when they're still small. I just boil them for about five minutes and then fry them in a small amount of butter and demerara sugar.


There are tomatoes a-plenty. We're eating them as they ripen but also freezing a considerable amount to be used later for making pasta sauce.

One picking of tomatoes
 
And they just keep coming
The onions are ready for eating now though they haven't been lifted and dried yet for storing over the winter. The garlic is drying and I've started using it.


This tray of sliced onions had my eyes watering until I couldn't see a thing and had to stop slicing every so often until they were all done. I cooked them in the Aga and served them with sirloin steak, potatoes, garlic and beans.


Let's see what fruit there is. There's a great crop of blackberries to come. They are still nowhere near ripe - these are our cultivated ones - though the wild ones in the hedge are further on.


There are apples growing espalier-fashion on the pergola.


We have only one pear tree, a Conference variety, and it's doing very well this year. Last year was a disaster; not a single pear was harvested. A few started to grow but didn't mature.



There is also only one plum tree in the garden; this is a Victoria plum. As with the pears, there were no plums last year. There are so many plums this year that the fruit laden branches are bent to the ground.



We always get a good harvest of apples as we have about half a dozen trees of different varieties.








Hope you like pictures of apples! I have to admit that, although I'm delighted we're going to have so much fruit to pick, there's also a slight feeling of panic that comes over me at this time of year; the nagging question - 'what am I going to do with all this fruit that's all going to be ready to use at, more or less, the same time?' I'm just a panicker; it all works out in the end! By the way, there's also a mountain of grapes in the greenhouse that's ready for picking. Usually I make grape jelly or cordial; using the grapes on their own or mixed with other fruit. Grapes freeze very well so I will probably freeze quite a lot and use it later over the autumn and winter.

So now the flowers. The roses, sweet pea, geraniums and annuals are all continuing to flower.




Gladioli are now strutting their stuff. They are so big and bold. There's plenty more of them to come.



There is a solitary sunflower among the vegetables.


I'm still loving this sea holly (Eryngium). The colour is more vivid in real life.


Now, what do you think of this gorgeous wee robin who came for a bath? He seemed to really enjoy splashing about in this puddle, left in our drive after a very heavy shower.


Then he retreated to a flower bed to dry off.


It won't be long now until we extract the honey. I'm looking forward to telling you all about it.

Enjoy what remains of summer (or look forward to the coming of summer if you're in the southern hemisphere).

All the best for now.

23 comments:

  1. OMG I have just discovered your blog and I am in love with your garden. What a lovely outcome you have this year. Looking forward to more of that come autumt. Have a nice week end.

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  2. Hello Gillian

    Thank you, thank you so much for sharing your garden pictures with us, I love, love how you grow all you own vegtables.
    I am so looking forward to the Autumn season in your garden.

    luv
    irene
    xxxx

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    1. Here's hoping it will be plentiful!

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  3. Your produce looks fabulous, I've been making courgettes cakes quite a lot recently as we seem to have a glut of courgettes at the moment. Thank you for nominating me for the award and will hopefully forfill my obligations soon.
    Gillx

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    1. I'm looking forward to your post.

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  4. You have so much loveliness in your garden right now!! The veggies all look amazing and must taste even better I am sure. I am always up for seeing a beautiful photo of apples as well. It is great to know that grapes freeze well, we have a vine with lots of grapes this year, usually we leave them for the birds as they have very tough skins and can be a bit bitter - I think that they are wine grapes, but if I can freeze them when they ripen I can then perhaps make them into jelly when I get the time! We will have to see. I look forward to hearing what you do with yours. xx

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    1. Thanks for all your lovely comments Amy. I need to get caught up on other's blogs this weekend. I'm looking forward to reading your Liebster award post.

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    2. Spellchecker changed others' to other's. How annoying!

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  5. You have a lot of great variety. I love seeing your apples. I just have one tree but I try to make as much use of my apples as I can every year. We're having a very good year for them and I'm thinking about what I want to do with them. Your tomatoes look great, I would love to help you eat them up. :)

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    1. The tomatoes are delicious. Much nicer than bought ones.

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  6. I'd love to have a garden like yours with all that homegrown fruit and veg. I try hard but all I manage is a bit of lettuce and few herbs and some rhubarb! I do have some ripe tomatoes in containers though so I am pleased with that. What a pity the good weather in NI seems to have come to an end - we visiting next weekend.

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    1. The weather this weekend is absolutely dire!! But maybe that will be the end of it for a while and next weekend will be reasonable.

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  7. It's been very rainy over here too, and windy. Looks as though autumn is announcing itself.
    That pear tree looks gorgeous. We don't have any fruit trees, but I would certainly love one.

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    1. Fruit trees are easy enough to grow. They don't get too big - you want to be able to pick the fruit. You can even get patio sized trees.

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  8. Wow so great vegetables and wonderful fruit, you are a good gardener, I'm impressed.
    Beautiful flowers too, your garden must be like an oasis.

    Thanks for the look that was exciting.

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    1. My husband does most of the gardening. I use it all.

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  9. Hi Gillian,

    Lovely photos, all those yummy vegetables make me hungry, haha! You must have an amazing garden, producing so much goodness! I'm starting to wonder how on earth you get time to do a bit of crochet!!!?

    Sitting here (going on midnight!) and trying to finish off that baby blanket, using my iron will (well, most of the time, until I come across another irresistable blog entry and I just have to give in and check it out! Oh no, at this rate it will take even longer!!!)

    Wishing you a happy week ahead!
    Ingrid xx
    http://myfunkycrochet.blogspot.be/

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    1. I don't get as much time as I'd like for crochet.

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  10. Those apples look gorgeous. And that poor little bird is looking a little worse for wear! xxx

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    1. The robin looked very bedraggled but it thoroughly enjoyed its bath!

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  11. I have never in my life heard of a blue potato!
    The saying is true... you learn something new every day!
    You have a phenomenal garden!
    Tammy x

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    1. I've had blue potatoes before but nothing like these. Previous blues I've seen are basically white with a blue-ish skin and white flesh.

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