So I have been missing from the Six on Saturday slot for a while. All has been quiet in the garden, but things are beginning to stir. (Apologies for picture quality this week – photos taken with phone and not camera).
Look – the first snowdrops!
And the first hellebore.
Under the shelter of the porch, two foxgloves have decided to self-seed.
We have a new bird bath. Our wild birds often use the pond for a wash, but hoping they will like this too.
They may wait for warmer weather though. We had the tiniest sprinkling of snow this morning, over frost. Hoping for a little bit more tomorrow.
Definitely the time of year for potato and leek soup.
Today we woke to the first frost of the season, with more forecast for tonight. So it is the end of the runner beans, courgettes and no more opportunity for the world’s smallest pumpkin to get any bigger for Halloween! It about the size of my fist. It was just not warm enough for the squashees and pumpkins this year.
2. I thought I might be able to salvage some of the remaining runner beans but they were soft and not very appetizing. There are a few dwarf ones left in the greenhouse.
3. Plenty brassicas to keep us fed though and the leaves of the kale were looking rather good in the frost.
4. We didn’t get many blueberries either this year but the last remaining berry and the reddening leaves also looked nice in the frost.
5. A self-seeded fennel, also with frost crystals.
6. And finally this week some parsnip seeds, looking very autumnal.
Here we had a lovely warm sunny day, better that most of the days we had in August. The warmer temperatures the last week have finally brought out the asters which were stubbornly refusing to flower.
The first is a pink one. Not many flowers but the poor thing is living in a pot waiting for a nice bed to find a home in. I think I have the place now – not sure if it would be best planted out once it has finshed flowering or to wait till the spring.
2. A purple aster with smaller flowers. This one at least is in a flower bed.
3. Next this week is a late flowering opium poppy with a common carder bee.
4. A bit of a caterpillar infestation on the ragged jack kale!
5. A marrow that will hopefully make its way to be chutney with some of the green tomatoes in the greenhouse.
6. And finally this week I just liked this pattern on a beetroot we had for dinner so I thought I would share it.
Yes it is definitely feeling autumnal now. So first this week some apples.
Crab apples. This tree was packed with blossom earlier in the year and we have some fruits but not as much as other years. They are also a bit scaby.
2. Another apple – this time an eater – a Bardsey. Again very few fruit but one of the few which has fruited this year (we had a very late frost).
3. Chilli peppers in the greenhouse. I just had one plant, but it has a good crop so I will probably dry them.
4. Caterpillar damage on the brassicas – mostly in the polytunnel. The netted beds outside are generally okay.
5. Now this one is puzzling. This is purple sprouting broccoli which isn’t relay supposed to produce broccoli till spring – so is it just very confused or did I plant it too early? I shouldn’t complain though as I will enjoy eating it.
6. And finally two of our seven chicks . They are growing quick.
Hard to believe we are heading into the last week of August. So here is the six from this week’s garden.
Despite the damp morning this large white was hanging about.
2. It could probably smell these – brassicas. The wet summer has suited pretty much all our brassicas and they are doing well – but netting is essential to keep at least the majority of butterflies out.
3. Cucumbers have been coming but not in any quantity – I think it may not be hot enough for them, even in the greenhouse.
4. Another item that is scarce this year is fruit. I counted four pears on this tree today and that is all the pears from three trees and apples are equally scarce. I blame the late May frost.
5. This on the other hand was a success. I collected some bloody cranesbill, Geranium sanguineum, seed from wild plants growing in the Burren last year and have managed to grow two plants. I don’t think they are frost hardy so I am going to keep them in the polytunnel in pots.*UPDATE – Thanks to Eliza for spotting that this is probably not Geranium sanguineum but possibly Geranium sylvaticum, in which case it is not from the Burren but from seed from a friend’s garden!
6. And finally this week – one of my favourite later summer wildflowers – devils bit scabious in the meadow.