New Year…..Great Expectations!

Having been AWOL for the last 6 months,I have made a new resolution that I will keep track of what is going on in my veggie garden this season. All I have planted so far is some garlic which is very slow growing in my tunnel. I have sorted my seed packets into months and have taken the Bedfordshire Champion onion seeds out of the box. 

The weather over the last couple of weeks has hampered any sowing or planting as the ground is just too sodden to do anything with. I have beds ready in the tunnel, but lack of enthusiasm has hampered me so far. I will get going soon though and take some pictures when there is something to show.

At least this is a start at blogging again and I hope you will have something to see soon 🙂

We did have some winter veggies right up until Christmas this year…

Christmas Day Veggies

Christmas Day Veggies

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What a Lovely Surprise !

I have been a gardener for many years,even before new technology brought the World Wide Web to my armchair. But over the last few years I have learned how to surf, google, and find gardening websites. It has opened a whole new world of  friends to me, especially because we have something in common. It is also nice to swap tips, ideas and advice with like-minded people. But the best of all are the friendships I have made. I believe that gardeners worldwide are the nicest bunch of people ever !

A dear gardening friend on a U.S. Garden Site,who seemed to “click” with me has just sent me the nicest box of fairy figurines for my fairy garden ! I cannot believe her genorosity and kindness to me…

 

 

Thank you so much,Bonnie. Now she will be always in my garden as well as my heart  🙂  I will now have to rearrange my fairy garden,having rushed out yesterday to weed and find what was in there already. Although, because of the special significance of the origin of these little dears, I was thinking of keeping them out back in my rockery where I would see them every evening while sitting and watching the sun set.

Everything in my veggie garden seems to love the weather we are having now, warmth and rain. Plants are shooting up every day and we are eating the fruits and veggies of our labor. Tomato plants are baring little fruits now and I can’t wait for that first taste again..

 

 

These are beefsteaks and I also have red and yellow cherrys,moneymaker,trailing pearl. I saved most of them from last years seeds.

Romanesco broccoli surprised me,I was away at my daughter’s for 2 days and came home to this…Yummy..!

 

 

The courgettes/zuchini are producing little ‘uns at an alarming rate. With 2 plants in the tunnel and 4 more outside,if anyone is coming to Cork in the near future please call for free samples..LOL!

 

They will soon be covering my row of Lettuces and Carrots…..why did I think I would have room for them in the tunnel ? 

 

 

I took out the broad beans and replaced them with some of the outside strawberries. I had netted from birds and pelleted from slugs, but I forgot that ants just LOVE strawberries too. They had eaten some of my biggest ones down to the core 😦 So now they also have collars on them in the hope of a few nice juicy ones without holes !

 

 

My outside cauliflowers and peas seem to be doing very well and not a hole or slug damage in sight…YET..!

 

 

These are my 2 brassica beds between the two tunnels. You can see my “new” compost bin made from old pallets in the background. I have savoy cabbage plants bought from the local garden centre, but I really think most of them look more like kale !

 

 

One last look down to the veggie garden from Nana and Grandad’s  Secret Garden…

 

Thank you for calling to see my garden and veggies, Happy Gardening to All 🙂

What Can I Say ?!?

Well…..what CAN I say ? I am just a procrastinator ! I have been putting off posting, or rather saying I will do it tomorrow. But I have made it here this evening eventually..LOL!

Since last month’s bad weather and then the turn to warm, gardening friendly …..dare I say IT…..? SUN !!  I have been sowing,planting and watching all the beautiful growth in the garden.

What with the warmth and the rain it was ideal conditions for the plants, but the growth was so fast, it took me by surprise and I had to rearrange beds for new arrivals. As plants grew, so did the weeds, so double work followed me everywhere.

We really did think that “Summer” had come at last. It did too…for 1 week…..remember ? 

Anyway, since my last post, if I can remember back that long ago, we have been harvesting and eating some of our veggies that had become dormant over the winter months.

The tunnel broad beans have been supplying us every second day for weeks. I pinched out the tops as I noticed new shoots were starting to grow from the roots. But as there is only so many beans one can eat in a week, they have become large  pods and taste bitter to me now. I have had my fill of broad beans and probably will give them a skip next year.

 

This one strawberry plant in the tunnel, I surrounded with a cut down milk carton and kept the dreaded slugs away and we got a nice few fruits, but a little more bitter than my tall tub of strawberries in our old hothouse.

 

 

 

I dug out the tunnel spuds because their stalks were so tall they were falling into other beds. I did have a “rummage” down below before digging them out to make sure there actually was something there and I was pleasantly surprised….we had a few dinners and with the smallies I made potato salad with my own chives , I love potato salad !

 

I found a place to get recycled pallets!!!!!!

This is my “New” coldframe….I walk past our local lawnmower shop every day now that I don’t have a car ;( and saw loads of pallets just leaning against their wall……In I go on the pretence of asking how much to fix a chainsaw 😉 and by the way Mr.Lawnmower Man…what do you do with all them pallets…..he said they try to find people to take them……EUREEEEKA !!!  I said I would be delighted to take them off your hands……so next delivery day at lawnmower shop, Hey Presto…..big truck outside my door with huge pallets….you all know how big those ride-ons are 🙂

Now I am his best non-paying customer….! He has even given me some of his old skirting boards from his house renovations! New beds…..new fences and soon..new compost bin. I just have to persuade Hubby to get his hammer and nails now!

Ooooh the first taste of those baby carrots….mmmm!

 

 

These I just broadcast in a raised bed in the tunnel and we have been eating these sweet babies most days for ages too, I never get fed up of carrots:)

 

Like peas in a pod….on average I got 8/9 peas in every pod…well peased..LOL!

But they did succumb to greenfly eventually, I guess it was my own fault for setting much to close together. But I have loads in the freezer 😉

On the 25th of May, this was the temp in my tunnel…

 

And that was with both doors open!!!

My young fella, Rossi, also has a bed in the “Sheebeen” and loves his sun spot !

He has his chain leash on to stop him jumping all over my plants while he is chasing flies, not because I am cruel…LOL!

We…Me, Hubby and Rossi had some pleasant evening sunsets in our garden..

Through the “Sheebeen” door….

 

Sitting with a nice glass of white wine spritzer at sunset……Bliss!

I have much more to show, but will stop for now. I will solemnly promise to TRY and post updates more frequently, but I also do not want to bore you all with my auld Irish ramblings 😉

Happy Gardening whatever the weather throws at us. We gardeners WILL survive 🙂

Cukes have Succumbed!

When I went down to open up my houses this morning, this is what I found…..

Frosted,wilted leaves. But the Cucumbers seem to be ok, so I decided to leave well alone for another day or two…

I will keep a good eye on them though and pick them if I think they won’t last on the vine!

What a beautiful autumn colour the Blueberry bush has! This is my first year with them so I have great hope of some fruit next year…

My seed and potting tunnel is doing a good job keeping seedlings warm,as I put bubble wrap between the frame and the plastic. With nightly frosts for the last week, Polly is around 15 degrees celsius at 11.a.m. each morning, and seems to be warmer than our house..thinking of moving down the garden for the winter..:)

We are also still able to go down in November and sit in their with Rossi for an hour before dark decends, It makes the winter seem shorter!

By The Way….

I have a male carrot too…Casper !

O.K…enough for today, talk soon again 🙂

Welcome to My Veggie Garden

           Welcome to my Veggie Garden !

Just the Two of Us

My name is Catherine and I live in the very south of Ireland on the outskirts of a city called Cork.

I have grown vegetables ,from now on called (veggies) for many years now. I suppose you could say that I started as a young girl, when I helped a neighbour who grew tomatoes in huge glasshouses for commercial use. I spent hours transplanting the seedlings and tending them first, then picking the ripe tomatoes and boxing them up for transportation to shops.

May I say here and now that I thought it only fair to taste the produce for health and safety reasons ! Well that’s my story and I’m sticking to it! In all my years growing up I can say that I NEVER lost the taste for those first tomatoes of the season!

Years later when I got married and we lived in my husband’s home-place, which is where we stil live to this day, the amount of garden we had behind the house warranted us digging and re-digging the overgrown land and trying our hand at a few veggies and of course some tomatoes ,since I had the “know-how” from way back!

From then on we got more adventurous each year and at the beginning of this year,February 2011,  I was made redundant from my job as a Care Assistant. So with a few “bob” in my pocket and a hoe or rake in my hand, I decided to invest in our future retirement by buying a 14ft.x20ft. polytunnel. 

This would help to extend the growing season and ensure that I would still be able to garden and produce nice healthy veggies, even in our more than unclement weather here in Ireland recently.

Since June I have not bought ANY supermarket veggies whatsoever! We have enjoyed  Cabbage,Turnips,Broccoli,Onions,Potatoes,Strawberries,Lettuce,Peas,Beans,Beetroot,Cauliflower, Carrots,Courgettes,KohlRabi,Peppers and not forgetting those Tomatoes.

   

                      So now in the early days of Nov.2011 I have the   tunnel almost full again for the weeks and hopefully months ahead. With Leeks,Celery,Beetroot,Snowball Turnips, and Letttuces all nestled together in a wind and rain free environment, and I am looking forward to tending them without getting blown away by high winds, gales and torrential downpours.

I invite you all to follow my progress through the coming weeks and months ahead!

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