Monday, 19 June 2017

First proper harvest of the year

We've been harvesting lettuce from the greenhouse for a while, but this weekend we harvested our first  'proper' veg - a courgette! It was delicious, they are so much firmer when freshly picked than the ones you get from the supermarket. Big Girl and I had it sliced and grilled with sliced red pepper and halloumi in a burger bun, with chips and salad. 
I'm not new to veg growing, we had a 30m x 30m veg garden in New Zealand and grew everything from carrots to giant water melons. The problem is it was so big an area we spent more time keeping on top of the weeds than actual planting. So it's quite nice now to have a little garden big enough to have some spare space to grow a few fruit/veg but also small enough to maintain. 

Lots of perfect shiny red cherries, unfortunately it is an ornamental cherry tree, so the fruits are tiny, about a fifth of the size of a normal cherry....

A raspberry bush, bought for a few pounds from Morrisons. It struggled in the first year, but seems to be improving with time. Okay, it wouldn't win any beauty contests but they taste good so that's all that matters. I won't be making raspberry jam any time soon but I get one or two fruits when I pass by. 

A dwarf apple tree, Fiesta (Red Pippin) bought recently from a plant nursery sale. I didn't know until I got home though that it needed a pollinating partner. It had about six small apples on it when I got it, now there is only one left....

I have several planters with strawberries in them. I decided to inter plant the strawberries in this one with lobelia, with the idea it may confuse the birds and they won't notice the strawberries. Seems to be working so far, as it isn't netted and we don't seem to be losing any. 

Another Morrisons buy, this time a blueberry bush. There's quite a decent crop this year, let's hope we beat the birds to these too...

I like a cottage garden planting style, intermingling flowers with veg. In this spot I have put in some courgettes, lettuce and a Brussels sprout plant amongst the sunflowers and achilleas....

Update - it's been a few weeks since I wrote this blog post, and with the bit of rain we have had lately the plants have shot up...

The courgette plants are exploding, I think if you stood still and watched you would actually see the courgettes growing! I picked these on the weekend...

Now just five days later I popped outside to take some photos and spotted this...

In New Zealand we had pigs and chickens who would happily polish off the surplus courgettes, over here I just have to donate them to any passing friends/family/neighbours. If I get desperate I even hand them over to any visiting workmen, meter readers... I think I need to buy a spiralizer, like this one. Courgette noodles sound quite tasty, and apparently only need boiling for 20 seconds!

The tomatoes are ripening nicely in the greenhouse, though the plants don't seem as full of fruits as recent years, and on some of the trusses the fruit seems quite spaced out.

More strawberries...

And finally, pumpkins! Big Girl planted these, and they are shooting up. She planted them near a pile of rocks, as we thought the pumpkins might like the heat from the rocks to help them grow. Now they are growing though I am beginning to think it may have been a mistake - will the pumpkins just grow to fit the space, and have rock shaped dents in them? I think I may sit them on a bit of foam or something similar to give their bottoms a bit of protection. 

So that's what is growing in the garden at the moment. Plenty to keep me busy in the kitchen. 

Speak soon, lots to tell you!


  1. Your courgettes look yummy. I'm inundated with cucumbers at the moment and there's only so much cucumber, pea and mint soup that you can eat! I've spent a merry couple of hours weeding our veggie patch this morning. I quite enjoy weeding after rain, but I feel I may have mistimed it - I'm just off for an eye test and my eyes are now really itchy! Your daughter's pumpkins are looking fantastic - remember to save one for Hallowe'en. xx

    1. Claire@homesweethome201528 July 2017 at 11:11

      I remember when we had gluts of cucumbers, I was lucky enough to have a daughter who used to eat whole ones at a time like sweets! I desperately need to get out and weed too, fancy coming and doing mine too?! X