Sunday, 27 August 2017

A change of scenery: from edible borders to flowery raised beds

We have a new project on the horizon. It's not absolutely certain yet but we're pretty sure we're going ahead. All will be revealed anon but until then I thought I'd show you what that means for the garden. 
The squash and pumpkin vines were so lousy with blight that they looked just dreadful and were dropping rotting leaves everywhere. So once I'd harvested the squashes I decided to cut them right back down (leaving a couple of squashes still to develop). I then pulled up all of the remaining root vegetables from the raised beds which looked dreadful after a month of neglect during our holiday. So I found myself with a couple of empty beds and as our new project is going to mean a total change in lifestyle, I realised that I had to plant them up with easy to maintain flowering bushes and perennial herbs. They look much neater now but I think it's so sad. I'd so much rather be sowing winter cruciferous vegetables and more roots than lavender. Don't they look boring by comparison to the edible opulence of before?

Sunday, 20 August 2017

Give that pumpkin the best seat in the house!

Pumpkin before
I've been generally pleased by the way that the pumpkins have grown vertically on a cane support in the garden. They actually haven't fruited that much but that appears to have been down to poor pollination as I've had loads of tiny pumpkins develop and simply rot on the vine. Our tiny urban garden is a lone patch of green in a patio-clad part of South West London and I suspect that there just aren't enough insects to do the work, although I've really enjoyed watching them frolic in the plants. Those of you that follow me on Instagram will know how proud I've been of this one giant pumpkin. I discovered it quite by accident when it started to outgrow the wall herb planter that it had sneakily colonised. It's been getting bigger and bigger and has been pulling my planter off the fence so today I decided that we need to give it a bit more support. That's not easy in such a tiny garden, so as it's late August, I made the decision to go for broke and put all of my hopes on that one fruit. So we removed the three canes that the vine has been climbing and leaned the plant over sideways to sit the pumpkin on a chair where (hopefully) it can continue to grow and swell in the sunlight. I do think it's funny that the pumpkin has a sort of muffin top where it was sitting in the wall planter! I'd actually be happy with the size the way it is but I think it can get a bit bigger, I'll give it until mid-September and then cut the pumpkin free to eat.

The pumpkin throne