Now its already early autumn, with so many showers it does feel like the summer has been a good one for the garden but not necessarily for gardeners! I’m a bit of a fair weather gardener and I really didn’t like the high winds we seemed to get most of this year. When more seed compost ends up in your tea than in the pot, its time to work in the kitchen… Note for me – tidy up the shed for use next year – prevent gritty tea!

On a good note my fruit trees has been a real delight as this is only their second year in the garden, so I must have planted them in the right place and watered them just the right amount. I may need to net the dwarf cherry tree next year to give the fruit a chance to fully ripen. There where occasions whilst picking them that the resident dictator Blackbird was swearing at me as I was in his way! The Greengage was a total success though, with the local fruit stealing birds not realizing that they’re just green plums. They missed out and I got the pick of the sweetest fruit for over 3 weeks, though I left the last 4 or 5 for the wasps to munch on. I need them to survive the winter hibernating, or wherever they migrate to, ready to keep down next year’s aphid population.

I don’t tend to grow much in the way of vegetables as the soil really isn’t good enough yet, too compacted from being a lawn for 20 years, also I haven’t made up my mind on where best to put the veg plot. I did pop a single small courgette plant in the flower bed and it has woven its way between the dahlia plants to produce bountiful amounts of veg. I didn’t notice the first one till it had grown up to become a marrow, but after I devoured that one, more flowers were produced and the tasty veg right behind them.

If I catch them early enough I like to cook the flowers as well, sliced and stir fried or cooked as crisps is my preference. They are greedy plants and require plenty of feed and regular watering; other wise the baby veg might rot off and we don’t want that! As we are now getting close to All Hallows Eve, remember – a pumpkin is for eating as well http://www.jamieoliver.com/news-and-features/features/how-to-roast-pumpkin-seeds/#!8

The one plant I’m hoping to grow next year is a globe artichoke. It’s related to the thistle and they get to about 6ft tall, the edible part is its large flower. Apparently Henry VIII ate them in great quantities and in the 16 century women where banned from eating them such was their reputation for increasing passion! I’m definitely going to give them a go;) Any advice on growing them gratefully received. I’m hoping to get some suckers or slips from the amazing specimens at the Green Back Yard, Peterborough’s community allotment, this is the Facebook site if anyone is gardenless and feels the need to weed in the area! https://www.facebook.com/groups/friendsofGBY/

You don’t have to have an allotment or garden to grow edibles; I keep pots of herbs on the window sill and use them every day in cooking. My favorites are the Chili pepper plants; these are easily available from garden centers and even supermarkets. There are even specialist growers out there to cater for all levels of your spicy requirements. Chili plants can last up to 3 years, some reports claim even longer, my potted one is only 2 years old, and has done well grown outside this summer. They don’t like cold and damp so Ill bring it in now to the windowsill, and hopefully it will keep going till next year ready for another crop. The fruit freeze well, just pick them off when ripe and pop them into a freezer bag, but be warned as the heat they contain tends to increase after being frozen, a tad ironic!

Posted by anglianblog