Wednesday, 1 October 2014

End of month view: September 2014


September in the garden. Actually, I wasn't in the garden, as I was mainly off travelling with my best friend Kerri who was over from Oz for her 50th birthday. When I was around, I was too ME tired to do any gardening. This didn't seem to bother the garden too much...

In the Kitchen Garden, quite a few things have gone to seed. Some were intentional, such as the heritage varieties of peas, lettuce and dwarf french beans.
Saving seeds: Dwarf French Bean Ice Crystal Wax, plus Lettuce 'Bronze Arrow'
and Pea 'Lativan', the latter two from Heritage Seed Library.

I love the colour changes of Ice Crystal Wax - the drying pods on the right.

Others weren't intentional, such as my climbing french beans which weren't picked. However, it doesn't matter as I can use the beans in the pods in winter soups, so not really a problem!

I was rather excited to see that by the end of September the Kohl Rabi was really growing well. Am hoping to start cropping it by the end of October. I haven't covered these with netting to stop white cabbage moth as I have with other brassicas. This seems to have worked out ok. Am I lucky, or do white cabbage moth not have a taste for Kohl Rabi?!

My first fennel bulbs are almost ready to eat too. Mmmmmm.

And the Perennial Kale is growing for England (bottom right). I also haven't netted these. They have been chewed on a bit, but largely survive the depredations of white cabbage moth.

On the negative side, the tomatoes had barely started FINALLY going red or yellow before they got hit by blight. I had hoped to save seed from my Estonian Yellow Cherry tomatoes, but that's not going to happen after all. I'm starting to wonder why I bother with tomatoes.

Flowering in the garden in September has brought one surprise - Digitalis! Do other people get their foxgloves flowering later too, or is this just an odd occurrence?

So far no sight of any saffron crocus in the Strawberry Border, where I planted them. But the autumn Crocus, pulchellus, are flowering beautifully in the Cornus Border.
Crocus pulchellus (not sativis as originally listed. Thanks to @emmathegardener for advice.)

Slightly late to the party, but no less welcome, is Anemone hupehensis 'Splendens'. It is planted in the shadier end of the Shady Border so this may be why it didn't flower until the end of September, rather than from August as I expected.

Along the back fence, the nasturtiums and Salvia uliginosa continue to march towards domination.

As does the Helianthus 'Lemon Queen', growing almost over the young greengage tree.

To my great delight, Actaea simplex 'Brunette' finally flowered. It was worth the wait.

Signs of autumn have arrived in the Cornus Border. The leaves of the cornus shrubs are changing colour, and the colour on the red stems of Cornus alba 'Elegantissima' are stronger.

Going into October, the key tasks will be collecting the vegetable seeds that I'm saving, getting some weeding done, and planting out bulbs and corms. This will be done slowly, as the ME isn't great at the moment so I have little energy. But despite that, the fact I was away for much of the month, and doing a mind-wipe of the blighted tomatoes, I'm rather pleased how the garden was flowering and producing during September.

Overview from study

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End of month view is hosted by Helen Johnstone, aka @patientgardener. Visit Helen's blog for her September 2014 EOMV and links to other bloggers EOMV posts.

8 comments :

  1. Such a strange looking vegetable kohl rabi, no wonder the cabbage whites have had second thoughts. My brassicas this year all went to whitefly infestation, I'm really going to have to read up on that before next year. The flower garden is looking good too, I love that crocus and the actaea.
    I hope you are feeling better soon. Take care.

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  2. Kohl Rabi is strange, a bit alien like, which is kind of it's attraction. That and it's purple, my favourite colour, and tastes good roasted. I did net my other brassicas (dwarf kale, cauliflower, brussels etc) as I lost them in the past from failing to do so. I guess I should actually harvest the saffron from the crocus - it just looks so pretty as is though.

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  3. I love the skin colour of the Kohl rabi, so delicate and almost velvety. Your Actea is lovely, and I don't know why they are not more used in the garden, as I have found it to be reliable and quite eye catching, every year.Love your nasturtiums, and their steady march of victory. I think I will grow them next year, having seen yours.

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  4. I think your garden is looking really good Julieanne, though I am sorry the wretched ME has been putting you in the slow lane. Same here, I've just got to the point of spending more time out of bed than in it, just as the garden is tailing off! I have to admit that I have pretty much given up growing tomatoes outdoors, though I'll probably be unable to resist trying a couple of tumblers in pots again next year. Your kitchen garden is lookin fab though. I've just ordered some plug plants to take me over winter since I missed the window for sowing my own. I'm hoping the slightly cooler weather will deter the cabbage whites, but I am still pondering the best way to protect brassicas without it being ugly and still make weeding and harvesting easy...

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  5. Jane - I'm coming to think that Kohl Rabi is worth it just for it's attractions alone. I've only recently 'discovered' Actea and am a convert. Eye catching height and such pretty individual flowers up close. This was my best year ever for nasturtiums. I guess they like the space, and I'll definitely be adding some next year. Kind of hoping they will self seed in fact.

    Janet - yeh, the ME can really impact on your gardening, can't it. But in some ways it also makes me be a bit more considered - since I have so much time to just think about it when I cannot be in it! Trying to find an attractive way to cover brassicas isn't easy. My short-term solution have been some stiff black netting over canes, but this isn't easy to manage for lifting up so I can weed or pick the veg. After much investigation I'm going to invest in some of this: http://www.harrodhorticultural.com/butterfly-netting-soft-mesh-pid8147.html as it looks more pliable for access, and the clips should make it easier to open and close.

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    Replies
    1. I agree about the "more considered" thing, in fact I find it true of life in general nowadays, not just gardening! Re netting, that is good stuff, I have some, and because it is black it fades into the background surprisingly well (better than white enviromesh anyway). But I am still after a more convenient way to remove the cover for harvesting or weeding. More pondering required! Bed is a very good place to ponder such problems.

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  6. Your garden seemed to cope well whilst you were on your holidays, so too speak. Sorry to read that your ME is having an impact on what you are able to do right now too.
    Your Kohl Rabi is a real odd looking thing isn't it - I have heard of this on cooking programmes but never seen it growing.
    Glad your Actaea is flowering for you - isn't the scent amazing? Depending on the wind, I can smell it from all around the garden. Your garden is still looking quite lush with just a hint of autumn about it.

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  7. You have a lot going on in your garden right now, nice to see the vegetable patch looking so healthy. I grow tomatoes in containers for the first time and haven’t had any problem with blight. Maybe I have just been lucky? The Actaea simplex was a new one to me, gorgeous!
    I can identify with your health situation as I am in a similar situation. There are days where I just go out in the garden and look at it – and then go back in, too tired to do anything at all. If I can just manage 30 minutes or so of work I feel I have done something, and I try to be happy with that. From next month and until March or so everything in the garden happens at much slower pace, more suitable to my pace, and it will be easier to keep up :-)

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