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Autumn where art thou?


A little cooler in the mornings but still very hot during the day and still the vegetables keep producing (at least the beans have packed up)…..Am I the only one who reaches a point where they have just about had enough of processing the tomatoes, courgettes, cabbages, beans etc etc….I just can’t bear pulling things up when they are still fruiting.

I am the same with spring flowers when I want to put in summer bedding. I need the space now in the garden for planting other things…i.e. onions and garlic, but the summer stuff lingers on. I shall want to plant my bulbs soon but the begonias, trailing geraniums and busy lizzies are going to be in the way and I feel mean turfing them out while in flower.

Very good crop of leeks which we are starting to enjoy. The parsnips look good but I shall wait a while for them, rain is forecast for tomorrow which can only improve them. The little “navets”, pink and white turnips were a big failure this year and the swede are remaining small, it is just lack of water. A very dry year and as I only water beans and salad crops from the water butts, even with water my ridge cucumbers were iffy.

Amazingly the beetroot were really good and went on and on. I even planted on the “thinnings” which produced another good crop and no sign of bolting. Unlike the lettuce that shot up as I looked at them! I have left the pick and come again lettuce in flower for the last of the butterflies and bees to land on and done the same with the radish I had enough of eating!!

The best crop of tomatoes ever!!! The little red and yellow ones have been incredible. They are against a west facing wall and so prolific, I have hardly had to water them since beginning of July. They have so much greenery they have protected themselves from dehydration and I am picking a bowlful a day, we eat them like sweets.

Flowers still giving colour are some of the Lavender, a second wind of the Shasta Daisies (although shorter!), Marigolds, Californian Poppy and the Heart leaf Oxeye which is a tremendous cutting flower, a vaseful lasts nearly a week and really looks lovely. My new plant the lovely red hardy Salvia has trebled in size and keeps blooming, I think I shall be able to break it up next Spring into lots of (free) small plants. The Hibiscus is now covered in flowers and even the Buddlea is still going. I have big plans next year for late summer blooms and I shall be raiding garden centres for seeds in the Spring!


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Yes, I'm with you about the processing, although this year we grew fewer beans - no Runners, just French Beans - and as we are leaving the rest to dry for stews I finished processing those several weeks ago. It's tomato time now!

17 Sep, 2010


Runner beans frozen are such a disappointment aren't they Nariz. I have a fav recipe for Spicy Tomato Relish that goes great with burgers, so I have made a few big jars of that and lots of Italian Tomato Sauce for the freezer. I have even made my own passata this year for the first time, I thought it would be useful to use with lots of recipes.

17 Sep, 2010


Lots of plants flower for longer than they are wanted in a flower bed. That's why I have such a disorganised garden. I can just stick anything anywhere at any time, and it doesn't matter.

18 Sep, 2010


OOh! Troddles! Let's have your recipe for Spicy Tomato Relish pleeeeeese :o)))))) I've looked at a few recipes for it but they didn't appeal to me. Perhaps yours will be the winner?

19 Sep, 2010


Nariz, how does this look? I have been making it for about 20 anyway obviously I have not stuck rigidly to the recipe every time, it copes with adjustments!

Spicy Tomato Relish

1 kilo Tomatoes (I don't skin can if you like)
1 large green capsicum
Couple of hot green chillies(if you have them)
1/2 kilo onions
2 large garlic cloves
1/2 kilo cooking apples (any apples that "fall" well)
Approx 250 ml vinegar
300 gm soft brown sugar
15 ml salt
15 ml paprika
10 ml prepared mustard (english pref)
5 ml hot chili powder
5 ml Worcester sauce
100 gm tomato paste (approx)
muslin bag of mixed spices, peppercorns, cloves, bay leaf,mustard seed (whatever)

1. Chop tomatoes and put in saucepan. De-seed pepper and cut flesh into strips.
2.Chop or coarsely grate onions. Peel, core and cloce apples. Chop garlic.
3.Add green pepper, chillies, onions, apples and garlic to pan with half of the vinegar.
4.Cover and simmer until onions are soft.
5.Add all remaining ingredients and stir over a low heat until sugar dissolves.
6.Cook,uncovered until relish thickens to a jam-like consistency. Stir frequently.
7.Remove bag of spices then pot and cover.

Leave for 2 months minimum before eating.....VERY IMPORTANT....The taste changes completely the longer you keep it. Even 6 months if poss it is much nicer and more mellow.

20 Sep, 2010


Looks brilliant! Can't wait to try it. Thanks!

20 Sep, 2010

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