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A green (and wet) garden


By peter


It’s been a while since I wrote about my garden, partly because of being busy (more on that later) and partly because my little strip of brown doesn’t seem to need much attention.

My tomatoes are staying resolutely green. Thanks to the weather, not one has signs of turning yet. Having said that, I’m glad they don’t have blight again with all the rain. All but one of the fruits on my chilli plants are green too; I’ll have to see how much they produce this year as the plants have more flowers than fruit at the moment and the bees are keeping themselves warm somewhere else.

Green tomatoes

Chillies with flowers, not fruit

My nasturtiums are all healthy despite having a glut of caterpillars dining on them. After the initial ‘pillar purge I stopped bothering too much about them; they’re not touching my veg and the nasturtiums grow faster than the remaining caterpillars can eat them. Thanks to Jacque’s blog showing what they look like, I’ve also started collecting the seeds from the nasturtiums.

My nasturtiums

Nasturtium seeds on plant

Nasturtium seed collection

I have bought some new additions of ornamental grasses and a few hostas. I’ve seen on GOY how much people like hostas so I thought I’d give them a go and bought a mixed set last week. However, I’ve also read how much slugs and snails like hostas so I am being a little bit over protective at the moment.

The hostas I bought are quite small – about appetizer size. Since they’re so small I don’t want to leave them outside at night in case one of my local al fresco diners is passing by. This has meant that each morning I put my hostas (and new grasses) outside but each evening I bring them into the lounge, safe from harm. Is that weird?

Hostas in the day time

Hostas safe indoors at night

Buying the plants has been a great help writing our new guides to buying online – oh, the sacrifices I make :D. I’m expecting a few more deliveries in the near future and will add reviews of each website I’ve used – you can add your own customer reviews too.

So that’s what I’ve been doing in my garden, but why else have I been busy?

Well, the 7th wedding of the year (yes, 7, and still one more to go) was my sister’s – my parents have had quite a year! When she returned from honeymoon last weekend she asked why my cake is on the website but not hers and made me promise to post a picture. It’s kind of flower related, so congratulations to my wonderful sister and husband, here it is :o)

My sister’s wedding cake

The whole wedding had a sunflower theme and the cake followed suit. My mum made everything this time, with help from a friend of hers, all the tiers are fruit cake and it’s 100% edible!

Hope you’re all well.

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Amazing that you're making so many sacrificies on behalf of GoY members. Thank you.
It helps to hear when your gardening hasn't gone exactly to plan.
If the site founders only grew healthy perfect plants, we might all give up - green with envy - just like the colour of our tomatoes, chillies and caterpillars.

Congrats. to your sister and her new husband. Well done your Mum and her friend on all the baking. I haven't seen photo of the cake yet. I bet it's truly scrumptious.

25 Sep, 2008


I replied to this prior to the photos appearing here !
Hopped off to the photo page to find the cake before it was all eaten up !

You ask, is it weird that you take your hostas and new grasses outside each morning but bring them indoors to a safe haven every evening.

I've thought long and hard about this...

Definitely the answer is ... 'No'.

In fact such acts show how very much you are totally in tune with wonderful and glorious GoY. :o)

25 Sep, 2008


Hi TT, You were quick replying :o) The cake is delicious, although I don't know if anyone's tried a sunflower yet.

My gardening mishaps are to be expected as I know almost nothing about gardening; I'm happy bumbling along though. Having said that, I have noticed I pick up bits from what people say on the site (like hostas being a favourite snack for slugs and sails).

One thing I've learnt is that even if you do have a plan, the chance of your garden following it are just about zero :-D

25 Sep, 2008


Yes, Peter ~

My current plan is to tidy my sheds -
weather permitting, so that means
during the next decade...

Via GoY, I'm learning so many interesting things.
Who would have thought in this amazing world there is an Autograph Tree, a Fishtail Palm and a Sausage Tree. :o)

25 Sep, 2008


great blog peter. well done your mam :-) i hope the rest of your partys go as well as that one. take care

25 Sep, 2008


Enjoyed your blog Peter, 7 weddings in a year! I didn't think couples got married now :))) and still one to go!!..
The wedding cake is Fabulous and "very this year" your mum is very Talented. 10 out of 10 from me...
Your Gardening Skills are shining through, Dont worry about the peppers, My sisters are the same, mostly flowers, and i wouldnt worry about leaving your new hostas/grasses out because the hostas are dying off now naturally, and i think they will leave the grasses alone, they dont go near mine.....Dee...

25 Sep, 2008


Well done Peter yes gardening is very much trial and error we ve all done it and still do.You seem to have stumbled upon companion planting .ie using alternative plants to discourage pests.The logic you express is excellent as nasturtiums will recover much quicker than your precious veg.

They also thrive on neglect- with so many weddings and other things to attend to they wont miss you too much.

25 Sep, 2008


hi peter , lovely summer themed cake, hope the sun shone on the special day!
funny how the wet weather has affected the garden this year, shrubs/grass looking great.
huge blackfly problem, slugs/snails a plenty , caterpillars everywhere.
extended runner bean season, still coming & still flowering, carrotts very poor, spuds so-so , toms ok-ish but they are in the greenhouse! peppers still green though.
cabbages / sprouts doing well, as are the squashes.
raspberries superb and still appearing.
rust on some leaves here and there.
so we saved time on watering duties and spent hours on pest control instead!!
pick your toms and put them in a draw, or a bag with a ripe bannana and they should ripen .thanks for everything on goy , much appreciated......steve

26 Sep, 2008


Hi Peter,
Transplant your Hostas into larger Terrcotta pots and use good quality compost as soon as possible. Don't bother to feed the Hostas this season as its too late now, and there will be plenty of food in the new compost.. A thin mulch around them with horticultural grit will help to protect them from slugs and snails.If the slugs attack them this year they will come up again next year.If you move them from indoors to outdoors each day they will become less hardy.Leave them outside now to harden them off and 'toughen up' for the winter.During the winter they can be left outdoors in their pots in a sheltered postion. They should be fine,then next spring when the new shoots appear give them some fish, blood and bone to give them a good feed. Keep the food away from the new shoots and don't overdo it .Then give them a shady spot, and plenty of food and water throughout next season and you should have a good display.The grasses can be transplanted into clay pots as well.Hope this helps,
Best wishes,

26 Sep, 2008


you should see my kitchen if a sharp frost is due overnight! The dogs tend to look a bit bemused when it all goes out again!
It's either that or a sea of white fleece depending on how much time I have.
It's perfectly normal......twitch........twitch....

27 Sep, 2008


Thanks for the complements on the cake and the advice everyone :o)

I paid heed yeterday and my new hostas and grasses were all left outside last night and are all fine this morning, no sign of midnight feasts.

Companion planting - check me out :o) A happy accident indeed, and I'll have plenty of seeds to do the same next year. Just more space I need now.

Grenville, you read my mind :o) I was thinking that the hostas would go well in my shady corner and pots would mean I can move them around easily if I change my mind. I wasn't in a rush but will get some bigger pots quick smart, thanks for the advice.

28 Sep, 2008


As I read this, I was worrying about the temp changes affecting your plants by lifting them out and in, but i see that grenville warned you. I also see that the nasturtiums did their job, decoying the butterflies from your precious veggies. The toms and chilli plants are looking good, though. For me, they are just as (if not more) delicious-looking as that brilliant cake!

29 Sep, 2008


I think I was worried about the slugs didn't even think about the temperature changes. A good lesson learnt, and in good time too :o) I think the chillies might have to be brought inside once the frosts start.

29 Sep, 2008


what a great blog, blundering is good i'm doing it as a constant but receive excellent guildance from GOY members so none to major as yet.

wonderful cake love the colour/flower choice bright ans cheerful perfect.

30 Sep, 2008


good luck with your new plant,s, i really thought i had all the snail,s in my garden, ha ha ha. sonny.

30 Sep, 2008

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