Kitchen garden #AtoZChallenge

There’s something about walking out of the backdoor and picking your own herbs for your meals. Whenever I see herbs in the supermarket looking all forlorn I wonder why people don’t buy the potted live versions and grow their own. You need little space as many can be grown in pots.

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My patio is, I guess, my kitchen garden. It’s got rosemary, chives, strawberries, sage, oregano, thyme, mint all within easy reach of my backdoor and kitchen. I could write a post about each one of these.

A2Z Mint

I struggle to grow borage, no idea why that is. I also seem to struggle to grow Thyme. Having said I’ve got it on the patio I couldn’t find it to take a picture. I think I keep putting it in a pot with oregano and the oregano wins out. I also keep getting confused between my oregano and marjoram.. I’m obviously not cooking as much as I used to. Need to change that.

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Actually, I’m not sure many of my herbs are particularly healthy, looking at them as I write this. Maybe I’m not using them enough or maybe it’s just the post winter blues. They’ll feel better soon, as the weather changes and I’ll move them to better places on the patio for them.

A2Z echinacea (2)

Chives, on the other hand are flourishing. Even after my friend helped clear up my patio for me recently without me having been explicit enough about what plants I cherish, the chives re-grew through the paving slabs as good as ever.

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I’d better say something about my rosemary.. The thing is, I’m not a ‘traditional’ gardener as you might have noticed. I let plants grow where they want to and one year I let a few too many hazel trees sprout up where I shouldn’t have, right in front of the amazing rosemary bush that had been in my garden for many years. This bush had provided numerous rosemary sprigs for some amazing roast dinners over the years. It was too late before I realised it had been too dry a year for both the hazel and rosemary to survive. Although I quickly removed the hazel, I think the shade had been too much for the rosemary and I’d left it too late. I know, it’s very sad, Rosemary died. I now have many new rosemary’s all wondering why I’m keeping them in little pots that they’re not very happy in. I don’t want to repeat the mistake and haven’t decided where to plant them yet.

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What herbs do you grow and have you any tips to help me keep my thyme in future? My Sage is doing ok but I think will benefit from being used a bit more. Oh what a shame, now what goes well with sage?

My AtoZ Blogging Challenge is all about gardening, Lynne style.

If you’ve enjoyed reading this post why not see what others are doing too during 2017 AtoZ Blogging challenge, look in the comments on the letter of the day blog or like their facebook page. I look forward to seeing you back here tomorrow.

Jasmine #atozchallenge

Both the winter Jasminum nudiflorum and summer Jasminum officinale survive the frost on my patio. They never grow much though and I think that’s more to do with not having something to grow on than anything else. I must get them something to train themselves to.

A2Z Summer jasmine leaves

It’s spring and I don’t have any pictures of my summer jasmine in flower, the pic above is of it now in leaf. Let me see if I can find the picture I took of the winter jasmine in flower a few months ago. It’s the first to flower on the patio each year. Here you go.

A2Z Winter jasmine flower

I love the idea that I can walk out onto my patio and smell jasmine.

A2Z Winter jasmine leaves

Then there’s this other plant. I’m sure it’s a jasmine but I’m also not sure. And come to think about it, I might have got the identification of the other two inaccurate too. Feel free to tell me what you think they are though I realise the images here are perhaps a bit more arty than descriptive. Oh well, what does it matter what they are? They give me pleasure, they’re staying alive and I’m trying to make their lives better each year.

A2Z Unidentified plant

A quick look at the Royal Horticultural Society web pages tells me I’ve got the identification of the two correct and that there are many winter and summer cultivars but, looking at the pictures, I now think the third might not be jasmine at all. It probably needs moving, re-potting and given something to grow on, then, when it flowers, I can re-identify it. Unless you clever readers can tell me what it is from this picture?

Jerusalem artichokes is a plant I also wanted to write about today but It’s dark, my artichoke seed packet’s in the greenhouse and I can’t remember if they’re Jerusalem or Globe. It’s the first time I’ve tried to grow artichokes. The seedlings look fab don’t you think and I’m looking forward to seeing what they turn into.

A2Z artichoke seedlings

Pictures on the internet tell me I want my seedlings to be globe artichokes not Jerusalem so they wouldn’t have fitted here anyway. They’re the ones I’ve enjoyed painting the shadows of. We don’t all have veg patches to provide food for our stomachs. Mine is as much, at times, about food for my creativity. Ahh, but that’s for another post.

My AtoZ Blogging Challenge is all about gardening, Lynne style.

If you’ve enjoyed reading this post why not see what others are doing too during 2017 AtoZ Blogging challenge, look in the comments on the letter of the day blog or like their facebook page. I look forward to seeing you back here tomorrow.

Ivy #atozchallenge

There’s a part of my garden that’s covered in Ivy. It’s welcome there. It’s not welcome when it tries to move onto and into my fences and my greenhouse. Where the ivy’s covering the fallen down Elder tree trunk and a large part of my *cough* lawn, it’s welcome. 

A2Z ivy

My AtoZ Blogging Challenge is all about gardening, Lynne style.

If you’ve enjoyed reading this post why not see what others are doing too during 2017 AtoZ Blogging challenge, look in the comments on the letter of the day blog or like their facebook page. I look forward to seeing you back here tomorrow.

Greenhouse #atozchallenge

This year I decided I wouldn’t do the AtoZ blogging challenge. Who was I kidding? One week in and I’ve decided to start and catch up at the same time. This is the last of my catch-up posts. Can’t quite believe it. Lunch over.

From tomorrow I’ll be back to I and the rest should follow in order.

A2Z greenhouse

What can I say.. I love having a greenhouse. Always have. I put a nice patio chair in there and, early in the mornings, sit and journal and ponder my gardening, day, week and life. My greenhouse is a bit haphazard but produces some amazing plants.

A2Z seedlings (2)

There are years when I’ve not managed to reach it very well as the garden’s got rather overgrown then years like this one when I can spend hours in there before others stir.

A2Z There's a greenhouse in there somewhere

My AtoZ Blogging Challenge is all about gardening, Lynne style.

If you’ve enjoyed reading this post why not see what others are doing too during 2017 AtoZ Blogging challenge, look in the comments on the letter of the day blog or like their facebook page. I look forward to seeing you back here tomorrow.

Fox #atozchallenge

This year I decided I wouldn’t do the AtoZ blogging challenge. Who was I kidding? One week in and I’ve decided to start and catch up at the same time. These catch-up posts are very short. Sometimes. This one is. More time to ponder and enjoy the sight of the fox wandering around in the garden. Just in case I’ve not mentioned it this is an urban garden in a very urban light industrial setting.

A2Z fox 

I’ve not seen her for a while and not got the best image but there’s a rather elderly looking fox which regularly visits my garden. She drinks from the gravel trays I fill with fresh water for the birds.

My AtoZ Blogging Challenge is all about gardening, Lynne style.

If you’ve enjoyed reading this post why not see what others are doing too during 2017 AtoZ Blogging challenge, look in the comments on the letter of the day blog or like their facebook page. I look forward to seeing you back here tomorrow.

 

Echinacea or Elder #AtoZchallenge

A few years ago my elder tree fell over. Thankfully it didn’t hit the greenhouse and fell into my garden not my neighbours. It was on a very windy evening and I’d not realised how fragile it was. I left it for a year then removed much of what had been the top and left the trunk. It’s a great feature of the garden. Whilst it means you have to climb over it there is another route to the end of the garden. The ivy on the trunk makes for a lovely seat and it gets the early morning sun in spring.

I’m looking forward to the flowers as I love to batter them and have them for breakfast.

A2Z echinacea (1)

When I came to post this I realised I didn’t have any pictures of my Elder tree in Flower or berry and I found this lovely picture of my Echinacea instead. Whilst many of you will be used to using Echinacea as a cold remedy here’s what the plant flowers look like. I love sketching them and their shadows. Must do that again when it flowers this year.

My AtoZ Blogging Challenge is all about gardening, Lynne style.

If you’ve enjoyed reading this post why not see what others are doing too during 2017 AtoZ Blogging challenge, look in the comments on the letter of the day blog or like their facebook page. I look forward to seeing you back here tomorrow.

 

Doves #atozchallenge

This week there was a moment when there were eight collared doves wandering around my garden and patio. It’s that time of year.

A2Z collared dove a

Here’s some pictures.

A2Z collared doves

Sorry for the short post. Trying to catch-up with myself during a lunch break. It’s amazing how quickly you can write these if they’re short with a few pictures.. Hope you’re A-Z’s going well. Please comment on mine and I’ll pop over when I finish work.

My AtoZ Blogging Challenge is all about gardening, Lynne style.

If you’ve enjoyed reading this post why not see what others are doing too during 2017 AtoZ Blogging challenge, look in the comments on the letter of the day blog or like their facebook page. I look forward to seeing you back here tomorrow.

Cherry tree #AtoZchallenge

This year I decided I wouldn’t the AtoZ blogging challenge. Who was I kidding? One week in and I’ve decided to start and catch up at the same time.

Here’s my C. Six days late.

My cherry tree is a bit of a dispute patch between me and my neighbour. It got a bit big for me to cope with. They kept cutting their side which meant it got a bit one sided. We both became worried it would fall. Recently we had a hilarious day with me trying to climb their ladder as they helped me cut my side too. It’s good when neighbours work together. There’s lots of blossom but it may be it’s last and it might be replaced by a young bramley apple tree.. (see A for the explanation of this one).

A2Z cherry blossom

Now, if it was a morello cherry tree like those on the other side of the street I’d have to find a way to keep it but as it is only the birds get to eat it. It makes for a gory day or two later in the year as the blackbirds and starlings have a gorge day and there’s cherry juice everywhere which I find amusing to watch. At the moment it’s as if it’s snowing in spring. Once the cherry blossom is pollinated by bees and other insects, the petals float down. Add a bit of wind and you get a simulated snow storm which is beautiful.

My AtoZ Blogging Challenge is all about gardening, Lynne style.

If you’ve enjoyed reading this post why not see what others are doing too during 2017 AtoZ Blogging challenge, look in the comments on the letter of the day blog or like their facebook page. I look forward to seeing you back here tomorrow.

Hazel #atozchallenge

Planting a species rich hedge in a town garden may have seemed like a good idea but it brings with it a huge responsibility. I inherited such a hedge from the previous owners, it was one of the things I liked about the garden, a real sense of countryside, I’ve got my own proper hedge.. How mistaken was I.

Some of the huge responsibility is that of maintenance and I’m not the best at maintaining such structures. It’s not like I can ask the local farmer to trim it while he’s driving past, or hope deer graze it to keep it down. I’m not sure how many deer inhabit this industrial estate I live on. And I never invested in a billhook to lay such hedge, maybe I should have but it’s a bit late now.

A2Z Hazel leaves

This hedge is more like a line of trees. There’s a whole variety I could talk about but specifically I get a funny satisfaction of having my own hazel coppice on rotation. This reminds me of the time I put a full sized garden into a small space for a butterfly display, as you do, the gardeners told me I’d never manage it. Everything grew to fit the space and no more and it was perfect. Ok I can do this, a mini hedge with perfect sized hazel coppice. If the rotation’s a 7 year one and I’ve got 7 trees for example, must go and count them, I’ll be fine, one a year.

A2Z hazel nuts

What hadn’t occurred to me and has only recently dawned on me is that I’m providing a steady diet for any mice in the neighbourhood.. Hmm..

My AtoZ Blogging Challenge is all about gardening, Lynne style.

If you’ve enjoyed reading this post why not see what others are doing too during 2017 AtoZ Blogging challenge, look in the comments on the letter of the day blog or like their facebook page. I look forward to seeing you back here tomorrow.

 

Blackcurrant #AtoZchallenge

This year there was no sign up so I didn’t and decided I wouldn’t do it this year. Who was I kidding? One week in I feel like I should be catching up.

Here’s my B. Seven days late. While it’s tempting to complete all the late ones and post in one go I think I’ll post two a day for the next week. The one that’s due on that day and the one from the previous week. Well my blog does say I’m random.. We’ll see. I’ll do what I can. It’s amazing I’m getting anything posting since I’d decided not to participate this year. What am I like, don’t answer that.

Ooh this could have been about my less than successful attempt to grow a bramley apple tree. I used that story for A. Are we covering blackberries as I spend my life torn between letting the garden become overtaken so I can have apple and blackberry crumble fresh from the garden.

A2Z blackcurrant flowers

No, B is for blackcurrant. I’m sure I’ve told this story before. My memory of growing up is that the blackcurrant bush in our garden didn’t do so well. The poor thing never fruited. Each year I’d be wishing it well so I could bake a blackcurrant tart and each year Dad would inform me that, yet again, it had been a bad year for blackcurrants. How gullable was I?

Move forward thirty years.

A2Z blackcurrants

My garden had one blackcurrant bush which has seeded and I now have many blackcurrant bushes. I’ve never had a bad year for blackcurrants. I’ve learnt that they fruit on last years canes. If you remove all of last years canes you won’t get any blackcurrants, that’s quite a hard thing to do each year. (Please don’t quote or follow this guidance, there’s proper horticultural advice out there, I’m no trained horticulturist and these are my own views. I may have remembered this completely wrong.)

My dad was a much better gardener than me and I’ve finally realised he probably didn’t like blackcurrants! It makes me smile each time I think of what he did to make sure that bush wouldn’t fruit. In those days we topped and tailed the blackcurrants, something I wouldn’t dream of today. I take any stalks off which have managed to stay on as I harvest the fruit. Each year I get enough for a pie, some for the freezer and share the rest with the birds that live around here.

A2Z bluebells

Since I only have one pic of Blackcurrants in fruit, they’re not out yet here’s a pic of my bluebells which aren’t out yet either and I’ll update you later on what they look like when they’re in flower. I’ve suddenly come up with lots more B words I could have used.. Blackbird, Bee, Buddleigh and Bean.

A2Z buddleigh bee

My AtoZ Blogging Challenge is all about gardening, Lynne style.

If you’ve enjoyed reading this post why not see what others are doing too during 2017 AtoZ Blogging challenge, look in the comments on the letter of the day blog or like their facebook page. I look forward to seeing you back here tomorrow.