Sunday, 26 September 2010

Autumn Weekend

A good weekend for putzing around and finishing up little jobs.

Glorious weather during the day although Friday night/Saturday morning the greenhouse temp got down to 3.1 degrees and there was frost under the hedge on the other side of the road. Colder on Sunday morning with frost over both cars and a chilly greenhouse:

Put tension bolts onto the gate springs, cut all the remaining larch slab to make fronts for the grass bin and two of the compost bins.

Half rescued another wild rose from the escallonia hedge at the front, but it needs some serious pruning in order to bring it under control and train it along the fedge, that can wait until the hips are over.

Bought bulbs and some lovely cyclamen, so Management helped me take down all the Hay Racks and I will replant them for the winter. The baskets have looked good this summer but the Fuschia were a slight mistake - I couldn't see the blooms properly from the balcony and when I was lax about deadheading, the spent flowers fell all over the drive.

The potager is looking very tired. Disappointingly I have only three pumpkins and after the frost I brought them into the greenhouse, hopefully they will continue to ripen. Have found only one Butternut Squash - none of the curcubits liked this bed, I think they want more sun in future. Although the yield is very low I am not completely disheartened - obviously got more to learn and next year is another chance to do it better.

Cut down some sunflower heads to save seeds for next year but have left the majority for the birds, the Great Tits think that GYO bird food is more than acceptable but I haven't managed to photograph them yet. The stems are hollowing out and when the plants fall over I'll pile up the stems somewhere for bugs to overwinter.

Had a lovely pre-winter tidy up in the shed, acquiring an old rug as extra flooring and evicting all the flowerpots into the small shed which had freed up loads of space.

I must knuckle down and have a serious pot washing session.


  1. Blogger feeling peckish again - I wonder if I can remember what wanted to post...

    You're right not to be disheartened about the squash - although BNS are the most popular in the supermarket, they do need a long season, which isn't ideal here. I've never done very well with them - this year, 3 fruit on 2 plants, I think.

    Different squash have very varied fruit (although all seem to have plans of world domination in the growth department) - I grew one a couple of years ago which had about 40 tennis ball sized fruit on per plant (which were bit little once you'd got the seeds out) and the red kuri is excellent with about half a dozen sensible sized (i.e. big enough to share, small enough to be able to actually pick up!) fruit on each plant.

    You might be right about the bed not suiting, though - although my Bag End pumpkin is about the same size as yours, it's that magnificent orange all over. I must get it in, with the cooler nights - so that's the first thing written on my next List...

    No reason why yours won't cure in the g/h - although they don't keep forever, they should be good until Christmas.

    I must remember to get the sunflower heads in too - although this year I will dry them out in the mini g/h so that I avoid a repeat of last year's woodlouse infestation in the attic room...

  2. Hi Jayne, this is the third time I have tried to post, hopefully I will be successful.

    Love your compost boxes....they look very rustic.
    Mine were free and are made of plastic. Not exactly what I wanted but I could not turn the offer down. I put a willow screen up to hide them.

    I love cyclamen but have never been very successful with them. I tried some in the ground last year......not a good idea.

    Hope your pumpkins ripen.....

  3. Cheryl, nothing on Blogger status or forums but so many people having problems with comments right now.

    Thanks for all your encouragement, your lovely garden is where I would love Bag End to be in a few years time :}

  4. Hazel, thank you for persevering despite Blogger's attempts to thwart comments!

    Very much appreciate all your advice and support, one day I would love to produce as much as you do :}

  5. I've never managed very well with butternuts either. I have had a few worth eating, but never any as big as the ones in the supermarket. I keep trying every year (though I was waaaaaayyyyy too late this year, just a few tiddlers - nothing that we'll be able to eat). We now mostly grow uchiki kuri and turk's turban. Both very nice - in fact we had roasted U/K for tea - yum!

  6. Thanks Julia, I will try different varieties next year. The pumpkins are unnamed, saved seed last autumn from one we received via an organic box; it was the best I'd ever tasted. As Hazel said, it is however, somewhat on the large side ... just for a giggle I must weigh them tomorrow.

  7. Cyclamen will keep going for ever - I have some I put in the garden about 8 years ago and they cheer me up at this time every year.

    PS I don't wash pots. You haven't got OCD have you? I have OSD - Obsessive Slob Disorder!

  8. Thanks VH, SewAli bought me a lovely little cyclamen just before the floods last year and it flowered its little heart out for months, will be adding it to the hayracks.

    I wouldn't put you in the OSD camp - I can think of a lot of people who qualify for that way ahead of you :}

  9. Good Grief!!! I think Sue is right, you do need to sleep faster. What an amazing place you live. I may just move a trailer into your backyard and enjoy myself. I don't even keep up with my teeny tiny bit of ground I call a yard. I do nag my husband, who retired from EVERYTHING, to get out there and clean up tho. I can see why you hope for rain so you can stay inside and read!

  10. Thank you Lynda, we know how blessed we are to be in this fabulous location, but it is hard work sometimes :}


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