Sunday, 22 July 2012

Sutherland Show 2012

Sutherland Show took place yesterday and was blessed with the first good day of sun we have had in quite a while. I wnt over in the morning and although I had little of my own to bench in the Flower Show, with the help of a couple of the gardens I work in, I managed to take a few exhibits along. As a result, I came away with some cards which was a real bonus. I also caught up with some friends who I haven't seen since last years show season and that is always the best part. As you would imagine, the weather (or lack of good weather to be precise) was the main talking point, with quite a few veg showers bemoaning the poor size of their leeks and onions compared to other seasons. Anyway, here are a few pics I took on the day, with captions where appropriate....

Top Tray won by Wattie McBeath from The Doll

And I got a second for this vase (alright I used a bucket !) of garden flowers - all from Scotsburn Garden, the subject of my other blog, where I work on Tuesdays.

Castle Garden July

Thought I'd post pics of  some of the things growing at Ballone Castle in the courtyard garden at the moment.
First offhere are the grapes growing in the greenhouse. Both vines are heavy with grapes and I've already thinned the bunches out once and cut back extraneous foliage - the next step will be the thinning of the actual bunches themselves

Outside we have some pretty impressive cardoon thistles that are between 7 and 8 ft tall and almost ready to produce their lovely purple flowers

And some striking red lilies...

And not to be outdone, the Rambling Rector Rose is giving it loads.....

As are the Floribunda roses......

As I was at Sutherland Show yesterday, I was working at the castle today. I trimmed the hedges in the courtyard garden and then picked in the region of 30 litres (don't ask me what weight but heavy enough) of goosegogs from 5 bushes -- there are another 5 green goosegog bushes to pick
 and four red goosegog bushes too.

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Slow Slow Quick Quick Slow

Well actully it more like slow slow, slow slow , slow ! I spent this evening pottering about with the veg, so I thought I'd put up another post to let you know how things are progressing,
First off I lifted my Garlic this evening. It's not he best but as it for kitchen  use it will be more than sufficient. It is now on a rack on the greenhouse floor to dry off. The variety is Thermidor and it cost me next to nothng for three large bulbs on E Bay last Autumn. I might try one of the better known varieties next year but we'll see how this variety tastes first.

I also extended the collars on my leeks - they now have a full 18" collar on them - this will last them til they are required for our local show on 18th August.

I weeded my onion sets and lifted any that were poor or had bolted -this has left me with only those below plus another 6 for showing so I hope they start to get a move on and bulb up soon

I am checking my first sowing of caulies every couple of days now - I have caulies tucked waway in all sorts of places, including two that are growing in the Victorian chimney pots that were rescued from the roof when we moved here.

Finally, curiosity got the better of me and I took a look at one bag of each of my 5 varieties of tatties. Casablanca, Sherine and BlueBelle had very small tubers which worries me slightly, but the Kestrel and Amour were better -here they are after a quick rinse under the tap - nice and clean, no sign of scab, just needing a bit more time....

Broad Beans are starting to form, as  are the Fench Beans, tomatoes going well, beetroot quite a bit behind last year, peas in flower, runner beans climbing up their supports well, Kelasae onions very slow to start bulbing up in any meaningful way,  and stump and long carrots are slow too. Parsnips seem to thriving if the top grpwth is anything to go by as are the long beet...

More to come from me on Sunday after our first local show up here - Sutherland County Show.

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Veg and other stuff

Been really busy recently but still managed to get a bit of time to do some bits and pieces in the garden, so I thought I should update the blog with some piccies of what I've been up to and how some of the veg are doing (or not doing for that matter !)
First off is the non-veg side of things.  I have finished putting the kids summerhouse together and all that I need now is some dry weather to get it painted (apparently, according to my 4 year old daughter, "Aqua" is the in colour, so "Aqua" it has to be !!

Also awaiting a break in the weather is the decking which I threw together last Saturday night which still needs to be stained.

On the veg front, I am quite happy with how my Pendle leeks are doing. They have been outside for most of the season, in 25 litre tubs filled with JBA's Leek and Onion Compost and have really moved in the last month or so. They have 16" collars on them and are 7" in diameter currently.

However my Kelsae onions have been slow to start bulbing up and my Hercules and Centurion onion sets are still putting on green growth and showing very little incilation to bulb up at all !
The Cabbages and Caulies are looking nice and green and no signs of any pest damage (touch wood !), the peas have produced their first flowers, the French Beans  have started to flower (in 5litre pots in the greenhouse), the Cedrico toms have set their first fruits, and the Parsnips have a top growth of about 2ft

However, my carrots (both long and stump) are still slow, although they have come on a bit.... but not enough. And the same can be said for my Pablo beetroot - miles behind where I was with this last year. I am also happy with the size of the top groth on my long beet but the centre ribs of the leaves are looking more orangey red than dark red and this is something I will have to google or seek advice abuot on the NVS Forum as I have little or next to no knowledge about these plants. Anyway, will get some more piccies this week and give a fuller pictirial update then.