A WINDY NOVEMBER EVENING

While it has been windy for the past week, today was wilder still.  It has been drying out the garden which is good as the heavy rains have made it so sodden that doing any work in there is just impossible.  This wild weather has brought with it some amazing views of a watery sun this evening.  Birds have had their feathers ruffled big time, and they must have been very seasick from sitting on the swinging branches of the trees!  So far we still have electricity but a lot of the country are without it, I would not mind as I love candle light and we always have candles handy during winter time just to be prepared.  Right now the stove is roaring as the draft is strong, a lovely cosy evening with my partner, after a day making the kitchen ‘mouse’ proof, something that has to be done at the beginning of every winter, there should be nothing in paper or plastic, everything should be in strong glass containers, and now it is 🙂  it feels good to have done this, something I had on my list and can scratch out.

A FEELING OF AUTUMN

These last few days have been very autumn-like around here, high winds, rain, cool evenings, but also quite a bit of sunshine in-between, a real feeling of autumn in the air.
While checking over the garden there is a lot to be seen that is going well. I even found a French bean plant in flower that I had all forgotten about, it has been growing in-between the profusely flowering sweet peas. The winter vegetables I planted out weeks ago are growing fast with all the rain they are getting, good to see this happening as I take the supplying of vegetables during the winter very seriously (and it’s fun).

And in-between the leeks there is yet another crop of young dandelions growing, the third crop this year so far!

The courgettes though, have not been doing so well, finally I will be able to harvest one, all the others rotted while still small.  Then there is the rhubarb, this is a young plant, started off during the summer, and now being covered with the leaves of the silver birch tree that is towering above it.  It promises to be a good rhubarb producer for next year, so the making of rhubarb jam will be on the agenda.  During this summer there was very little fruit for sale at the market, probably due to the lack of sunshine there was little fruit around, but having said that, my sister-in-law had kilos upon kilos of strawberries in her garden, so I could be wrong.  I do not have enough space to grow a lot of fruit that is why I like to buy it from organic local producers.  Last year I made a lot of jam, we are still eating from it, this summer I made none.

The few flowering broccoli plants that were left over, once I got a handle on my slug control, did rather well, we ate some already.  Today I found some caterpillars on one of the plants and removed them.  No harm done.

The sprouts are starting to get too large to grow under the netting so I will have to remove that this week.  I will also be harvesting beans and peas to dry for seeds.  Then to mulch the soil with the leaves and branches that are left over as good for the soil.

There is other work to do too before the weather really gets bad (but I am actually expecting an Indian summer soon).  I need to tie down the cold frame before I put the plastic back on, wind can get very high here and I don’t want to lose the frame.  On Saturday market I will buy some more plants to go in there for the winter.  I have plants ready, beetroots, to plant out too in another week or two.

And so the early autumn time is still busy, much is happening, love this time of the year too.  Schools starting next week, my grandchildren are all getting ready for that.  Almost unused garden furniture is about to be stored for another winter.  A few checks have to be made to secure and maintain other things in the garden, and birdhouses have to come out.

And I have a project inside the house to do and am slowly but surely getting ready for that (next real rainy day).  Trying my hand on a bit of DIY.  I like to be really self sufficient, but I have a good adviser in my partner, thank goodness for that.
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Round courgette doing well first one after many flowers rotted from the rain.

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Discovery of a French bean plant I thought had died, and seeds of the sweet peas appearing

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Kale and more kale for this winter, and the rhubarb plant covered in birch leaves already falling.

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Flowering broccoli and little visitors which I caught today, before too much damage was done.

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Sprouts and leeks for the winter months doing well.

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More kale growing fast at this stage, and the garden how it is beginning of autumn 2015

RAINDROPS, RAIN, AND MORE RAIN

Well, after a long weekend away from home and garden, we arrived back to find a lot of destruction. Growth that had been Lush before the weekend had been blown about by the high winds and flattened by the rain, and that is still happening as we speak. The much colder temperatures have stopped a lot of the growth for the time being. Today I spent some time tying up beans and peas, a lesson for me to make sure that they are secured a lot better, I thought that the canes would hold them all right, but not so. The Borage was totally flattened, I will cut that down a bit and it will start to grow again no problem.

But the beauty of the rain droplets is amazing, and there is plenty of that at the moment, might as well enjoy it, it gives the leaves especially a whole new ‘look’. I think that Masaru Emoto might have something interesting to say about them.

We are promised a heat wave towards the end of the week, who knows, surely my plants would be happy. I guess we take what comes and be happy that we are blessed with rain regularly, it makes Ireland what it is, green and lush. A thought for the people of California and their fight against drought, it cannot be easy.
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