Potager Garden: The First Frosts of Autumn

It is now utterly dark when I wake up, here in Middle England.  The happy side effect of this is that I can watch the sunrise as I eat my porridge.

A few days ago, the first frosts arrived.  I love the early morning crisp whiteness, and the eery, soft, pre-dawn light.

Our Savoy cabbages are centre stage, now that the late summer marrows and tangles of pumpkin vines have all been harvested.

Newly arrived in the raised beds, are curly kale…

… and a range of over-winter cabbages.

Over 500 naturalising bulbs have gone into the borders and pots, (bearing in mind our garden is rather small!) including English daffodils, bluebells, and snowdrops, to give us a cheerful show of colour in late winter and very early spring.  I am nurturing a little Edelweiss plant from a seed company, with hopes that we may see some little white star-like flowers.

The last main planting job was getting the garlic, red onion, white onion and shallot bulbs into the remaining space in the raised beds.

It did not take the onions long to spring into life.

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Potager Garden: Summer days and the first raspberry harvest

We were so happy when our little bare root stock gave us delicious raspberries in its first growing year …

… and then the slow-growing cabbages, that had braved late winter weather, flooding and fended off greedy slugs, were finally ready to harvest.  I planted successions of spring onions, so we are still picking those almost daily now.  The French Beans followed soon after.

You can see here how the courgettes (back left) have completely taken over the raised beds and are spilling over the lawn.  We went away on a camping trip and returned to over twenty marrows, and the same amount of baby courgettes.

I love this close up photograph of the Buddleia that my husband took, showing the clusters of miniature flowers on a stem.

Towards the end of July, the tomatoes were looking almost ready.  We have a dozen more plants, that are a few weeks behind this one, for a steady crop through August.

Here you can see the tiny tendrils of one of our pumpkin plants.  These have grown really well this year, with all the sunshine and showers we have been getting.  We are going to have to quickly get our fourth large raised bed in, and transplant our peppers, before they are engulfed!  Underneath the pumpkin leaves, you can just make out the savoy cabbages.

This sunflower was a complete surprise as the packet of seeds promised one giant sunflower … and instead it has five heads.  Here’s the first one, with the others just starting to bloom.

Pulling the leaves back on our Brussels sprouts plants, you can definitely spot the tiny Brussels growing up along the main stem now.

This was “marrow week” – where we quickly had to learn many different ways of cooking a marrow (all suggestions welcome, we have many more to get through!)  These ones were baked and then stuffed with a spicy Mexican bean filling.

Finally, this was the day when many radishes all became ready on the same day.  Avocado salad toasties for all :o)

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