Tag Archives: strawberries

Beautiful berries – raspberries, strawberries, blackcurrants, red currants and dessert gooseberries.

The berry patch looks like a jungle; all the rain has produced loads of lush green growth that has tangled together. The fruitcage looks like it may fall down at any moment, but  it is doing its job. The birds seem to be leaving the berries alone and despite the weather the berries  are ripening.

Picking them is not for the faint hearted as you really do need to fight your way in. During a break in the rain this afternoon, I braved the jungle and was rewarded with a fine selection of produce!

There are still many un-ripened berries on the bushes with no sign of any blueberries yet. I picked a few from each bush but the glut has still to appear.

I think the first berry crop needs to be eaten as it is, fresh and unaltered. Others I will jam, freeze, stew and jelly but these I think will just be enjoyed in the pure form – yummy! I love the taste of fresh summer berries and hope this harvest will be the first of many more.

Can you spot the glimmer of berries hidden in the bushy, wild and overgrown fruit cage?

The only pests we have are slugs! They have been having a wonderful  munch on my strawberries that I having lovingly tended all spring.  The straw surrounding them is very soggy, probably providing a cosy home for slugs and snails. Hubby suggested a beer trap – I think I will give it a try!

Her x

Flowering strawberry plants

My strawberry plants are covered with flowers. As they grow in grow bags, I have made sure I have watered them through the warm spell we have recently had. They look well and promise a bumper harvest. I planted at least six varieties last year, hoping to spread the glut. The most unusual is a variety with red flowers. I think it is called Tapan.  Can anyone confirm that?

Last year they were just settling in so didn’t produce much. They seem happy enough in grow bags. I added a mulch of homemade compost in spring and a layer of straw to keep them clean. I am hoping that, as this is their second summer, these plants will crop well.

I hope I have so many strawberries that I can make jam – that is if they survive the kids!

Her x

Diamond jubilee village picnic

We have had a lovely weekend joining in all the village celebrations for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. We shared a picnic in the park, had cake with friends and an evening BBQ in the rain. We didn’t let the rainy weather dampen our spirits too much. I thought I would share some of our day with you.

Jubilee strawberries:  red, white and blue! They are dipped in white chocolate and then blue sugar.

Some Hobbs House Bakery Jubilee bread.

Mini Pimms jellies.

The Great British picnic basket.

Afternoon tea with friends.  She made a great job of decorating the cakes.

Happy Diamond Jubilee to you all!

Him & Her x

Here’s my early May garden update

The hardening-off process is under way and I am twitchy to get everything planted in the garden. I need to really try to hold back as the nights are still cool. I know that, as the soil still feels cold, my carefully nurtured seedlings will not thrive when planted out, but just sulk instead. I really want to make room for the tomato plants in the greenhouse. Regular readers will know that my tomato plants are feeling better and are currently in the conservatory growing vigorously and threatening to turn my house into somewhere David Bellamy would feel at home.

Outside the garden is recovering from the chicken attack. I initially thought the chickens may have had my broad beans, but the hardy little chaps have survived a vigorous scratching and popped through the soil this week.

The grow bag strawberries are growing well in the fruit cage.

They are further on in the wheelbarrow. It’s tricky to see on the photo, but the wheelbarrow strawberries are covered in flowers. These have been with me for a few years but continue to produce a good crop every year. All I do is give them a mulch of homemade compost every spring. I think the old metal wheel barrow warms up in the sun and boosts the growth of these strawberries as they are always the first to crop.

My outdoor-sown peas have been unsuccessful this year. I have sown loads of pea seeds but they have suffered from chickens, weather and maybe even mouse damage. In this photo you may wonder what I am talking about as you can clearly see lots of growth…take a closer look and you will spot what I actually have is one pea growing and one potato plant growing! I have noticed a few potatoes growing in the pea patch. Ah well, I may just harvest these instead. I have started some peas in the greenhouse and I will try to fill in the gaps after they have hardened off.

I had a great tip from Promenade Plantings and I really wanted to try it out.   I have planted little broccoli plants inside my beanpole frame. The idea being that the growing beans protect the plants from pigeons and the broccoli plants can slowly grow over the summer. In autumn, the beans are taken down to reveal the hidden plants within that can then take centre stage.  I had a few spare plants and have nothing to lose so I am giving this a try. I will report back how it goes. Thanks again to Promenade Plantings for the great idea.

That’s about all for the garden. I am expecting it to start blooming in the next few weeks so until then….

Her x

Greenhouse and garden update

Even though we’ve just had a busy birthday weekend we still found time for gardening. I am very pleased with my greenhouse progress. I really feel like I am making the most out of it this year. I am certainly starting lots of seeds!

You may notice I have had a bit of a rearrange. I have spread out my grow bags and put the seed trays on top. The grow bags should warm up in the day and help keep the seedlings warm at night.

Everything seeems to be successfully germinating but I think that has more to do with the recent warm spell than my green fingers.

It has been so warm that we have moved the tomato and chilli plants from the conservatory to the greenhouse. It feels like they family members that have moved out, hubby has been constantly worrying about them and feels the need to check on their well-being constantly. He started them off in January on the conservatory windowsill. That’s three months of nurturing, care and daily checking on progress; I suppose it’s no wonder he is so attached to them.

I am excitedly watching the first salad crop growing in the tin baths. I reckon another week and I should be able to pick my first leaves!

I can’t start any more seeds until we plant some of the current ones outside; we did make a start on this at the weekend with planting out some purple sprouting broccolli plants out under the protection of fleece. I hope they are happy growing in their new home.

You may also notice the straw in the background; I managed to find the time to mulch around the strawberries – hooray! I have managed to do this before the strawberries are hanging off this year. It’s the small things that cheer me up like the fact that,  I am really looking forward to having a bumper strawberry harvest.

I only started my strawberry patch last year. I had a small strip to fill in the fruit cage (the former chicken run) and decided to plant in grow bags as the soil was full of stones and bits of concrete. They are much bigger plants this year and I am hoping they will do the job and produce lots of juicy strawberries. I even gave them an extra little  mulch of garden compost under the straw to spoil them so they know I will be deserving of their effort.

I planted a huge range of varieties with a view to spreading the cropping season. I have already planted up a few runners ready to replace these plants should they fail to thrive or get old and tired. I bet my hubby would like a few runner wives to replace me when I am old and tired too!

Finally, I have tried a few little lettuce plants outside but was sad to see something had eaten them completely.  There were just a few remaining plants, somewhat depleted,  that I think I have saved with the use of my plastic squash bottle cloches. I cut a hole in the bottom, enlarged the hole at the top and they make great economical protection for plants. I wish I had thought to use them sooner and I wouldn’t have lost my little lettuces.

It doesn’t look pretty but it does the job nicely.

Plans for this week include; making a runner bean frame,  sourcing a cucumber plant, (I seem to of grown about six gherkins and I am hoping to find someone who would like to swap so I get a good range of varieties),  and occupying the little people in the Easter holidays. Wish me luck!

Her x