UK Veg Gardeners

Zoe's Blog (38)

Summer is here!!

Woke up this morning to a beautiful azure blue sky & just the merest hint of wispy white clouds.  


This weekend is set to continue the lovely weather, so it's time to enjoy all our hard garden labour, pick the mint, make mojito's & partake in the age old custom of first sunny weekend sunburn;-D



Added by Zoe on June 2, 2011 at 17:17 — 1 Comment


I imagine I'm not the only one who has to engage in the lesser known sport of garden space bartering.  

The thing is Matt likes the lawn, & as our garden is mainly comprised of lawn in order for me to re-designate a space as a flower bed, or a veg bed, a pond, or a meadow, it takes a little cunning.  

Friday afternoon I set about a little 're-designation' of a small section of our front lawn, on the right side, along a sloped edge.  I had marked a straight line out with the…


Added by Zoe on May 31, 2011 at 13:50 — 4 Comments

Research help? Which should I buy........


After watching one of the Chelsea programes yesterday & being told that our pollinating insects are slowly starving to death because there just aren't enough plants that they can get pollen & necter from.  I have decided to pack our raised flower bed with useful flowers.  It already has these azalias & geraniums (thanks for the ID Melinda):

Pretty in pink. Dark Pink Azalea


I'm going to take cuttings from the Azaleas & make a large swash…


Added by Zoe on May 27, 2011 at 9:37 — 1 Comment

Grand plans.

This year the only fruit I will be harvesting is some strawberrys & a couple of apples (literally 1 or 2).  

But I have grand plans for next year.  All the ground work has been done (apart from the planting of the wineberry which I'm still awaiting delivery of).


But next year I will have fruit for 10 out of 12 months......


Feb - Rhubarb

March - Rhubarb 

April - Rhubarb & Alpine Strawberries (throughout the year)

May -…


Added by Zoe on May 26, 2011 at 8:00 — 10 Comments

A very resilient courgette.

After loosing one of the courgettes to the crazy wind on Sunday morning I just didn't have the heart to throw him out.  So I nipped off the larger leaves & popped him in some compost on the windowsill.  

3 days later & he still seems to be going strong.  Has anyone ever tried this with a…


Added by Zoe on May 25, 2011 at 11:08 — 2 Comments


Today I have a plan.  

I checked the met office & apparently the winds are abating.  So today, well this afternoon, I shall be planting all the beans (wonder wax, berlotti, & Violetta) outside.  They are now 2 foot tall & need to be tied individually to each pole, & as the met office says the weather will be mainly nice for the rest of the week its the perfect time to get them into their final positions outside.  

But what if they are wrong??  At the moment the…


Added by Zoe on May 24, 2011 at 10:00 — 2 Comments

4 Greenhouses!!!

This Sunday I woke up to a distressing site.  The wind was howling round the garden, knocking over birdtables, bending the new trees to scary new angles & worst of all the wind had snapped off one of the courgette plants I had only just planted out.   So I set about bracing the apple & plum trees with bamboo canes, picking up the debris that had been blown all over the garden, righting the birdtable & moving it to a more sheltered corner.  But the courgettes were being all over…


Added by Zoe on May 23, 2011 at 9:18 — 6 Comments


Whenever I'm out and about I can't help but peek into any back gardens I happen upon.  I'm just curious about how many people are actually growing their own veg, what they are growing & how far along they are.  

There's one particular neighbour who grows beans every year, his back garden is completely on show from the pavement (only a wrought iron gate), & he lives just at the end of our road.  So after dinner, whenever the weather is clement, we go for a sneaky look-see in…


Added by Zoe on May 20, 2011 at 9:13 — 1 Comment

Dreams of Blue Honeysuckle

Yesterday I devoted my afternoon to reading 'A taste of the Unexpected' from cover to cover.  This is a beautiful book full of rich descriptions & gorgeous pictures.

The main idea of the book is to grow things which are unusual, expensive or unobtainable, & I have to say I'm completely convinced.  So much so that last night I put in an order for a variety of interesting things including a Japanese Wineberry bush.  I can't wait for it to be delivered.  My plans for raspberries…


Added by Zoe on May 19, 2011 at 10:14 — 9 Comments


The two books I ordered just arrived.  So I'm off for a cup of tea, a slice of home-made lemon curd cake & a cozy afternoon spent planning my next gardening endeavours.

Added by Zoe on May 18, 2011 at 14:47 — 4 Comments

I keep finding more & more Jerusalem Artichokes

I tried J.A's last year & although they were quite nice we decided to use the space to plant an apple tree this feb.  So we dug up all the tubers, ate them roasted in sea salt & olive oil (yum), and planted an apple tree.  

Maybe I should have consulted the artichokes before evicting them as they seem to really like this spot.  I keep finding artichoke plants poking up through the lawn.  So far I have dug up 9 mini plants!!  The thing is I'm a soft touch when it comes to…


Added by Zoe on May 17, 2011 at 9:30 — 8 Comments

76p of lettuce............

I dug up a section of the lawn a few months ago & planted flower seeds, but when the flowers didn't seem to be doing anything I decided to plant a crop of lettuce there while I waited.  

However instead of doing the sensible thing & planting each lettuce seed in an appropriate space I just scattered the whole bag of seeds all over the bed.  Unfortunately the god of vegetables was not smiling down on me, & these lettuces have grown either far to close together or completely…


Added by Zoe on May 16, 2011 at 10:30 — 3 Comments


I finally got 2 rhubarb crowns, 'Timperley Early' & 'Victoria'.  So yesterday I spent a good couple of hours clearing out all the weeds & old tree roots from my new rhubarb patch, added a nice bit of compost & finally planted them.  Only problem is I wasn't sure which way was up & I'm worried that I planted them upside down!!  

Matt laughed at me when I confessed my fear that the rhubarb would get confused & would would grow down instead of up.

Added by Zoe on May 15, 2011 at 9:49 — 4 Comments

Sending presents

I found out yesterday that back in January my Aunt had been in a car accident & was only now feeling better enough to talk about it.  She is my favourite Aunt & a really nice lady so I wanted to send her something to make her smile.

The reason I'm mentioning it here is because I sent her a garden gift.  I found the most lovely website that you can send gifts of fruit bushes or fruit trees, they come potted in nice terracotta pots, and are packaged in a reusable wooden crate…


Added by Zoe on May 13, 2011 at 8:40 — 5 Comments

Simple pleasures

Yesterday I sorted out the herb patch.  Its a 2m X 1m patch in the front garden, that I liberated from the lawn last year & sprinkled many varieties of herb all over the plot, planted a supermarket mint in the centre & hoped for something lovely.

Unfortunately last years plans didn't really work out, & although one small corner patch had been colonised by the chives & the mint is slowly spreading, nothing else really established.  So a couple of months ago off to the…


Added by Zoe on May 12, 2011 at 11:12 — 4 Comments

May, the last chance month

I started my gardening adventures this year in January so that I could sow things as early as possible.  At the time there was no greenhouse, so I moved everything off the dining room table, dubbed it 'the potting shed' and began my years adventure with the seeds for tomatoes, violas, aquilegia & forget-me-not.  

As the months progressed I kept popping in my seeds & adding them to the rapidly filling table.  But I always felt that I had more time to re-start anything that…


Added by Zoe on May 11, 2011 at 9:20 — 6 Comments

Thunderstorm, Power cuts, then giant hailstones!!!

Yesterday was terrifying.  

The morning wasn't too bad, just a bit stormy.  But around 1pm the sky went black, and load rolling claps of thunder echoed through the sky.  Then the lightning started, and must have hit something close as the power to the street went out.

So there I am sitting in the dark, looking out of the window, when giant hail starts to crash down!!  

It felt like it was attacking my crops for hours & by when it at last stopped the whole garden was…


Added by Zoe on May 10, 2011 at 8:46 — 4 Comments

Perennial veg

I just listened to 'The Food Programme' as per Sweetpea Lou's suggestion, and Mark Diacono (from River cottage) was talking about perennial veg.  I have to admit I only knew about the normal 4 (Jerusalem & globe artichokes, rhubarb & asparagus), so to discover that there are a huge number of these perennial edibles was a revelation.

I have already popped onto amazon & ordered his book on the subject, & I'm toying with the idea of creating a whole bed of veg that is…


Added by Zoe on May 9, 2011 at 9:20 — 13 Comments

I have never eaten a broad bean........

......and Matt doesn't like broad beans, but I just planted some.  I realise its quite late, but I was given a packet of seeds & there was this small space between the onions & courgettes, so I had to plant them really.  

This afternoon I made the most of the lovely sunshine which was sandwiched in-between the bouts of torrential rain & we have re-potted the rest of the tomatoes & chilli's into the large Morrison's flower pots.  Then we used 10 more of the pots to…


Added by Zoe on May 8, 2011 at 16:10 — 7 Comments

Please don't plant Lillies

Did you know that Lillys are so toxic to cats that just getting some pollen on their fur can kill them, & its not just the pollen that's deadly - every part of every lilly is toxic & can kill a cat within hours.


If you think your cat has any pollen on its fur the best advice is to shave the cat, because even washing the affected areas won't get rid of it all.


Very scary stuff.

Added by Zoe on May 6, 2011 at 20:03 — 7 Comments

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