Sunday, 27 September 2009

Orange, yellow with specks of green and purple

Finally and it has been worth the wait. My dwarf sunflowers have opened up their little heads. Here is one of them, fragile and raggedly, yet elegant.
I know I harvested some veg yesterday, but today I harvested a little more. Some chantenay and rainbow carrots, a snowball cauliflower that I actually put into the compost bin as it was too gone, a cabbage that the snails were starting to make a feast of, and some Autumn raspberries. And my first apple from the James Grieve tree we planted early in the year in plot 45. I only saw two apples growing on the tree, but one had fallen to the ground early in the year.
I still have scarlet runner beans and climbing beans growing, though not uniform.
I decided to tidy up and weed one of the overlooked brassica beds and look what I found on the plot, silverline Brussels sprouts. I thought these were nine star white sprouting broccoli, as I planted them next to the PSB, but on closer inspection today, I realised they were Brussels sprouts. I really thought none of my Brussels sprouts seeds had germinated. I must have lost track somewhere along the way. It made my day, I am glad that I may yet have my own homegrown sprouts on my plate on Christmas day.
For those of you who have been reading my blog for a while, will know that I had planted out some PSB this year in March but it was growing early in July. Well guess what, it is September and I still have some growing. Admittedly, much of it has gone to seed, but it is definitely still growing. Look!
I still haven't been given the reason why it is growing so early and have not read of any other blogger encountering early PSB either, so if any of you kind readers has an explanation of why I have PSB growing in the late summer, instead of the following year, it would be most appreciated. For now, I will enjoy what is growing and count my lucky, lucky stars.
My musselburgh leeks are doing grand! I may take a couple of baby leeks out in a week or two. I still have another tray to go into the ground, so that will be a job for next week, as well as some curly kale and cavolo nero.
My lavender and marigolds are still thriving, continuing to add colour to the plot.
I decided to deadhead some of the marigold flowers. These marigolds are pretty much gone, honest. I would not have picked them otherwise.
and some of the lavender flowers that were losing that vibrant purpleness.
In one of the beds I generously planted some fenugreek seeds. It's a green manure, but it's leaf is also edible. I like eating fenugreek, so this will have a dual purpose when it grows.
Okay, I felt I had to share this, just in case you didn't know, but I am sure you do. What you shouldn't put in a compost bin: Nasturtium flowers. This is my plot neighbours compost bin, as pretty as nasturtium flowers are they should never be disposed of in a compost bin, why? because they are self-seeding, therefore, you have them pretty much forever! It may be nice in your garden, but not in the compost bin.


  1. Everything is looking bright and lovely on your plot.

    I love to dispose of naturtiums in my compost bins as it means a few will selfseed into the vege beds when I spread the compost. But my bin is covered and though they germinate and stretch to the light they inadvertingly die if they germinate in the bin.

  2. I've not stopped by for a while - I'm so behind on blog reading. Lovely to catch up with where you are with all the allotment goodies - it all looks so delicious. I'm not sure how you manage to fit in everything you do with work the allotment taking pictures and blogging you are incredibly energetic!
    Have you tried cooking with the lavender - there are some nice recipes for it - i do one with it in shortbread - its wonderful.

  3. wow, that is the first time i have ever seen fresh brussel sprouts on the plant still, its amazing how they grow.


  4. I like the look of your rainbow carrots, do they taste different? Your sprouts look so beautiful and clean - mine are covered in caterpillar poo so will be coming out this week before I lose all interest in eating any kind of brassica.
    The nasturtiums made me smile as I snapped a picture of a beautiful cluster on a rubbish heap on the same day. N x

  5. Thanks Kella,
    It was really a day of clearing up yesterday, as things are starting to slow down at the plot now.

    I guess you have been lucky with the disposal of you naturtiums in the compost bin as the secret is to eliminate the light. I think the problem emerges again if the homemade compost is used on your ground, you may inadvertently spread the seeds again, as they never completely die. I may be wrong though.

    Hi Linda,
    It has been a while since i've heard from you. I do hope you are well and life is treating you well.

    Thank you or the kind compliment about me being 'enegetic'. I told my husband this and he bursted out laughing. He sis right too, I'm the least energetic person their is, but I guess it depends on you interpretation of energetic, if yiou mean going to the gym, cycling, and - then I am certainly not, but if you mean: living my daily life which means a f/t job which includes frequent travelling (it could haveeasily mean't being a housewife or mother), working at the allotment, coming home to cook, then I certainly am, so Thank you!

    I have only cooked with lavender once in my life, I made a lavender ice-cream, which my boyfriend then, husband now really enjoyed. This year I have a few recipes in mind and lavender shortbread is one of them.

    Thanks Rose,
    It is amazing to brussel sprouts growing. I hope nothing happens to them from now till they are ready to be harvested.

    Hi Nic,
    The rainbow carrots taste exactly the same as the ordinary ones, and the good thing about them too, is they keep their colour when you cook with them. I would def recommend growing them for the novely factor.

    Thanks about the sprouts. But let me tell you a secret as to why my brasica plants look clean. Pretty much all my Brassica plants were covered by netting with really small holes so the flutterbys could not sneek into, but the bees could. So although they were protected from the butterflies and those caterpillars (eek), some brassicas like the cabbages were got by the slugs. Organic growing is not always easy.

    I look forward to seeing your picture of the nasturtiums in the compost bin. You know what they say 'great minds think alike'. I like to think Good friends think alike!'

  6. Fantastic photos, and a lovely post. I am just so jealous of your brussels sprouts. All mine bolted this year, and yours look so perfectly right!

    I love fenugreek as well, particularly the leaves in a curry which have a fantastically fragrant and unusual flavour.

  7. Lovely garden shots, Mango. I can almost smell those marigolds!

  8. Garden looks great! Thanks for the tip on the Nasturtium flowers. Ive never grown them, but want to this spring! My compost will be safe from those cute lil flowers!

  9. Your not alone with the early purple sprouting broccoli, everyone in our allotment site that has planted it this year saw it come early and bolt. Must be something to do with the weather this year but PSB just doesn't seem to be doing what it should be. Must look into the green manure thing and give it a go on one or two of our beds.

  10. Thanks MrsC
    I sorry to read about your brussels sprouts bolting.

    It nice to hear that you like fenugreek as it is an acquired taste.

    Thanks Barbara.

    Thanks Jenn,
    Nasturtiums are lovely, so many different varieties and colours too.

    Hi Sharon,
    Thank you - thank you - thank you, that is all i wanted to hear that others has experienced the same, as I had not read of it else where else, so Thank you (have I said it enough).

    Summer - what there was of it, was intense and quick, and then it went suddenley cold, so the PSB must have thought it was winter so started producing.

    If you decide to grow some green manure, fenugreek in particular. Try and buy it from an South Asian shop nearby that specialises in selling spices. Such shops usually sell fenugreek seeds in large packets. I would recommend getting a packet from there, as the price with be a mere fraction of what it would cost in the garden centres or on-line.


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