Thursday, 1 July 2010

Terracotta pigs smelling the garlic

A few years ago, I was excited to learn that someone living in the East coast of Scotland had been growing blueberries in their garden. I had always been under the impression that blueberries would not grow very well in the Scottish climate, namely because I had always seen them imported. This women assured me otherwise, informing that she has been yielding a good crop year after year. Encouraged by her annual supply of home-grown fresh blueberries and greed for my own supply, I bought myself a blueberry plant for the garden. I got nothing from it in the first year. Later I learned, that you needed two blueberry plants. So I picked up another to accompany the first. Still nothing. Then last year for the first time. I harvested my first handful of blueberries. They were really worth the wait. Just watching them grow is amazing. The changing colour, not just of the berries, but of the leaves too.
Here are some starting to fatten and ripen. So pretty to watch. I just hope the birds are not watching them too closely either.
Unfortunately, the garlic I was growing in long containers for the first time have been unsuccessful. I pulled them all out yesterday as the stems had collapsed. On each plant, there is two, maybe three cloves. I'll dry them and use them, but I definitely will not be growing them this way again. Some plants just want to be in the ground and want space to stretch. I'd be interested to know if any of you have, or know of anyone who has successfully grown garlic bulbs in containers or pots?
The chioggia beetroot under the pea canes appear to be doing well, or so it appears from the red stem leaves, which I am tempted to snip and have in a salad.
I have four fennel plants growing. This is the only one growing in the salad (3 foot by 3 foot) bed, the others are not that far behind.
I am ever so delighted with my kohlrabi. I have three all growing underneath the climbing bean poles. Last year at the allotment plot, the slugs got them all, here with the plot being tiny, I am able to control the slugs, the birds and even the cabbage white butterfly.
On a final note, I picked up these handmade Traicraft terracotta flying pig cane toppers at Oxfam at the weekend.
I wasn't going to bother and could have done with up-turned recycled bottles, but this is my back garden I am talking about, not the allotment plot, where things can look a little higgledy piggledy. Even though I have fruit, veg and herbs growing here and crammed into my little space, I still want this place to look kind of orderly and like a garden. So that was one of my reasoning for getting these terracotta pigs, as well as the fact that some of the cane sticks are a hazard and could cause damage to ones eye, if the person was not concentrating on what they were doing. Also they were just so adorable and a reasonably priced alternative to others I had seen recently seen. One other thing, my husband thinks I've got an aversion to little piggies and I wanted to prove him wrong, by giving not one but six little piggies a home in my tiny garden. I think they will be happy here.


  1. My Garlic were a disaster, had them growing in my raised bed and dug them up when the went brown and fell over. None was bigger than a marble or a Malteser and they had failed to divide just being solid balls of garlic. The flavour was actually not bad. My shallots, on the other hand, seem to be doing really well and have all divided, can't wait to try them. Coincidentally I have just ordered 3 pots of blueberries as Suttons were doing a special offer on them.

  2. I'm enjoying watching your garden grow! Everything looks deliciously healthy--but for the garlic. We belong to a farm co-op. One of the farmers specializes in garlic--wonderful garlic. However, they have said it takes years to get it started and continuing. They don't plant theirs in containers but would assume that in ground and above ground might take a lot of time and effort. Glad to hear of your blueberry success. They are abundant right now in the midwest and we are surrounded by blueberry farms.


  3. Your garden's looking lovely :) Congratulations on your blueberries - I bet they're worth the wait! I did garlic in pots last year and they weren't a massive success - they did the same thing yours have, I've got them in bigger pots this year, but I'm not holding out much hope for it!
    I love your little terracotta piggies - I might have to invest in some of those myself!

  4. I want a pig topper and some strawberry curd, I know that sounds like whining but I really do want those things! I'll ask my mom about growing garlic in pots, she's grown just about everything everywhere and if she has a comment, I'll get back to you!

  5. Oh Alex T.
    I am so, so sorry to read about your garlic.
    The size of a marble or maybe a Malteser - oh dear. Glad to read that you can still cook with them though. That will be my intention too.

    I've always had good luck with shallots, so was not surprised to read that yours are doing well. Part of growing is accepting the lows with the hihgs.

    Hope your blueberries don't take as long as mine did to produce.

    Thank you so much for your lovely comments Bonnie.
    I am envious to read that you are surrounded by blueberry farms. I bet their are times when your tongue is blue!
    Have a lovely weekend.

    Thanks sooz said...
    I'm delighted with my blueberries (again!

    I'm sorry to read that your garlic last year did not do so well in pots either. I look forward to reading how they progress in the bigger pots this year, but liek you I'm not holding out much hope for them either. I think they want to be in the ground! But here's hoping for you.

    You can pick up the little terracotta piggies individually to for a £0.99p as well.

    Oh Pacheco Patty.
    You are not whining at all. If I had seen the little terracotta pigs on someone elses blog. I to would want one or two as well. Hopefully, you should be able to order them on-line. If you lived nearby, I would have been more than happy to have given you the extra jar of strawberry curd. Honestly!

    Look forward to reading your feedback re the garlic, once you've spoken to your mother of course. If I don't hear from you before, have a lovely weekend

  6. I love seeing your garden! Those blueberries gave me inspiration to try growing them here. I have grown strawberries here before and then I know that the Big Island of Hawaii has a berry farm that they grow blueberries at. So I would think it's doable here. What are those cute little piggies for? Do they scare away birds?

  7. Thanks Carissa.
    Just remember to pick two blueberry plants.

    Other than looking cute, the terracotta pigs cover cane tops do have a function. The canes actually support the plant. But the cane sticks themselves can be hazardous and could cause damage to ones eye, if the person was not concentrating on what they were doing, so these little piggies are designed to cover the cane tops.

  8. Terracotta pigs are everywhere in Chile, too bad I live in the States. I have a tiny one (about 2 inches in height and width) on my desk at work -it likes to watch me work and it makes me smile.

    Lovely garden as always!

  9. Hello #Chilean Woman.
    Yeah I am not surprised to read that you can find them in Chile. These particualr ones were made in the Indian subcontinet - I can't remember whether it was India or Bangladesh.

    Your little one one your desk, must surely make you smile. You need small disractions like that at work.

    Have a lovely weekend.

  10. The unfolding of your garden is absolutely enchanting.
    Thanks for sharing such gorgeous photos.
    Flavourful wishes,

  11. the piggies are adorable. i snapped some up in the sale for a gift and some to liven up my lottie :)

  12. Thank you so much Foodessa.

    Thanks Steph.
    They certainly are adorable.

  13. We've just bought two blueberry plants - although not because we knew you needed two - they were on special offer in the garden centre!

    We've done garlic on containers and in raised beds - haven't harvested everything yet but most seem to be a decent size - a couple haven't separated into cloves but have still been delicious to eat!

  14. You'll love yor blueberries when they come Homebird.

    Your garlic sounds better than my specimens, though i'd be interested to know how the ones in your container have done. I have yet to taste my garlic, I am sure they'll taste fine. Just wish they were bigger :(

  15. I recall reading that blueberries take 2 years to establish before they'll fruit. So I've delayed getting some plants in case we move. Of course had I done it when I first thought of it I'd have been enjoying gorgeous blueberries for the last few summers. Hey ho. Pleased to hear yours are paying out for being so well looked after.

  16. Your right Nic.
    But when I move - I will not be leaving my blueberries behind. I've planted them in pots, so they will be coming with me.


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