Sunday, 11 September 2011


After such a brilliant day yesterday, I felt reinspired by the whole 'growing stuff' thing. The weather was supposed to be dreadful, with high winds and torrential rain, but in fact it turned into a perfect lottie day. So we packed up the lottie bag and spent 2 and a 1/2 hours weeding, planting and sowing.

The pumpkin bed is still looking healthy, though the only real fruit growing are the Tromba d'Albenga.

I planted out some bare-root Purple Sprouting Broccoli plants that I bought yesterday at the show.

MrPB continued the impossible task of digging out the  horseradish roots. It's gone seriously deep, and we may have to resort to a glyphosate weedkiller.

We weeded three other beds ready for planting up with a variety of brassicas and leeks that are still sitting on my patio in pots!!


I sowed some rows of Spinach, Radichio and Lambs Lettuce for over wintering.

...and finally, here are my beetroot and parsnips...they've been in the ground for months, but wouldn't even give a mouse a decent meal! Grrrrrrrrrrrr.

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Gardeners' Society Autumn Show 2012

Crikey! It's been a very long time since my last post. Sorry about that. My only excuse is that I was actually a bit down about the garden and allotment. The weather had been so hot and dry, and then so wet and disgusting, there never seemed to be an ideal time to get out into the garden, let alone the allotment!

So, of course, the weeds flourished, and the veg had to fend for itself. But of course, today was the Gardener's Society Autumn Show. This one always takes me by surprise, because it seems so early, and I'm reluctant to cut things like my pumpkins and squashes when they could get another month on the vines, get a bit bigger and ripen properly for winter storage...but there you go, do you grow to show, or grow to eat. This dilemma is where my competitive side takes over. Last night I was adamant that I wasn't going to enter the pumpkins and squashes, but I'm very glad I did...

I won 1st prize, and got a Certificate of Merit too!

Here's the rest of the results...

Shallots and Onions were a bit sneaky, coz I showed them in the summer show too!

One full truss of tomatoes, any size, shape and colour. These are 'Sweet Olive' a plum shaped, cherry tomato.

Treacle tart. This is attempt No2. Attempt No1 had a raw bottom and the pastry was really salty anyway, so it went in the bin!!

Vegetarian Samosas. These were alegedly undercooked...but I did them how I like 'em, so there!

Peppermint creams. These were made with lemon juice rather than water, which I thought was rather nice. You got the lemon flavour coming through first, and then the peppermint followed. Rather than add food colouring to the whole mix, I made my little discs, let them set overnight, then mixed green, powdered, food colour with a little white rum (any clear alcohol would do), and with a fine paint brush made green swirls on the tops.

I recently described my Plum Jam as 'Plum Goo' on FaceBook, as I wasn't convinced it was going to set. It didn't particularly, but that makes it good for spreading on sponge cakes. The colour is really pretty and it's not too sweet.
1st Prize!

And finally, these teeny-tiny chillis are called 'Demon Red'. Each one is approximately 2cm long, and they are, apparently, VERY hot...I haven't braved one yet.
I grew these, with my best friend, on the windowledge at work. I can't believe they got 1st prize, and in addition I got a Diploma of Horticultural Excellence and a trophy for Best Vegetable entry in show! Wow!!

Wait...I haven't quite finished yet, because being the Autumn Show, meant there were annual cups and trophies to give out. I won the Ken Dunn trophy for highest aggregate points for cookery over the year...I only gave it back this morning, after winning it last year too!...

I also won the Chairman's trophy for 3rd highest aggregate points overall for the year, soundly beaten by Adrian and Aly. What an awesome day! I really thought I wouldn't do anything this time. I am completely chuffed to bits :-)
I might even post a bit more regularly again!