Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Bountiful Garden

I believe I have blogged before about how much I love Spring. Did I mention I am also a bit of an Autumn fan? I would say that it's because, after a long, hot summer the blessed relief of cooler days is so welcome but we all know that that's a load of rubbish - in fact since we hit 'official' autumn time about a week ago the weather has improved to the point that my garden has been tricked into thinking its spring again and put on an almost triffid-like growth spurt!

Actually it's because all the hard work put into the garden through the spring and summer finally pays off with (if we are lucky) an abundance of goodies to see us through the damp, cold dreary winter bit...

This year we have been pretty lucky - the slugs and snails left most of my plants alone (apart from the low growing strawberries. Next year ALL my hanging baskets will be full of strawberries...) The raspberry canes I picked up for 99p from Woolies closing down sale a couple of years back have really flourished! I have a big bag full of them in the freezer to add to smoothies and puddings through the winter.

And as for the magic beans I planted way back in May with the Little Man...

Well they just grew...

...and grew.... magic beans do!

Now I just need some
runner bean recipes....

We were a bit late with the courgette plant this year. This is not a bad thing as last year I confess I got a little bit sick of eating the darn things. They get grated for salads, added to Mediterranean Roast veggie dishes and I made another batch of these GORGEOUS muffins (yes, muffins, with courgettes. Go on, try them!)

And it's not just our teeny patch that has provided this year.

My parents had the benefit of a new (secondhand) green house and produced an abundance of tomatoes and some cucumber too (have you ever had homegrown cucumber? They ACTUALLY taste of cucumber and not water...)

They also have a pear tree. Last year it produced a grand total of one lowly pear. To be honest we thought it was past it and that was as good as it would get but this year it was absolutely heaving!

Look at them!!! I love pears - just ripe as they are; chopped up in yoghurt; lightly poached with melted dark chocolate dribbled over them....mmmm... ahem... where were we?

The in-laws have apples, plums, damsons, hazels and blackberries galore which we are always welcome - actively encouraged - to help ourselves to. Well it would be rude not to...

Yup - Little Man loves blackberries! That night we had Blackberry and Apple crumble and with what was left I had my first ever attempt at making jam!

I did make one surprising discovery - maybe its just because they have had some of the jungle trimmed back or maybe I just had my eyes closed before when exploring this part of their garden but hanging out above the blackberry tangle, growing over the shell of an old shed is a grape vine. Absolutely smothered in big bunches of ripening grapes!!
I cannot believe I have never spotted these before...

Now I have a garage full of wine making equipment I inherited from my dad (ie; he was going to throw it away coz it was cluttering up his garage and I jumped up and down so now it is cluttering up mine...)

I wonder...

1 comment:

  1. What an amazing harvest! Hours of work there ;D Time for pickling and preserving now?


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