Friday, 30 November 2012

Hardy Herbs

It always amazes me just how hardy herbs are to survive the winter snows and hard frosts -
considering that they are mostly Mediterranean in origin  they do remarkably well. 

I don't bother to cloche them or give them any extra protection and the only ones that disappear over winter are the mints and chives. 

 I always gather big bunches of mint when it is in full throttle and dry it so I have a plentiful supply over winter.
curly parsley
Parsley is another good survivor - the leaves do get a bit tough though -  I have loads of it in the garden as I leave it to seed itself, which it is pretty good at.

parsley - gone to seed

Last winter was too cold for my bay tree and it sadly died.  But I bought some tiny replacements which are now doing well.  If the weather forecasts a severe drop in temperature then I will take it into the greenhouse for protection.

And last, but not least, is the Rosemary.  I have several bushes in the garden and have only ever lost one to the weather.

   I do love to be able to grow my own herbs, and have far more than I would ever need, not that I care much, they are just a great addition to the garden, winter and summer alike.

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Alliums that never say die

Japanese Onions - a bit battered and flat after the gales and heavy rain

Spring Onions from last year - still going strong

The garlic that disappeared earlier in the year has decided to re-grow - a little bonus!

Saturday, 17 November 2012

The lonely tomatoes

I planted three Sungold tomato plants in a trough.  Blight struck and they withered.  Two tomatoes hung on.
They are still hanging on as the troughs haven't been cleared yet.  Poor little things.  Destined never to be eaten but serving as a reminder of the summer that never was.

Monday, 12 November 2012

A Touch of Colour

Ruby Chard quietly growing and providing a spot of colour in an otherwise drab winter garden

The Borage patch, flowering on, regardless of the cold  - worth its weight in gold.

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Alliums - The Next Generation

I don't know whether you remember but at the end of last year I mentioned that I had been experimenting with the Allium family here.  Instead of digging leeks up when I wanted to use them I began just cutting them off at the base.  And it worked.  After cutting off the parent leek I then had at least another four cuts from each leek plant.  The picture below is the same leeks this year.
So I would say that the experiment worked - I haven't had the bother of sowing, transplanting, growing on, planting out etc.  so I am well-chuffed.  My aim was to try and get as many vegetables as I could to become perennial and if it didn't work I had lost nothing.  I tried it with a container of pickling onions, not for the onions but for the tops to cut and add to dishes instead of chives.  That sort of worked too.

These are the original pickling onions, one or two rotted, but as you can see some have divided and are still shooting.  I will bring this pot into the greenhouse now to save them from the harshness of the weather.  It has worked on spring onions and the garlic as well.  I have also tried it with the celery. 

Instead of digging up the whole celery plant I cut the sticks when I needed them, eventually just leaving the base of the plant.  I left this in the ground, and as you can see it has started pushing new sticks out.  I have covered the row with a mesh cloche for protection, and if it survives  the winter I should be able to have a continuous perennial supply.

Don't you just love it when a plan comes together.
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