Garden talk

There’s been plenty of action in the garden over the past couple of weeks, we pulled up the pumpkins and found 26, they were hidden all over the place. One pumpkin was wedged into a corner and is square, another was lodged high in a shrub and other particularly large ones were hanging from their stalks (they must be incredibly strong). The tomato and zucchini plants are looking ghastly but still producing quite heavily (I’ll have to buy tomatoes for salads soon). The red peppers are heavily laden and ripening quickly now; I was pleasantly surprised to find that they have a touch of heat/chilli and my favourite crop the eggplants are still producing. I forgot to mention that Pasta man dug up the potatoes, they are safely tucked away – a lovely healthy crop of delicious spuds (potato rosti may be on the menu).

We have two climbing roses – a delicate lemon one with a few thorns and a single petal red rose that is probably the most viscous rose I have ever seen! They are tucked away in a corner for safety and last year I didn’t get around to pruning them so they are in desperate need of a heavy prune. Anyway I’ve made a start on the yellow one and will have to wait for the green bin to empty to finally deal with the monster (I need to wear armour it’s so nasty).

When we first moved here we noticed a colony of harlequin bugs hanging out in the wood stack and didn’t really take much notice of them, but the next year their numbers had increased and they were everywhere! Our garden was a dismal place and as we started developing it we realised that the harlequin problem had to be resolved. After doing a bit of research we found that liquid soap (woolwash) with some pyrethrum did the trick (it works by blocking their ability to breath – sorry harlequins) and our campaign to get rid of harlequins began and so for the last couple of years we’ve been on the harlequin hunt and their numbers have decreased. This year we’ve trying not to use any sprays but there are some harlequins hanging about in one part of the garden, so I’ve spent a few hours picking them off the plants by hand and dropping them into a large container with soapy water in it. It’s a bit time consuming but those beautiful little lady bird beetles and praying mantises that are eating the white flies and aphids are safe to keep munching away and I feel better about it too.

Can’t wait to pull up the last of the summer crops and have a tidy garden again; we need to prepare ground to plant peas, broad beans, shallots, garlic and I’ve got 3 punnets of flowers to plant too (always nice to have flowers in the garden for contrast, beauty and companion planting), so you see there is plenty of gardening to be done, but isn’t  there always?

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