How does your garden grow?

It’s been a while since I posted any updates about the garden, but this doesn’t mean I haven’t been scurrying away trying to nurture the soil, maximise the sun’s potential and tame the weeds.

It’s been an excellent year all round for the garden and I’m pleased with the results. Just like writing, a little nurturing (read: lots of hours planning, preparing, trimming, pruning, digging & feeding) goes a long way…

sprouting broccoli early signs of fruit

These purple broccoli were a surprise: hidden in with some replacement spinach plants

Maturing spinach plants

These are the replacement spinach: the first bolted because of too much sun but I know where to plant them now for next year

Maturing greyhound cabbages

Cabbages love our soil – and despite the butterflies loving them for their eggs, we’ve done well this year. The next (winter) batch are currently germinating in the greenhouse PS Best bacon & cabbage ever when home grown!

baby radishes grown from seed

These may not look like much but they’ve grown this big from seed in two weeks: the first radishes I’ve grown as for some reason I think I don’t like them (but can’t remember last time I tried them)

beetroot ready to pick and pickle

Considered a bit of a superfood, I just love beetroot! This is a test crop, checking out the soil. As you can see, it loves it. However, we have another 60 or so in the field that are looking good. They can stay in the ground quite a long time so handy to grow.

Rosemary plants transfered to soil from tunnel

Fresh rosemary is beautiful for stews, so I’ve nurtured these in the greenhouse and am now planting out so it can get used to its new surroundings before the winter comes

Home grown sweet basil

Basil is one of my favourite herbs – I love the smell and the taste. I’m not sure about the soil or how resilient the plants will be so I’ve planted one pot out and have kept another one back in the tunnel, just in case!

maturing sprout plants

Year after year, sprouts are our big success story. In fact, I think we still have a few bags of frozen sprouts from last year! If you’re not a sprout lover, look away!

grow your own vegetables for cheaper meals

I guess this shows why it’s all worth it. There’s nothing better than going into your garden every day, harvesting what you can and then making a meal out of it (pictured here is lettuce, green beans, purple beans, spinach)

July in Photos: Cape Clear, Sea Trips and Spooky Walks

Out fishing: noisy visitors…

…and a hitchhiker!

Shooting shrimp pots (we got a haul big enough for three meals)

Lots of chillis on their way

Amazing Inshore Rescue training new volunteers

The first batch of blackcurrant jam

Runner beans doing well

Cape Clear lighthouse in the mist (I’m only a few metres away)

Wild walking ‘paths’, Cape Clear

Heading to the cliff walk in the mist (Cape Clear)

A haunting house – I love the way the tree mimics the roof

Garden roses in bloom

Another spooky walk…

Our first gherkin! (pickling season starts soon)

May in Photos

We’ve found shrews…but so did the kittens. Rescue missions in place!

Our mini veg garden is growing (onions, lettuce, courgettes, runner beans, French beans, corn, leeks, sprouts)

The tunnel is pretty impressive too…

…with good strong flowers on our tomatoes

We launched our punt (& had a few spins)

Spotted orchids on Long Island (West Cork)

Baking (for pleasure and book research)

Three types of jellyfish spotted

Picnic time!

Some impressive sunsets

April in 10 photos

Sorry it’s a bit late folks, but with all the fun over at the Writers Week Blog, it’s taken me a while to sort through this month’s photos. April was a very busy month and it was difficult to select what to show, but here goes…

Building weather-protection for our mini-garden (real veg garden is a whole field)

We planted out runner beans & French beans (could be way too early; esp. with the freak winds – we’ve more propogating just in case).

Collected seaweed to fertilise our cabbages (plastic strips deter the birds)

This is where we collect the seaweed: some interested walkers came down to chat about what we were up to!

A fisherman friend brought us our first crayfish of the season

Created a river view: you couldn’t see the water before. It was all briars and dead fuschia. Now look at it!

And here’s some of the stuff we’ve planted on the newly-cleared banks (there’s monbretia and wild strawberries too). It’ll look gorgeous in summer.

I made a sign to help people get the message…

We built boxes for our tomatoes and transplanted them – this is where they’ll stay now until they’ve yielded all their fruit.

And I leave you with one of our beautiful, moody sunsets.