6 – on – Saturday 01.09.18

Six things in my garden today.  If you want to join in and share 6 things from your garden then here is to how to participate https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/2017/09/18/six-on-saturday-a-participant-guide/ It’s fun, you see interesting things in other people’s gardens and lovely 6ers chat and comment on your pics.

It’s a month since I posted on here.  It’s not that I’ve been busy, just lazy I’m afraid.  The garden has gone rather to rack and ruin with the over-blown (and over-grown) feel that comes through August.  First it was too hot to spend much time gardening and then, well, we kind of lost the habit.  But September will see us back in there, tidying and clearing out.  Here are my six this week:

Our little plum tree has been very enthusiastic this year, we’ve had over 20lbs (that’s 10 kilo for you younger people) of plums, and still picking.  They are a good size and sweet and juicy.  It’s a Victoria and it’s badly pruned because I don’t know what I’m doing but it still rewards us.  This year it has had brown rot again in spite of thinning twice whilst the fruits were smaller, and I’ve also been out almost every day picking off any with signs of rot as the fruit ripened. I must have got rid of at least as many plums as I’ve picked.  We would have been truly swamped if they had all ripened!  Here is yesterday’s haul, anyway.  If you don’t have a fruit tree in your garden, do try a Victoria plum.  They are forgiving and bountiful.IMG_0604

When I was bemoaning the loss of the verbena bonariensis in the bad weather earlier in the year, little did I know that it had left behind a gazillion seedlings.  They have taken over the border and I hadn’t the heart to pull them out because I love their heads of tiny purple flowers – and so do the bees and butterflies.  Consequently everything else in the border has been completely crowded out and there will be much refreshing to do soon.  Although that persicaria at the bottom of the pic is holding its own.img_0599.jpg

We’ve also had quite a harvest of blackberries this year so I diligently made blackberry jam with the ones we couldn’t eat quickly enough.  It is a disaster.  It wouldn’t set so I boiled it too hard and it has that slightly burnt taste, plus the seeds – oh the seeds!  There is more spitting than swallowing (if you’ll forgive that phrase) and the consensus is ‘never again’.  After the event helpful friends said “Oh, you should always go for blackberry jelly rather than jam’.  Readers, I hurled the jars at them.IMG_0584

Our runner beans, as I think I said last time, have been poor this year and the blackfly have been very happy.  There is, however, a silver lining.  The bean teepee is full of ladybirds and their larvae.  All different sorts, two-spot, seven spot, black, red and orange.  There a good amount of our smaller, British ladybird although I did spot (see what I did there?) a couple of the larger Continental ones which I duly squished.

This is the last of the tomatoes and the courgettes and definitely the last of the beans, so they will all get cleared away next week.  It’s been a disappointing vegetable year, but that’s gardening.  IMG_0598

And finally, we’ve had quite a few of these in the garden.  They are day-flying moths and have a really frantic flying style, more like a butterfly, flitting around all over the place but apparently with not much purpose.  This one is pretty tatty looking, so has obviously been around for a while.  Moths are not my thing, so I’m not sure of identification, but I think it’s an Oak Eggar moth.  If anyone can confirm or offer a better id, then please do.IMG_0572

That’s it for this time.  Enjoy your weekend and your gardens.

The Optimistic Gardener

 

8 thoughts on “6 – on – Saturday 01.09.18”

  1. I planted my first verbena bonariensis earlier this year, so it looks like I can expect an influx! That plum tree of yours just keeps on giving. I think plum jam is one of the nicest.

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  2. I think the majority of us jam makers have had a bad batch or two. I leave about 20% tof the seeds in and remove the rest. That doesn’t help you now, though. 😉 As Jane wrote, there are those luscious plums to work with now!

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  3. Victoria plum is available in catalogues now, but I have no experience with it. There are a few related plums. It is known as an ‘English’ plum, but I am not clear on what that means. How can a Japanese plum be English? Are plums of that group descendants of prunes?

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  4. I’m jealous of both your plum tree and your verbena. My vic plum has never fruited. Not once. I’ve tried to fan train it against the fence. It looks a bit diseased tbh. I’ll give it another year then I think ill replace with apple espalier. I can’t grow verbena for love nor money. I’ve bought seeds this year, I am determined to have a decent show.

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    1. How old is your tree? Ours was three before it fruited the first time then only a handful of plums. The flower really early in the year and if the blossom gets frosted then that’s the year’s fruit gone so ours is planted in a spot where it is a bit protected from early frosts. Also if it’s cold and there aren’t many pollinators about I have been known to do a bit of hand pollination, just in case….
      The verbena should just do it’s own thing really. If you lived nearer I’d send you some plants….

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      1. Yeah, give it a chance! Once it starts you wont know what to do with the plums. Ours is small, I keep lopping the longer ne growth off to keep it in its space. It started to fruit really well in it’s fourth year. The other thing to remember is if they have a really heavy fruiting year they sometimes don’t fruit at all the next year – they have to have a little rest!

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