Posted: 30/08/2013 at 22:41
Haven't been on the forum for a while so Hi again everyone. I'm having to study to produce a 4 hour tutorial for Telford International centre in September on the safe use of Abrasive wheels to PUWER Regs (Provision & Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998) so that has been taking a lot of my time.
So far as the garden goes we've been inundated with Courgettes [about 100 picked so far] - have been supplying family & friends: Tomatoes are getting towards the end but still picking quite a few each day. The Great White (cabbage) butterflies got into the greenhouse and laid a load of eggs and the resulting caterpillars have decimated the foliage and quite a few of the fruits too but there have been plenty for us so no great harm done. The Red Alert (bush variety) have been good but the plants grew so much that it was difficult to control. Lesson learned "don't grow bush types in the greenhouse" The Apero have been absolutely brilliant - small plum type, very sweet and prolific. The Country Taste didn't have so many fruits but the size of each fruit easliy made up for that [1 fruit weighed in at over 1 lb!] they are also very sweet and make the most fabulous tomato sandwiches with ground black pepper & a little sea salt (Yum!). The runner beans are unbelievably prolific this summer - our freezers are filling up rapidly as well as keeping our daughter & family constantly supplied plus ourselves. The variety we've grown again this year is the white flowering "Moonlight" - These have a wonderful flavour and are great just to pick & eat straight from the plant which I frequently do as I refuse to use any chemicals on my plants. The ladybirds & their larvae have kept all the blackfly down. Have started picking the Aubergines this week - they are the best they've been for years (Must be the brilliant summer we've had this year).
Had daughter & family round for tea this evening - made a chicken curry & used home grown chilli (Fresno) in it which was good. I wondered if the girls (11 & 13) would find it too hot but they loved it. Abbie (the 11 year old nearly had a fit when her dad pinched a little bit when he thought she wasn't looking - I didn't know 11 year old girls could be so eloquent without resorting to bad language - bet he won't try that again! lol.
The first new raised bed we had made in June has come on very well. The Castor Oil plant (Ricinus) we were given by a friend in late June when it was about 12" tall is now about 6ft tall and flourishing with some flame red flower bracts and deep copper coloured foliage: I can't remember the variety but it's really attractive. The Dr Ruppel Clematis alongside it is in full flower again too and a whole string of flowers is tumbling down the other (sunny) side of the wall as well as the ones on the garden side.
Well, it's 22.40 now so time I signed off and made some Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzs !