Sunday, October 07, 2007

A special sighting at Ness Gardens

We hadn't been to Ness gardens for six weeks or so, and as it was such a gorgeous morning, we thought we'd go today. SomeBeans nearly didn't take his camera but I suggested he did, and I'm so glad he did!

The weather was wonderful and the low sun gave the gardens a whole new dimension. But best of all was our 10 minute front seat view of a weasel who'd made his home in a drain in one of the borders. Having only caught a glimpse of a galloping weasel in the past, this view was amazing. What a gorgeous wee chap! Here, he's admiring some autumn crocus.

The long borders were looking good in the sun, as were the acers and Hammamelis. But what a wonderful day - the chance to spare a few minutes with what is normally a very shy creature.

Obviously nothing happened in September

Well, nothing except digging and removing barrowloads of perennial weeds from the new allotment.

We have now dug (thanks SomeBeans!) over half of the new plot, and my ability to recognise perennial weeds by their roots has come on leaps and bounds. Bindweed, ground elder, horsetail, couch grass, thistles, docks - all of them have different roots. All of them are a b***er to get out, too.

We've been enjoying the taste of Sweetcorn 'Tuxedo' for the past couple of weeks, but yesterday was the first time we've enjoyed really, fully ripe cobs. Out of this world! There's absolutely no point buying the cobs in the supermarket again - they taste of nothing compared to the freshly picked cob.

I also pulled my first mooli/winter radish/daikon yesterday; this one wll be going in a stir fry, along with the pak choi harvested. As for what to do with the remaining 30 or so mooli, answers on a postcard please, as I'm not sure what to put them in.

Having ordered some fruit bushes and raspberry canes for the new plot, we will be putting down weed suppression membrane before planting. They should arrive in November - prime bare-root planting time. More info as and when they arrive.

With the last of the spuds dug up on 97A, the bed has been dug over, roots removed and then raked flat (again, thanks Somebeans, as he realises that I have an inability to rake things flat and so many of the plants I sow are raised on beds with a profile like the craters on the moon).
Into this bare earth has been planted my allium bed part 1. Hot on the heels of the success of the elephant garlic, I'm planting:
  • Purple Wight garlic (2 rows)
  • Elephant garlic (2 rows)
  • Shallot 'Griselle' (3 rows)
  • Overwintering onion 'Swift' (3 rows).

I've got one more overwintering onion variety to plant - that will be going on half of the 2nd potato bed.

The cold autumn days (some mornings down to 3degC) has led to the slowing down of bean production. 'Lady Di' has done very well as a runner bean; despite my dislike of the name, I was tempted to buy it as it says it is stringless - it's been a success. I've been a bit disappointed with 'Blauhilde' (purple French Bean), but it could be the poor summer. And yesterday, I picked the first Achocha 'Fat Baby' - wierd looking thing but I haven't cooked it yet.

View of the strawberry bed and new overwintering onion bed.