Friday, 10 September 2010


Yay we've got a garden shredder! I picked one up from Aldi last night, £99.99, bargain. I was on my way home from work so I didn't have Whitewolf with me to do the lifting. Boy is it heavy!! I was beginning to panic about how I was going to get it off the pile and into the trolley, when a very nice man asked if I needed a hand, and he put it in the trolley for me. He was just another customer, and it was very kind of him to do so. I thanked him profusely.

Fortunately I didn't need to put it onto the conveyor belt, the cashier could see the product code on the box, so that was a relief. I managed to manhandle the shredder out of the trolley and into the car, but I thought, even if I have to take it out of its box and put it in the car in bits, I'm having it. I didn't want to go home and get Whitewolf in case they'd all gone by the time we got back, you know what these bargain days are like, if you don't get in quick the good stuff disappears!

We've yet to try it out, but it should be a BIG help, and a major step forwards in our being able to clear the overgrown trees from the garden. Will comment on how effective the shredder is in a later post.

So, we've got the hornbeams to clear, and the apple tree to prune and train, and other shrub and plants to cut back, lots of work, which we'll tackle gradually. The thicker trunks that we can't shred will go to a friend who has a woodburner. We're planning on bagging up the chipped wood into black bin bags, and poking holes in the sides of the bags, and allowing the chippings to overwinter. They will become mulch, or the covering for paths between the new raised beds we plan on creating. The greener shreddings will go into the compost bin to add some bulk. And there is always the brown garden waste bin too, if the waste is shredded then more'll fit in the bin.

Fingers crossed for some dry days so we can crack on with the work.

And we now have roof bars for the car, so we can finally get the planking we want for the sides of the raised beds we're planning.

Lots of work to do, but we now have the suitable equipment, nothing can hold us back! Except maybe the English weather...

Friday, 3 September 2010

Autumn is on its way

It may sound daft, but as the days are drawing shorter, and the nights are cooling off, I am worrying about the garden. We have so much prep still to do, hornbeams to remove and dispose of, raised veg beds to make, and rearranging to do, that it all seems a bit of a mountain at the moment. Also, one of our raised beds is now empty, and is waiting to be repositioned, so we can't sow anything in there until it's in its new position. So it feels a bit in Limbo.

But we have bought some roof bars for the car, which will help us get the planks we need for the raised beds home from the diy store. We do need a shredder though, so fingers crossed we'll be able to pick one up pretty soon. We'll use it to help us get rid of the flamin hornbeams.

The tomatoes are still ripening, and I mean ALL of the toms, not just the early ones by the kitchen, the tumblers and even the big Freecycyle tomatoes are ripening. Fab.

We harvested all the remaining apples off the tree, and have given some away, and we still have 3 big carrier bags full in the kitchen waiting to be attended to. We got stuck in because the magpies were after them, and woke us up with their noisy chattering outside our bedroom window! We are hoping to get out to the Withy again and collect some blackberries and elderberries, to make bramble jelly and elderberry and apple jelly. So that'll use up some of the apples. More chutneys may be in order as well.

The runner beans are still coming, I pick a few every night and store them in the fridge until there is enough for a meal. The peas are pretty much finished, but they are a must for next year, and in a better position hopefully. The courgettes are mildewed again poor things, so have not produced very much. Better position for these too next year.

The greenhouse plants have ground to a halt it seems, one small cucumber, and several chillis, yet to change colour, but I live in hope.

Not veg garden related, but Hubby and I went wild damson picking last week, and we made Spiced Damson and Apple Cheese, bloomin lovely. We stewed the fruit, twice as much weight of damsons to apples, and sieved the resultant pulp. Then weighed it, and added the same weight of sugar to pulp, and about a teaspoon and a half of allspice. Then boiled it until we got to 105 degrees, and popped it into sterilised jars. I've already tucked into the first jar, and it is delicious. Hopefully we'll go and get some more damsons, and I'll have a go at a jam instead of a cheese. Yum!

Really got the preserving bug now, there are so many things I want to try making, and it's an excellent way of preserving our produce without having to freeze it all.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Stormy Days

Who would believe it's August? The weather we've been having, stormy and windy, and lots and lots of rain... and hot, which is the only clue that it is supposed to be and sticky... uncomfortable.

Anyway we've been making small progress with the garden. We have decided we need a shredder, so we can shred all the hornbeams, rather than simply put them into the brown garden waste bin - if we can shred them, we can compost them or use them as mulch. We've been looking on Freecycle, and pricing up for a new one, but we suspect we'll have to bite the bullet and buy one.

The tomatoes are still ripening, I noticed today the first one on the tumblers that has started to change colour, but these photos were taken a few weeks ago to show the baby toms and loads of flowers, very sweet. The other tomatoes are still going strong, but not changing colour as yet.

The beans and courgettes are producing, we've been eating beans, and some peas, but as we haven't got many pea plants we haven't had many peas. Our favourite thing to do is eat them fresh out of the pod as soon as they're picked, they are so sweet and fresh and green. We will defo grow more peas next year, these are great.

This is what we planted the spuds in, they have ALL produced green growth, and I've earthed them up already. Hubby lifted all the tubs yesterday and put bricks under them to raise them off the hardboard, with all the rain the tubs were sitting in a pool of water.

The mini greenhouse is still standing despite the windy weather, and the cues and chillis are doing well, not changed colour yet, but I think the lack of sunshine hasn't helped.

I cropped all the beets from the smaller raised bed, and made some beetroot and orange chutney, recipe from The Complete Book of Preserves and Pickles by Catherine Atkinson and Maggie Mayhew. After making the chutney, I still had lots of beets left over, so I pickled them :-) They won't be ready to eat for a few weeks, but when I tasted the chutney to check the seasoning it tasted good!

We've also picked a load of apples from the tree, there are still plenty on there, they'll last another couple of weeks I reckon. I incorporated some into the chutney, and have stewed the remainder for the freezer. I did 2 lots of spiced, and 2 lots of plain stewed apple. And we now have 16 tubs of stewed apple to go into porridge or onto ice cream, for months to come. My new favourite gadget is the Apple Master from Lakeland, it is a doddle to use, and so quick, it made the preparation of 4 carrier bags of apples a breeze. I Highly Recommend this product! It peels cores and slices, so all I had to do by hand was take out the bruised bits or scabby bits. Fab. I reckon we've got about the same amount of apples still on the tree, so I intend to dehydrate these, and store them that way. Will write about this when I do it.

Tuesday, 10 August 2010


Planted some spuds. Never grown spuds before, hopefully these will give us new spuds for Chrimbo. We'd been looking in the seed catalogues and they only sold them in fairly large quantities, more than we needed, as we had 3 recycling tubs and we reckoned that we could pop 4 seed spuds in each, so we only wanted 12 at the most. We'd looked in the chain garden centres, no joy. We had almost given up, and were about to order some from the seed catalogue places, when we decided to try our local independent garden centre, Dundry Nurseries, on the offchance that they had some. And lo and behold, they sold seed potatoes individually, you just bagged up how ever many you needed and they weighed them. Our 12 seed spuds cost us the princely sum of just over a quid. Ace. We also picked up some compost, for the same price that B&Q were knocking the same amount out for. We like local companies, and try to support them wherever possible, so in future we need to try Dundry first for other supplies, they seem to be well sorted for veg, and have some unusual seed varieties. The guy that owns Dundry Nurseries is often a guest on the local radio breakfast show.

The supermarket garlic has failed, the leaves have died right back. It was only an experiment, but it's still a disappointment. Never mind, will try again later in the year, I know now I planted them too early. You live and learn. Will try again by planting some cloves in a week or so, for cropping next year.

We've been eating courgettes, basil, coriander, tomatoes, beetroot, salad leaves, and we had our first runner bean - it was a solitary big bean, so we took it off to allow the rest to develop. The French beans and the runners have yet to really get going, lots of flowers and leaves, but only a few strings of beans as yet. Hope we're not too late. Harvested a few pea pods, to try and encourage the plants to keep producing, we had a couple of pods raw, straight from the plant, so sweet and green, absolutely delicious. We'll definitely grow peas again.

The chillis and cucumbers are coming along great, lots of growth and lots of fruit, no ripeness yet, but give it time. And the freecycle toms are starting to change colour at last, whoo hoo! And the freecycle sweet peppers are finally getting flowers, I'll keep them in the greenhouse and hope for the best. I feel pessimistic, as it is late in the season though.

I cooked our first onion, 3 courgettes, and a load of tomatoes last night, and made 3 portions of ratatouille-type stuff, and have frozen them, they'll go great in mince, or with chicken, or even whizzed up as a soup. I also trimmed a lot of mildewed leaves off the courgettes, and binned them as they can't be composted. I know why they've got mildewed, infrequent watering and overcrowding, too many plants all together. So I fed them all, and wiggled the growbags a bit further apart to give the plants some room - kill or cure, they aren't very productive at the moment so chopping off leaves won't be a problem. We will see how they go.

Also been thinking a lot about the front garden, not for growing veg, so not really relevant to this blog, but it's gardening so I'll note my thoughts. Want to tidy up the front and make it look neater. The H4H petunias we planted have been a great success, and give off a lovely delicate fragrance in the evenings, so I'd like to grow more fragrant flowers, like lavender, and pretty ones like poppies, and buddleia. We have a rosemary shrub in the front which is over 15 years old, and it's very leggy and woody, so I've taken some cuttings, fingers crossed they take, and next year I'll remove the old plant. I took some of the old plant out this weekend, and tidied the front up a bit, not much different but it'll take some time. There are some other old shrubs out front, so they'll need cutting back or removing in the spring too. And a blue atlas cedar that needs cutting back and down otherwise it'll take over! I need to do all the cutting back in such a way that the people who post things through letterboxes don't use our garden as a shortcut - which is why the shrubs were planted in the first place. Need to plan it carefully. Thinking about a trellis fence, or something similar between us and next door... not decided yet tho. A simple but pretty physical barrier, which clearly denotes our boundary. We also have a large hornbeam shrub in the front, which I'd cut back a couple of weeks ago, it is large and square, and I'm thinking about removing it to soften the look of the front garden. Lots to do, plenty of time to do it.

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Planning Ahead

It has been a while since our last blog entry, we've been otherwise occupied, and the garden has been quietly ticking over all by itself. Apart from watering and feeding we've not done much lately. I've been cropping herbs and courgettes, and the occasional lettuce leaf or two, but not much is happening.

The apple tree is continuing to drop fruit, but there is still a ton on the tree, so we'll have a good harvest. I'll dry some in the dehydrator, and pulp and freeze some, and it'll keep us going for months. They are all eating apples, 2 varieties on the one root stock, but cook well and taste great in pies and porridge and on ice cream! I'll try the Apple Master from Lakeland, as I'll have a lot of fruit to prepare, so will post if it's any good.

The pear trees haven't fruited this year but we expected that, with them being so overshadowed. Next year should be better for them.

The tomatoes by the house are beginning to change colour, and the tumblers have lots of tiny green toms but no redness as yet. The Freecycle tomatoes are larger, but still green. The Freecycle peppers have not flowered, but the Freecycle chilli's are flowering and fruiting like mad!

The strawberries have been sending out runners like nobody's business, we now have at least 14 extra plants for next year, however we're not sure if the plants creating runners is to the detriment of this year's crop... I'm going to try stopping all the runners from now on, to give the big plants a chance to catch up and take a breath, so to speak.

The cucumbers have produced some teeny weeny tiny baby cucumbers, so I've started feeding them with tomato feed. I'll need to rearrange the greenhouse so they have room to grow, there's not a lot of space in there.

We have decided to spend my annual bonus on a proper greenhouse, so we'll need to prepare the ground where we want to put it as it is very uneven at the moment. A lot of hard work but it'll be so worth it, it'll extend our growing season.

We've also spent a bit of time tidying up the front garden as it had been neglected while we concentrated on the back, and had become overgrown. I cut back and squared off the hornbeam bush right at the front of the garden, and took out a dead shrub too, with more clearing to do - there is a rosemary that is a huge bush but only growing at the tips, with lots of dead wood in the middle, so I'll take some cuttings and grow them on ready to replant. While I was doing that I discovered that our neighbour had chopped back some of our shrubs and cut down some roses without permission, so I was not pleased about that. I understand why he'd done it, the shrubs were overgrown and he wanted easier access to his car, but he should have spoken to us first. I know it's only shrubs but it really got my goat. I like our wild and wooly front garden! Luckily the roses are sprouting back again, yay roses! Hope they get nice and prickly!!

I think I'd like to grow some large structural flowering plants in the front garden, like hollyhocks or buddleia, and I would love some poppies and nigella there too. Flowers in the front veg in the back :-) We have some rose bay willow herb growing, I know it's a weed but it is pretty so it stays, at least until we've managed to replace it with a cultivar. We have a small potentilla plant in the back garden, discovered when I cut back the lemon balm, and it's leggy and thin but surviving, so I'll move that to the front garden next season, to give us more veg growing space in the back.

Things to avoid next year:-
1) Don't sow all the seeds out of a packet. I did this with the courgettes and tumbler tomatoes and basil, and ended up with too many plants.
2) Chard - we tried this this year and we didn't really like it very much. No point in growing something we're not keen on eating.
3) Give courgette plants more room, and more footing, no more than 2 plants per growbag. We've got 8 courgette plants in three growbags, and I think they are suffering from being overcrowded, and it makes watering them a bit of a struggle cos the leaves are all in the way.
4) Peas need light. we've got some pea plants in a growbag along the fence, but they are drowned out by the runner bean plants and the courgettes, and aren't producing very much.
5) Plant in the soil where possible. All our veg is in containers of one sort or another, and require much watering. Soil planted veg will be able to access the water table.
6) Tomatoes in growbags - too shallow and dry out too quickly - they'd be better in deep pots, like my Dad used to grow them, and in the greenhouse, if we manage to get one sorted.

Things to do again next year:-
1) Feed all the beds with blood fish and bone again, that worked a treat.
2) Spinach, lovely stuff.
3) Garlic, plant more and earlier.
4) Tomatoes! wonderful things
5) Courgettes, onions, basil, coriander, cabbages
6) Get baby veg plants from local nursery - nothing wrong with diy chain store plants, but nursery veg proved to be nicer tasting.
7) Herbs! Basil and coriander, and parsley and chives, and any others we can get hold of, just wonderful.

Things to try next year:-
1) Blueberries, or honeyberry, or similar unusual fruit
2) Plum tomatoes
3) Aubergines - already got the seeds
4) Sweetcorn maybe?
5) Colourful carrots, stripey toms, varieties not usually available in the supermarkets.

Plan for the winter:-
1) Cut down and take out as many of the hornbeam hedge trees as possible - we could pay someone to do it for us but we're not tight we're careful.
2) Prune back the apple, but carefully, don't kill the tree by being too aggressive. Do it in two or more stages if necessary - first take back some length, then create some air in the middle of the tree. It leans to one side somewhat, so concentrate on that side and take out as much of the overhang as possible.
3) Take out the cherry tree stump, it's in the bloomin' way!
4) Rake over the grass area and try and get rid of all the twigs and detritus that have deposited themselves under there. Eventually this will be turned into paths and beds, but in the meantime we need to try and break it up a bit, cos it's like concrete at the moment.

Lots of work to do, lots of plans, but I am delighted with the progress we have made this year, the gardens are tidier, and productive, and are just better all round.

Saturday, 10 July 2010

Steady progress

Looksee, gorgeous courgettes, growing and ready to eat for tea :-) The start of many, we'll crop the one in the pic above later on tonight.

And these gorgeous beauties are just some of our runner bean flowers, we've got loads, so we should get a decent crop in a few weeks. Yummy.

The chillis are flowering, the buds are pretty, but look at the stunning white fully open flower below, isn't it delicate?

Here is one of our cucumber plants, I staked them because they were wrapping around the greenhouse shelves, and they have taken to the stakes well. No idea how big these plants will grow, so we may have to rearrange them to accommodate them properly. I think they are beginning to develop buds, it's too early to tell but it sure looks like buds to me.

The two tumbler tomato hanging baskets are looking great, and both are flowering, so fingers crossed for lots of lovely wee toms before too long. The other tomato plants are dripping with green toms, I did take a pic but it was very washed out looking so I've not posted it. We have eaten the first two that were red, two early toms, and they were delicious :-)

And we will eat these two beauties with tea tonight :-) The rest of the beets are not quite big enough yet, so these two were the first. How fab do they look?

Today we cleared the rest of the radishes, they had gone beyond their best, so the leaves have all gone into the compost bin, and with the trough and pots left over son fed the remaining compost, added more compost, and sowed some carrots in the trough and pak choi in the pots.

For a couple of days now we've had blackbirds shouting in the trees, and earlier on today was the sound of a blackbird fight. When I popped out to check on the courgettes later on, sitting on the bags of topsoil was a baby blackbird, looking all dishevelled and vulnerable, so I left it alone. When we popped our heads round later on it had gone, so mum must have come and fetched it. We can but hope. No sign of a dead body, so hopefully the cats didn't find it.

Sunday, 4 July 2010

Morning from Breezzzyyy Gloucestershire

Well to be truthful it's blowing a Bl%%#y gale

We have just had to go out and secure both the tomato houses to the wall and fence and have roped and staked down the mini greenhouse to stop the whole garden blowing away

The wind is causing mayhem with the apple tree, and there is fruit all over the floor and we thought at one point that the beans and courgettes were going to end up in another county.

Lets just hope the wind subsides a little.

Saturday, 3 July 2010

Lots of growth

Here are our Help For Heroes petunias, haven't they grown well? We are delighted with them, they look super.

Two of our cucumber plants in the mini greenhouse, we have 4 altogether, and they are growing well, but it looks like we'll have to stake them, as they are sending out tendrils and fastening themselves to the shelf above... we've never grown cucumbers before so we don't know! This is a steep learning curve we're on, but it's fun!

Also in the mini greenhouse are the peppers and chilli's, and the chillis have some flower buds, whoo hoo!

We now have a lot of small green tomatoes in both tomato houses, and found this little beauty, starting to change to red, so bloomin exciting!!!!!

The courgettes are going well, and are all starting to produce flowers, and some baby courgettes are developing, excellent.

This final shot shows how well the beets and radishes are growing, and the garlic is still thriving, not bad for a supermarket generic 'try it and see' variety! Fab.

We have been added to our local council's allotment waiting list as well as our local parish, we reckon we'll still be in for a long wait tho mind, at least a year, possibly longer, but at least we're on the lists now. Just have to wait and see, and keep working on the garden in the meantime. At least we do have a garden, thankfully.

Sunday, 27 June 2010

Yum Yum

We have eaten some radishes, they were delicious, light and peppery and crunchy, mmmmmmm. I forgot to take any pictures of them, silly girly! We also had some basil, chopped and mixed with some bought tomatoes, and dressed with salt pepper and olive oil, bloomin lovely. And some mixed herbs, roughly chopped and mixed with some lettuce and cucumber, bought (ours aren't ready yet) and it was a very tasty salad on a super hot afternoon.

I sowed some more mixed salad leaves on Wednesday in the mini propagator, and they have germinated already! Super fast.

We've been looking at greenhouses and poly tunnels, trying to decide what to do. A greenhouse would be at least 300 quid for the size we want, (6x6 or 6x8) a polytunnel is a lot less but a lot more flimsy, and a larger version of the Wilkinson's walk in plastic greenhouse would be £40, if we can find one, we think they may be out of season now. Also, a greenhouse would mean a lot of prep as the area we'd like to use is very uneven, but a greenhouse would give us a much longer growing season, and would be great for the more tender plants. We can manage pretty well with the set up we've got so far, but for the future I think we'll need a growing place. Especially as we're unlikely to get a lotty in the foreseeable future.

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Baby Crops!

Been busy trying to clear the hornbeams from around the second pear tree, with a fair amount of success, hard work mind, and still lots to do, but so far so good.

Did the cutting back a couple of days ago, and tonight I noticed the pear is flowering... it muct like having a bit of air around its branches.

I know it is far too late for it to produce any fruit, so if it tries I'll remove them, but it is encouraging that it is healthy and happy enough to flower.

Strawbs are beginning to change colour, not sure if the pic is very clear, but it is an exciting time.

Harvested the redcurrants tonight, still not a large crop, so it was washed and frozen, and will be added to last year's frozen crop, and will make a pud out of it sometime. Looked lovely on the plant, eh?

Finally, earlier this evening our son was sitting looking at the tomato plants in the taller frame (budding gardener), and he found that they had finally started to produce, hurrah! For the longest time we'd only had 2 wee toms but lots of flowers, and now all of a sudden there are plenty of baby toms! Whoo Hoo!!!

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

No local Lottys :-(

Heard back from the local parish council, although there are over 100 allotments in the local area, there is a waiting list of over 70... so it could be several years (their words) before we get to the top of the list. Disappointing, but at least we know we're on the waiting list now.

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Lotty, lotty my garden for a Lotty

We have come to realise that there is never going to be enough room in our ickle back garden to grow everything we would like. So we have put out requests to all the surrounding city/county councils and also the parish council.

We had a disappointing NO from the Gloucester City council as we actually pay our council tax to the county.

We will have to wait and see what happens. Hopefully we won't have to wait too long.

All Change

Lovely weather, which has meant that the resettled water butts have remained empty (boo) but we've been able to plant some new crops. We found the label for the spinach that I was going to allow to flower, and discovered that it was an F1 hybrid, which meant it probably wouldn't seed true to type, so I compost binned the remaining plant. This meant we had a nice empty container ready for new plants. Added some blood fish and bone to the old compost, and also added fresh new compost to the top and voila, container ready for planting.

Went to jolly old B&Q on Saturday, after my trip to the dentist to have a wisdom tooth removed, so needed something to take my mind off the stress and pain. We got some nice new plants, 2 veg, 2 herbs. We also got 2 wee planters to pop the new herbs into. We picked up another couple of growbags, one for our two forlorn courgette plants that were desperately in need of planting out, and another one for the pea plants we picked up. There were supposed to have been 12 pea plants in the tray... we counted 28 altogether! Most are in the growbag, but the extra ones have been potted into a large terracotta pot. I've wrapped both lots of peas with netting, as we have heard that birds really like young pea shoots...


The two new herb plants are garlic chives, and coriander, looking happy and healthy in their pretty planters, alongside the basil and radishes outside the back door.

I rearranged the two runner bean and french bean pots to the side of the house where the courgettes are, and made a frame with bamboo and netting. No idea if it'll work, but if not then we'll do it differently next year. It is so good to be making use of what has previously been a dead area, a place used for dumping stuff we want to forget about... it's now all lovely and green and growing :-) The courgettes have started producing wee flower buds, not flowering yet but it's early days. It is just so encouraging to see the plants thriving.

The other veg plants we got from B&Q were Rainbow Chard, Now planted into the refreshed recycle container. I don't think we've ever eaten chard before, so if it thrives it'll be a new experience for us. We are keen on the idea of growing more unusual crops and varieties if we can, so that's the plan for the future if possible, to try out more unusual varieties, and heritage varieties.

Oh another thing we picked up from B&Q was a reduced planter set, containing tomato, pepper, chilli and aubergine seeds, plus compost and pots, all for a fiver. We'll keep these for next year. Bargain.

Look how well the little herb planter is doing! Everything is really thriving, especially the oregano, it's growing madly. Great!

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

All Quiet

We seem to be entering a quieter period in the garden, just waiting for things to grow, and harvesting the bigger things. The spinach had more or less bolted, so son and I harvested the remainder, leaving one spear to flower so we can collect the seeds for next year, and I made a tasty spinach soup, now frozen in portions for later. Recipe below.

Hubby got stuck in and emptied the water butts, so we could level them off and put flags underneath them, was a bit of a messy job but well worth it, just look at how tidy it looks now.

After that I potted up the remaining runner bean into the french beans pot, only 2 french beans survived out of 5 beans sown, never mind, we should get a few beans out two plants. I popped the bamboo stakes in and tied them in.

The runner beans are growing well, and are wrapping around the bamboo supports, yay!

The courgettes have been quietly getting on with the business of growing, their leaves are getting lovely and big and they have flower buds all over. We need to get another growbag and get the remaining two courgette plants settled in.

The wee basil plants are looking very happy in their pots, lots of new leaves, haven't harvested any yet, not big enough, maybe in a few weeks.

And the redcurrants are changing colour, and look gorgeous... and are netted, so the birds 'shouldn't' be able to get them... will wait and see if it works.

Final shot, the baby apples on our tree, we'll lose a lot with the natral drop, I just need to keep on top of it all and tidy up the natural wasteage, instead of letting it rot on the ground! All good fodder for the compost bin.

Talking of the compost bin, the lettuces had all bolted, so they are now all in the compost bin. Nothing is going to waste, if we don't manage to eat them, then the goodness goes back into the garden.

Final thing, hubby picked me up some lovely big pots for the cucumbers chillis and peppers, so that's my next job. I'll need to tidy up the greenhouse, it's only small but is becoming a bit of a dumping ground, for garden chairs, and empty pots.

Spinach Soup recipe
1 large onion, roughly chopped
4 floury potatoes, peeled and chopped
3 or 4 garlic cloves, peeled
Good glug of olive oil
Lots of spinach leaves, washed and roughly chopped
2 or 3 stock cubes - vegetable, chicken, or a mix
Approx 2-3 pints of boiling water
Dried mixed herbs
Teaspoon medium curry powder
Scant quarter teaspoon dried chilli flakes
Ground black pepper to taste

In a large stock pot or saucepan, gently fry off the onion garlic and potato in the olive oil
Add the herbs and spices
Add the water
Add the stock cubes
Stir well and allow to cook until the potato is collapsing
Add the spinach and allow to cook until collapsed
Allow to cool slightly, check the seasoning and adjust if necessary
Liquidise with a hand blender for a smooth soup.