And the answer is…..

Pumpkin, it was the pumpkin that poisoned us, thinking about it, it was a little old. I cooked the left over sausages today and ate five out of seven for lunch and have just eaten the last two and all fine. Let that be a lesson, vegetables can become too old to eat, I must have become soft with age, I went to India and drunk the tap water and ate street food and did not have a problem.




Sometimes lunches do go on for too long and it is very hard to get people out of the house, today they did not even stay for the apple crumble. I gave myself and four friends food poisoning which came on in fifteen minutes, hence not having time to enjoy pudding. It did seem untrue at the time. I cooked sausages, pumpkin mash and kale, I think the problem was the pumpkin mash, the pumpkin was not at its best. I removed the plates from the table we went into the next room to look over some paperwork, the next thing, Helen and Louise are being sick in the hedgerow, Andrew is in the loo at the front door, Perry is between here and his house and I am being sick in the kitchen. I am going to cook the other sausages tomorrow for myself to rule them out. I still have a whole apple crumble……



I am very happy with the seeds I got from “The real seed catalogue’ but also the information that they send with the seed, for each variety they tell you what you need to do etc on the invoice page which I am very happy to have, they do have a great catalogue which I will be using again and more next time, they collect their own seed and also tell you how to save your own seed, this is something that I want to start doing more of. Juliet Roberts from Gardens Illustrated told me about them, thank you Juliet.



I have taken out the Broccoli “summer purple’, the seed was sown on the 12/03/14, so we have had our moneys worth out of that crop. I took it out and have dug over the soil so it is now ready for some cold weather, we will light a fire in the house each day next week, the ash will put put onto this area to try to stop club root developing in this area. It is great to have another area sorted and ready for the spring.



I now think I have the fruit cage how I want it and I should not have to go back in there till the spring when I will have to go in and weed through it, or maybe I will go in once more and move some forget-me-not around, they will stop the weeds in the spring. Well today I ran foxgloves through the soft fruit, I want some interest in there from some flowers but nothing that is going to cover the sort fruit plants, as they are the important crop in there.



France gave me snow, it was great to be up in the mountains staying with Peter and Olivia, Olivia being one of the best cooks I know, I am now on another diet. We did have to push the car in the snow to get up to the a farm house to have New Zealand lamb, it was funny to be in the middle of the countryside in France to be given lamb from New Zealand. It is a great system they have in France, the farmers will open up a small room you can have home cooked, local food in. But the highlight for me was the birds that come to Peters bird feeder, I could not stop watching them and it made me remember that in the middle of winter it is a great idea to put out food for birds that live in your garden, and water, a lot of the time winter is hard to come by if frozen over, the birds will pay you back in summer, Peter must have be feeding thirty finches, such sweet little birds.


Early start

I am up very early today to catch a flight back to London and then on to Switzerland, it does seem the long way round at this hour but there you have it. I am very pleased with how it all went yesterday, the whole day was run so well, and they have gathered a very interesting group of people here for this event, I even sat through four talks in German and enjoyed them, it was interesting to have a group of young and old together getting so much out of it, I hope they have another great day today.



I have made it to Langenlois, Austria and am happy to be here for this event, two days of talks about the use of plants, I am giving my talk on the first day, on annuals in the border, I asked for a tour of the whole place and was happy to see some of the same annuals in their glasshouse as we grow, I will be able to show them how we use them at Great Dixter. I also loved the tour of the vegetable area, they grow for the college kitchen. Look how well their tomatoe plants are doing, these will be grown under glass. So far all very interesting.



The rain stopped and there was blue sky so I felt 39 again, it was rather nice to be out in it, I finished the week with things in order which is great because I am away next week. The last job of the week was to place another seed order, the case is starting to look very good, I am trying a new seed supplier ‘The real seed catalogue’, they do seem to offer some interesting seed and it is their own collected seed, if it does well I will get more from them next year. I am also happy to see the light is getting longer now, it was light at 5pm today.



I really have to say today was the day that I felt my age and for the first time felt that winter was becoming too much. We have had so much rain in the past few days that spending time on my hands and knees in the mud lifting the autumn raspberries and cleaning out there roots of bindweed was just very hard, duty work. The good thing about the time was that I did not have to think about the work too much, I could go over my slide show in my head. I am now looking forward to my travels to Austria and France next week. I still have a days work on the raspberries tomorrow, that is going to help me get out of bed……..