In the spring we often have a French student come and spend time here working in the garden, it is part of their first year placement. I always find the students fun and interesting to get to know. They are often very good at drawing and will sit in the garden after work and draw. After their placements they will often come back and visit, on one of these visits five of them came and spent a weekend here, when they left they gave me a folder of their work which I put away and found again not long ago. One of the pictures I really love, it is a view from the compost heap looking forwards the house, a view I know so well.
I have sent so many people down to the heating chamber in the past 24 hours to have a look at the collection of pumpkins that we have in there. I feel that we are all getting ready for winter, the amount of am eating is out of control. This could be a sign that it is going to be a hard winter, with my weight problem I will be fine. The photo of the pumpkins is only half of them, the other half are around the corner. Miscanthus has a new job down there, she is on rat patrol.
Today was the day that we got the gourds and pumpkins in for the winter. The pumpkins we will start to use very soon, there are so many good ones this year that I will start to use them sooner so they do not go to waste. We grow the gourds so that the house has some colour in while we are in the depth of winter. I am very happy to report that we have another great crop of ‘Fig Leaf’ gourds. I do not remember sowing the seed for these and they are not in my note-book but I am very happy to see them back in the house.
I have to say a big thank you to Catherine and the children for making such special rosettes for the dachshund show that we are hosting here on Sunday, these are works of art that I am sure people are going to want. We had some 130 hounds here last year for it, not sure that we could have more than that, maybe with the forecast of rain for sunday people will not come. My two are resting so they are ready to chase off all those hounds in their garden.
Because I am going to be away for the second part of October I want the garden to be in a good state when I get back so I can start to winter dig, for this reason we have started to give the garden a good clean up and freshen the plants that will over winter. It was also that the garden had started to look a little over, it looked kind of how I have felt this week for one reason or another. Some plants do well in a hot dry summer others like leeks run to seed before the first frost…..
Today was the turn of another potato to be lifted, it was P.’Pink Fur Apple’. This is a very GD potato. I think I had it the first night that I had a meal here with Christopher over 20 years ago. They are a great potato because they store well and hold the flavour and shape the whole time. We have not cooked any yet but I will have to put them on the menu before too long, it is special to have vegetables that remind you of a friends, maybe only if you are a vegetable grower.
The tomatoes are still doing fine up there, I think now that we have had some rain the badgers have found something else to eat, just sorry it is in Mrs Next-door’s rose garden. I think at this time of the year as soon as they are showing some good colour it is worth getting them in and on a window sill to get ripe, it will happen faster. I have enough ripe again to make another lot of chutney. I will also need to make another lot of beetroot chutney also.
We had a study day today and I wanted t give them a good garden vegetable soup, using only vegetables from our garden and the result was a very good soup. Maybe the star of the show was the carrot’s, I am not sure if it because it is a new variety to me or that they have grown so well, I was a very happy boy this morning picking. This variety is C.’Red Cored Chantenay”. It is a large stumped-rooted carrot that is very sweet but also has a freshness to the taste as only home-grown carrots seem to have.
A dill by any other name would smell as sweet. I have picked some of the fallen dill flowers today and put them in a vase outside my bedroom. I really love the smell of them and at this moment can not tell if they have scented the room or that the oil is still ion my body and so I smell it, after a shower I will know the answer. We have a much-needed day of rain today, it is very good to see and great to be out in it.
A question I often ask myself while up in the garden is, where are the young men when you need them most. Lots of young men came into my head today as I was on my hands and knees digging up potatoes, I had to ask myself why they were not helping with this hot, heavy job. I am happy to have the P.’Picosso’ under cover now, it is perfect weather to get them up and in, they are dry. I just have to clean out the store so they can go into it.