Copyright © Louise Bostock 2007-2013. Please give credit where credit is due.

Sunday, 22 November 2009

2009 in the garden : the verdict

Yesterday was caressingly warm in the sun, and wet, wet, wet in the garden. Lunch, once again, took place in Carmine's communal dining room, with our backs against the ancient stones of the Chiesa di San Gottardo, and an unparalleled view of Lago Maggiore and the Alps.

It may already be mid-November, and the children may already be counting down to Chrismas, but in the garden there still is plenty going on. Planted yesterday were ten Tulipa altaica, ten Tulipa sylvestris, fifty Tulipa turkestanica, ten Tulipa whittallii and a plantation containing fifty Crocus sativa. Thank-you to J and R for the gift of the bulbs - if the plants survive my tender ministrations, we'll share the saffron.

Cleaned up the remaining summer plants, and there is now a mountain of green chilli peppers drying on the top of Mathilda and a row of green tomatoes ripening on the mantelpiece. There are still a couple of roses battling on, and the pineapple sage is providing some autumn colour, a surprising fuchsia against the greens and yellows. Left among the vegetables are the broccoli and the leeks.

Almost all the less hardy plants have been given a good helping of mulch made up of chicken hay, doo-doo, feathers and leaf mould dolloped straight on at the base. I hope I haven't overdone it...

Judgement on this year's garden? A very good year, despite my having spent less time there than any year before. The weather was fairly good to us - rain and sun in the right proportions - and with the help of two composters and 18 chicken-bottoms, we now have soil that is much better structured and more fertile than that which we inherited.

Everything we planted seems to have done well! I seem to have understood finally what basil wants - warmth and light but not full, shrivelling sunlight - and this year we have enough homemade pesto to keep AJ happy for the whole winter. There is a 5-litre jar of dried red peppers in the pantry, and lots and lots of preserved rhubarb.

So now Mama is looking forward to a couple of cosy evenings with the Faithful Little Woodburner, a glass of Mr Lafarge's best, the seed catalogues and a procession of garden delights : chamomile for a good night's sleep, borage for the bees, lovage for the lettuce, bronze fennel per la bellezza, Good King Henry for the name and dog rose for the cats.

In 2009, how did your garden grow?



7 comments:

LadyFi said...

My garden grew dandelions, some grass, a trampoline and a Buddha head.

chrysalis said...

My garden grew some wonderful tropical shades of verbascum, one of which is still blooming. Dwarf runner beans - a new venture because they need no long pole structure! The pink nerines have been spectacular as have the cactus dahlias. Put the sweet peas in late so they have been flowering all through the autumn as we have had no significant frost as yet.

Sarah said...

I love the sound of your Mathilda.

Ours is called Stronzo. I can't wait till it offically croaks it so I can have a Mathilda too.

LindyLouMac said...

A lovely description. Our garden was much loved by the old lady that lived here before us but is somewhat overgrown having been untended for the last few years. We hope next year with the inside renovations finished to have more time to concentrate on the garden.

Sarah said...

The scaldabagno a legna !!!! Do you have a brand name for me ?

We have to pay for our wood but it's still cheaper than GPL.

Christine Gram said...

Maybe I've said this before, but I'm sick with jealously for your garden adventures.

lizbethsgarden said...

My garden gave me apples, green beans, peas, leeks, onions, chard, spinach, lettuce, carrots, popcorn, basil, oregano, chamomile, 2 green tomatoes, roses (mmm, potpourri), flowers. And I planted a cherry, a peach, and an apricot tree, and asparagus for summers to come.

Sunday, 22 November 2009

2009 in the garden : the verdict

Yesterday was caressingly warm in the sun, and wet, wet, wet in the garden. Lunch, once again, took place in Carmine's communal dining room, with our backs against the ancient stones of the Chiesa di San Gottardo, and an unparalleled view of Lago Maggiore and the Alps.

It may already be mid-November, and the children may already be counting down to Chrismas, but in the garden there still is plenty going on. Planted yesterday were ten Tulipa altaica, ten Tulipa sylvestris, fifty Tulipa turkestanica, ten Tulipa whittallii and a plantation containing fifty Crocus sativa. Thank-you to J and R for the gift of the bulbs - if the plants survive my tender ministrations, we'll share the saffron.

Cleaned up the remaining summer plants, and there is now a mountain of green chilli peppers drying on the top of Mathilda and a row of green tomatoes ripening on the mantelpiece. There are still a couple of roses battling on, and the pineapple sage is providing some autumn colour, a surprising fuchsia against the greens and yellows. Left among the vegetables are the broccoli and the leeks.

Almost all the less hardy plants have been given a good helping of mulch made up of chicken hay, doo-doo, feathers and leaf mould dolloped straight on at the base. I hope I haven't overdone it...

Judgement on this year's garden? A very good year, despite my having spent less time there than any year before. The weather was fairly good to us - rain and sun in the right proportions - and with the help of two composters and 18 chicken-bottoms, we now have soil that is much better structured and more fertile than that which we inherited.

Everything we planted seems to have done well! I seem to have understood finally what basil wants - warmth and light but not full, shrivelling sunlight - and this year we have enough homemade pesto to keep AJ happy for the whole winter. There is a 5-litre jar of dried red peppers in the pantry, and lots and lots of preserved rhubarb.

So now Mama is looking forward to a couple of cosy evenings with the Faithful Little Woodburner, a glass of Mr Lafarge's best, the seed catalogues and a procession of garden delights : chamomile for a good night's sleep, borage for the bees, lovage for the lettuce, bronze fennel per la bellezza, Good King Henry for the name and dog rose for the cats.

In 2009, how did your garden grow?



7 comments:

LadyFi said...

My garden grew dandelions, some grass, a trampoline and a Buddha head.

chrysalis said...

My garden grew some wonderful tropical shades of verbascum, one of which is still blooming. Dwarf runner beans - a new venture because they need no long pole structure! The pink nerines have been spectacular as have the cactus dahlias. Put the sweet peas in late so they have been flowering all through the autumn as we have had no significant frost as yet.

Sarah said...

I love the sound of your Mathilda.

Ours is called Stronzo. I can't wait till it offically croaks it so I can have a Mathilda too.

LindyLouMac said...

A lovely description. Our garden was much loved by the old lady that lived here before us but is somewhat overgrown having been untended for the last few years. We hope next year with the inside renovations finished to have more time to concentrate on the garden.

Sarah said...

The scaldabagno a legna !!!! Do you have a brand name for me ?

We have to pay for our wood but it's still cheaper than GPL.

Christine Gram said...

Maybe I've said this before, but I'm sick with jealously for your garden adventures.

lizbethsgarden said...

My garden gave me apples, green beans, peas, leeks, onions, chard, spinach, lettuce, carrots, popcorn, basil, oregano, chamomile, 2 green tomatoes, roses (mmm, potpourri), flowers. And I planted a cherry, a peach, and an apricot tree, and asparagus for summers to come.