Wednesday, 4 August 2010

This and That and the Garden

Since the weekend I have not travelled very far, other than to pop into Chasseneuil to get the mustard seed for Roz’s recipe of cucumber pickle, which I made today. All went according to plan (and recipe!) and now I have left it to mature.

Yesterday I made plum jam, and today I have picked a whole lot more plums and will make another batch tomorrow. I made it the lazy way; with the jam sugar it was quick and easy. The little bit that did not fit into the jars went on to some toast at lunchtime today and it tasted pretty good. I also froze masses of beans yesterday, gave some more to David and Florence, and also gave some to our neighbours down the road. There are still masses coming on, so I just keep eating and freezing!

Today has been cool and damp. No real rain to talk of, but we did get 2mm last night which all helped the garden.

As the clouds built up last night, we had one of our stunning sunsets, which I only just managed to catch on camera. I had looked out earlier and thought "no sunset tonight"; suddenly 20 minutes later this is what it looked like!

Artichokes from the garden for dinner tonight.

A couple more potato plants were dug out yesterday; there are still many to go. Yep, that says 130mm or 5 inches!

Meanwhile the mixed packet of flower seed that I had bought so cheaply, is still producing the odd surprise. I saw the first hollyhock out in flower a couple of days ago.
and the first white cornflower that I have seen

Last Friday's harvest

This Stargazer lily was a present from one of our neighbours last year for my birthday. When it finished flowering in the house, I planted it out into the garden. Sadly, a couple of buds have been eaten off, probably by those rabbits getting their own back after I fenced them out of the vegetable garden!!


  1. You've gotten some great rewards from your garden! I thought of planting potatoes, but someone told me they attract insects like there's no tomorrow. His exact words were, "I think the bugs email each other the locations of the potatoes!" And your sunset is beautiful!

  2. I love getting a taste of your life in different from mine in the San Fernando Valley, Los Angeles, yet in some ways the artichokes look much like yours........I haven't eaten them though...never harvest them in time.

    Please keep on blogging.

  3. Nice harvest, you are eating good. Every can dilled green beans? One of my favorites.

  4. Hi Margie, I have never had a problem with insects on, or around my potatoes and this is the third year I have grown them. The main problem is blight if the weather is not right but that can be treated in advance. I do though every year before I dig over the vegetable garden treat the soil for soil insects like cut worm etc. Diane

  5. Hi Lo, Glad you enjoy the blog. I love artichokes so there is no chance that I won't harvest in time LOL. Diane

  6. Gaelyn I have never tried canning full stop. If I can't bottle then that is it. Maybe you can bottle beans as well I have not tried. Diane

  7. Sounds like you have enough food stored in one way or another to last a good way through the winter Diane.

  8. Joan don't forget all the Christmas presents as well!! Diane

  9. What a lovely post today. I love the potpourri of goodies from your garden from your garden and the photo of last evenings sunset is really special. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  10. Diane, Your pictures are so pretty. Those artichokes should be a poster. What type of camera are your closeups taken on?
    Did I read that you go back to UK for winter? - wondering if the frozen food will be all right left in France or do you put it in coolers and take with you.
    To look outside and see such a sunset - Ahhh! I see trees - love my trees, but would like a little more sky.

  11. Mary,thanks for the comments. I am very lucky with the sunsets we get here. Have a good day. Diane

  12. Mya the camera I am using is a cheap Samsung L210 digital, it was under £100. This is Nigel's camera as mine (which is the same) has gone back to the UK for repair - still under guarantee.

    The one year when we came over for Christmas I left everything in the freezer here. As Nigel's father is now on his own, we stay in the UK for Christmas to be with him. Last year I took everything back in a cold box and switched off the freezer here. All travelled well and no problems. David makes sure the freezer is running when we return so it is ready for me if I bring anything back.

    I also love my trees but at least I get a sunset between them. Diane

  13. I can't get over what you have grown in your garden!! I'm not green fingered in the slightest but was rediculously pleased with the meagre amount of raspberries (which managed to survive despite me!) we got this year.

    C x

  14. WOW!!
    You really are a busy lady, Diane!!
    i am seriously impressed with the variety of veggies you've planted!
    How rewarding!
    I like this sunset picture, we haven't had such a nice one in ages!
    Your white flower is stunning, also!
    And many thanks for your tip about the pictures in the side column!
    It looks great and lightens up the blog! :)
    I wish you a great evening,

  15. What could be better than a gorgeous sunset and fresh veggies from the garden! Have a great day, Diane!

  16. Carol at one stage we had a big vegetable garden in South Africa and we did very well out of it. I am thrilled that I am having pretty much the same success here. The biggest problem is that it is so dry and I am having to water. Diane

  17. Hi Carine glad that my tip worked. I agree your blog looks much nicer with the pictures.

    I have to admit to be being very pleased with my vegetable garden:)

  18. Pam you are so right, I could not have worded it better:) Diane

  19. you must have an amazingly impressive larder Diane!!
    I love your photos and I had no idea stargazer lilies would grow in the garden. I hope you enjoy the cucumber pickle - it's a lovely recipe.

  20. Thanks Roz, I did taste a little bit of the pickle and it was pretty good, I am sure it will be even better when matured.
    I also did not know the stargazer would grow in the garden, it was only planted as when it was given to me I was told to plant it after flowering! It seems to have survived the cold winter with little problem.
    As I bottle, I put everything into a box ready for moving back to the UK. Discovered a box full of cherries in vodka today that I had forgotten about:) Cheers Diane

  21. Your photos are lovely - the produce & flowers in your garden all look so healthy, too ! Mmmmmm .... the jam which you made sounds like it would go down a treat ...

  22. Hi Diane and thanks for following my blog. No, we're not impressed with the coming wind turbines, but what can you do!

  23. Lynda the jam is really yummy. Not sure which I like best. I am now on to plum jam, but the courgettes don't stop, so courgette and ginger is still on the list. Soon it will be the figs! Diane

  24. Jan, Not only what you are having to put up with them being installed the end result is hardly attractive! I hope you are going to get some benefit from them at the end of it all. Diane

  25. Hi, lovely pictures, love to know your life in France, how nice you are getting all fresh vegetables directly from your garden. I have been to Paris once, a lovely city that I wish to visit again.Nice to know you via blogging, have a nice weekend ahead.

  26. Thanks Sonia, you have a good weekend as well. My fresh vegetables are welcome and taste so much nicer than the bought ones. Diane

  27. Hello Diane - it's been great catching up with your last two months of posts, it seems like you've been visiting quite a few historical places ...

    looking at your potato pic in this post I thought I'd mention that there'
    s a potato shortage in SA and Nam at the moment ...

    ... and I just love those Charentaise slippers ... I wear a similar slipper constantly when I'm indoors but they're of the cheap variety and wear out quickly ... I have six or seven pairs in various stages of decay ...

  28. Graham it is really good to have you back, I miss your posts when you are away. Most of France is historical, but it is not always easy to find out the details in the small villages.

    Do you want some potatoes I will send you some over :-)

    The Charentaise slippers are lovely but not that cheap, I guess though they would last for a long time. I am always barefoot in the summer, Rhodesian upbringing, but in winter on tiled floors slippers are a must. I am the same as you I have several in various stages of decay. I really should throw some out but..... Looking forward to your updates. Diane

  29. artichokes, that I haven't tried! Maybe I did, but I don't know the name yet hahaha! Nice harvest you have here...

  30. Lani I love artichokes. We have both globe and Jerusalem in the garden. The latter though is a root vegetable but has a similar taste to the globe. Diane


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