The runner beans are oh-so, oh-so nearly finished. There is one, perhaps two pickings left. But we have had absolutely loads and loads and there are lots in the freezer, in packs with the onions and tomatoes ready for winter stews. There are also a few courgettes in the packs. It's not that we haven't had plenty of courgettes (mostly in the form of button squash); there have been lots but they haven't grown very big and so we have needed more of them to make up a meal. There are lots more yet to come, provided that we don't get an overnight frost in the next few weeks. There are also little cucumbers on the way, and a few carrots left in the boxes. There are also corn plants on the allotment that are probably nearly ready. We haven't checked them for a few days. I must remember to do that!
I am still making my way through the Bramley apples that the Under-Gardener picked a couple of weeks ago. I think a few sessions of apple-sauce making are in order, although we have been enjoying apple and blackberry pies (with blackberries from the brambles in the orchard) and apple cakes recently. Plus I have discovered that if you put stewed Bramley apples in with vanilla or lemon yoghurt and add the tiniest bit of honey, you have a magnificent lunchtime dessert.
We hve finally given up on the kiwi fruit vine in the greenhouse in the garden. It has never produced even so much as a single flower and it has been busy trying to knock down the greenhouse. The Under-Gardener has removed it so we can use the space to grow something more productive. Possibly winter cabbages and broccoli, if it's not too late to find any, or more tomatoes and capsicums next spring.
Fennel and Celery appear to have got over the loss of Hoisin and the trauma of whatever it was that happened. We've opened the fence up properly between the two sections of the orchard and the two ducks and two chickens are mingling happily. When there is someone at home during the day, we let them out to forage in the kitchen and flower gardens. They seem to enjoy that a lot. We are getting three eggs most days, and four eggs ever two or three days. Dimsim is not a prolific layer, but then she isn't supposed to be.
And so now we are turning our attention a little to next season. The Under-Gardener has planted overwintering onions and garlic today, and he is preparing the garden and allotment beds for the spring. And I am about to start pruning and clearing in the flower garden. I am planning to completely dig over the two main flower beds this autumn and winter and to restock in the spring. I am, of course, not intending to dig up the shrubs but the majority of the flowers will go so I can make an attempt to reduce the number of pernicious weeds. And the alpine strawberries!!!
|The kitchen garden layout today|
|and the allotment|