Tag Archives: fruit

2016 Welcomed With Open Arms. New Year, New Start

Viewing platform, Eden Project, Cornwall

Viewing platform, Eden Project, Cornwall

January 1st 2016

Happy New Year out there.

Well, it’s a brand new start again today. After a year of torturous health problems I can finally move on and look forward to achieving what had to be put on hold. So I have plans. Not huge ones, but this is the year I concentrate on achieving some of my own goals.

I started well. I considered the real start of my new year to be Yule, the 21st December. And I’d planned Christmas as the Eden Project in Cornwall. For those who haven’t heard of it it’s an educational charity promoting balance in nature, a better understanding of our eco-system and research. It rivals Kew. Built from an old clay pit, dead and disused, it contains two huge biomes that house thousands of plants from around the world. You can find out much more at https://www.edenproject.com/.

Anyway, we went for Christmas, and had the most wonderful time. Astoundingly, there were outdoor fuchsias, roses and other plants in flower, and wild strawberries in fruit. We’ve had strange seasons and they are obviously confused. Flooding over the north of England and Scotland have blighted many people’s Christmas, and we are lucky not to have had such severe weather here. Close to my home town folk were evacuated following unprecedented rainfall – two months worth in 48 hours. Poor things!

So now for my plans. The garden is in a mess due to this year’s neglect. I need to get fit, so that will be the main focus. I want those raised beds stuffed with goodies. And now my neighbour has erected a new fence, I can plant along it some fruit bushes and some native shrubs. Building is happening on the fields behind us and there have been burglaries of sheds, so we’re are trying to make the place as secure as we can. Thorny shrubs will help. I’m on my own with it all. No-one else has any enthusiasm for it, so all progress and achievement will be mine. Eventually, I’d like to get my garden up to Yellow book standard. The yellow book is a listing of gardens open to raise money for charity, and they have pretty high standards.

Anyway, inspiration comes from our trip. Eden puts on a special show at Christmas, lighting the tropical biome, putting on entertainment and taking people on a quest. We spent three days there, and I even saw real reindeer for the first time in my life. I took a lot of photos, so here are a few.


Recipe for Eden


Bananas growing inside the tropical biome, Eden Project, Cornwall


Fuchsias in Flower at Christmas. Eden Project, Cornwall


Produce and Plant display, Eden Project, Cornwall


Aubergine Triumph!


Aubergine Flower

Aubergine Flower

I was nineteen when I got my first garden and attempted to grow my own tomatoes. I had a plant sitting by my newly purchased back door, before I’d even had the chance to garden. My dad was envious, as my tomatoes in a pot, with yellow leaves and restricted growth yielded more tomatoes than his cosseted greenhouse plants. Forty years on, I have a large garden and a bit more ambition. So as I have a greenhouse big enough I decided to try aubergines this year, and wow, I’m so pleased. Fruits are forming! The flowers are beautiful and the fruits curious and exciting. There’s always something new to learn and try with gardening. Always something exciting happening. They seem to have done well with regular potting on in good compost and fed about fortnightly since the flowers started to form.

Aubergine Forming

Aubergine Forming

The strawberries are about finished now and I’m going to root some runners. Some for me and some to give to friends. Figs are swelling and I’ve cut back its growth. It is going mad, as it’s planted in the ground and has too big a root run. I inherited it, so I’m going to give its roots a prune come autumn, to hopefully restrict its growth a bit next year, otherwise this triffid will take over!

On the vegetable bed, we’re still eating new potatoes, yielding about 1k per plant. We’re also eating turnips, khol rabi, French beans, runner beans, lettuce and swiss chard. It’s brilliant! I’m so pleased with progress. It’s very satisfying to have at least half of your dinner plate filled with home grown, fresh, vitamin loaded produce. Flavour and health combined with satisfaction. Great for the digestion! I just need to produce more soft fruit now.

Where potatoes have come out, broccoli is going in. The ground has to be stomped on to firm it for them, but it’s best use of the space, and will give us a late autumn/winter crop to look forward to.

Tah Dah! Aubergine definitely growing bigger!

Tah Dah! Aubergine definitely growing bigger!

Today I’m taking cuttings of perennials, to increase stock. I’ve bought quite a few new ones this year, with the intention of bulking them out to make a better display next year. Gardening is all about patience. It has its rewards. It’s so satisfying to see the fruits of your labours and plans, even if you have to wait a year for the results. It’s also worth taking cuttings to ensure I have replacements should any die off during the winter.

I have a holiday planned. A road trip to catch up with old friends. I’ll have to leave my partner in charge of the garden and greenhouse, but I think he’ll cope. As long as I leave a set of instructions and phone regularly, I should come home to a living garden!