GBBD – April – the sun shines and the flowers bloom

The sun shone for 3 days during the last week and so many flowers began to bloom I have been walking around the garden open mouthed at how quickly everything is growing.  The Quince tree went from bare branches to a few leaves, to full foliage plus blossom in about 4 days.

Today I will let the images speak for themselves and try to post about individual treasures over the next couple of weeks.

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I apologise for the lack of spaces between the images but uploading them together was my only option.

What I can tell you is that I am walking around with the biggest smile on my face with the joy that spring has at last arrived.  I hope it will arrive soon with you or if you’re drifting into autumn (which can I know be like a second spring in hot climates I hope you are enjoying the season.  Happy GBBD to you all.

Visit Carol MayDreansGardens for more Bl0om day insights.

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GB Harvest Day- Autumn Plenty

The cooler days are encouraging some things to produce more but it is inhibiting the growth of others.

I have removed all the tomatoes from the greenhouse, even though they were beginning to produce more foliage and flowers I don’t think there is enough time for them to ripen.  Even the few tomatoes that are still being produced outside don’t have the same flavour and I think they will be pulled out next week too.  Most of the cuttings I took from the tomatoes at the end of last month did root but it is something I need to do much earlier.  I will try again next year at the end of June or certainly by mid-July so that I can plant strong new plants when the first cropping ones are becoming tired from over producing.

Peppers, aubergines and chillies are still producing reasonable crops, I was able to make one last Mediterranean roast vegetables last week.  Basil and Thai basil need to be cut ruthlessly otherwise they flower and this in the end will stop them producing the best leaves.

Red pepper outside, with more green ones that may or may not turn red!

These yellow ones are in the greenhouse

A smaller variety of aubergine that I grew from seed

In this very narrow bed, I squeezed, auberines, chillies, chard and celary

Mediterranean roast vegetables

I am harvesting huge quantities of Dwarf green beans; yesterday there must have been 3 kg. too many at once, but that’s the problem with dwarf beans, it meant I was able to give masses to the guy who helps me in the garden, I don’t freeze them, really I grow vegetables to eat seasonal vegetables, I have been better at successional planting of the beans this year and I have some more plants growing now, hopefully there will be time for them to flower and produce some beans before the weather becomes too cold; yesterday I sowed a few more in the greenhouse just to see it they will grow there and perhaps give me fresh beans up until Christmas.  I also sowed spinach in the greenhouse and in the garden, plus some Bok choi outside.

A few of the beans from last week; yesterday this washing up bowl was almost full!

I harvested the last of the Barlotti beans – these were amazing this year as from one sowing I had three harvests, some as fresh beans and some as dried, I’m looking forward to soups made with these and just cooked with new olive oil drizzled over them when we harvest the olives and make oil.

I’m picking small quantities of strawberries and raspberries, just enough for a taste of summer.  Pomegranates and quinces are about ready to harvest.

Just a few raspberries almost every day

The splitting Pomegranate tells me it is ready to pick

My quinces are pear shaped the apple-shaped form is “the golden apple” from the garden of the Hesperides, from which inspiration this blog takes its name

The wild rocket, arugula, has lots of nice strong tasting new foliage now and the pretty yellow flowers can also be added to salads.  The ‘cresto di gallo’ another wild leaf that I use in salads has produced hundreds of new baby plants all over the Slope so that editing and eating the very first new leaves will help the other plants have more space.

I picked one last cucumber last week, and zucchini are giving me a meal every couple of days but are nearly finished, most of the leaves have died back so I don’t expect many more.

New winter vegetables are ready to take over.  I’ve already eaten a ’pointy’ cabbage and several others are ready, red cabbages are hearting-up and broccoli are just beginning to form heads.  Some fennel bulbs are a reasonable size so I’ll use them soon, I might put some plants in the greenhouse to have a little later in the year; I love raw sliced fennel with sliced oranges, a few black olives and a drizzle of olive oil as a refreshing winter salad.

A caterpillar of a Swallowtail butterfly was hiding on its favourite food supply – fennel.

All of these brassicas are nearly ready to eat

Delicious pointy cabbage (a little eaten around the edges

There are lots of lemons and limes, I would like to make marmalade from them this year; if anyone has a reliable recipe they use for lime marmalade do please let me know.

Lemons

Limes

I’m joining The Gardening Blog for their Harvest day meme.  Visit them to see what they’re harvesting in spring.