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Dahlias

August 20, 2015

The first of the Sarah Raven dark dahlia collection have just started flowering. Here they are mixed with the last of the sweet peas plus Calendula officinalis ‘Sunset Buff’ and C. ‘Indian Prince’.  Regularly dead-heading calendulas keeps them flowering into early winter and scattering the dried seeds might produce more flowering plants over the next few weeks…

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There was some wretched-looking comfrey lurking around the shared allotment shed so I made an executive decision and cropped it and bagged it up for the council green waste.  I had to dig deep to get the roots out and will have to dig the area again because the smallest root will reproduce. The leaves were dry and unhealthy possibly suffering from a fungal disease known as comfrey rust…

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In another bed the comfrey cultivar Bocking 14 planted five years ago is looking very healthy.  This gets chopped up regularly to add to the compost bins or to be turned into comfrey tea for a very smelly but nutritious plant feed …

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The compost bins were tackled at the weekend and after several months one had decomposed brilliantly. Four wheelbarrow loads were emptied onto the bed after cropping the last of the Maris Piper potatoes…

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My fruit bushes have produced very small amounts of fruit this summer so I was pleased to be given a quantity of glistening jewel-like red currants…

DSCN5196They were turned into red currant jelly by stripping the berries from the branches before weighing. The same quantity of granulated sugar was stirred in under a gentle heat. Once the sugar had completely dissolved the fruit was rapidly boiled for 8 minutes. In order to have clear jelly the jam was poured into a sieve and then dripped into sterilised jars.  If you push the currants through the sieve it makes for cloudy jelly which looks less appetising.  And I’ve had a great crop of deliciously sweet Yellow Currant outdoor cherry tomatoes twice a week for the last four weeks…

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The bulb order has been sent and this year includes many more Allium multibulbosum since it was one of the best plants in the garden this summer…allium pflo nigrum rvroger (1)

and I love the look of Allium siculum (Nectaroscordum) so I’ve ordered this too…

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. August 20, 2015 9:09 am

    You HAVE been a busy bee!

  2. August 20, 2015 9:21 am

    Wet weather yesterday so no excuse but to fill the larder.

  3. August 21, 2015 10:09 am

    I think I might be addicted to dahlias. 😉 I can highly recommend Nectaroscordum – it’s very pretty, it does have a bit of an odd whiff to it if you’re rootling nearby and brush past it. Tomatoes have been a bit of a disaster this year. Slugs have got into the greenhouse and keep eating them. I’ve already cleaned the greenhouse out once and now with this awful August weather they’re not ripening anyway. Oh well, there’s always next year. 😉 Hope you have a lovely weekend.

  4. August 21, 2015 10:25 am

    My toms have been a lovely surprise since they started to ripened three weeks ago. Sweet and tender (and size isn’t everything) so I shall seek them out again for next year. My dahlia addiction is growing especially since two have survived from last year where I left them in the ground over winter. There are lots of buds about to open and hopefully to flower for a good eight weeks. You have a good weekend too.

  5. August 23, 2015 12:45 pm

    Gorgeous dahlias, Sarah Raven has exquisite taste. Comfrey is such a nuisance, the seeds must be viable and dormant in our field of a garden, when you make a new bed it pops up all over the place causing much teeth nashing. Yet, try to grow it as a compost crop in a suitable spot and it fails!

  6. August 24, 2015 9:12 am

    Yes comfrey is one of those plant survivors and however ruthless one might be it seems indestructible.

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