Six on Saturday: 21 Nov 2020

This post is dedicated to the productive side of things, with a veg patch and mini greenhouse overview, plus a bulb planting fiasco. I have thrown in some violas and pansies for the prettiness factor. The unavoidable reality at this time of year is that a lot of the pretty stuff is found outside my garden, in the forest, where the beech is putting on quite a show, and along the lakes and ponds nearby. Favourite pic of the week is this Great Blue Heron, who lives in the grounds of a castle in ruins, and was leisurely grooming himself by a pond. Quite romantic!

So onto my Six on Saturday, joining other gardeners posting the goings-on in their gardens thanks to a theme hosted by The Propagator. Visit his page for some November inspiration.

1 Egyptian Beetroot. Sown in August, leaves somewhat nibbled now but I should pick some for salads while they are still young. They are extremely good for one’s health.

2 Rainbow Chard. One of my favourite winter veg, both for taste and for those colourful stems. I agree with veg gardener and plantswoman Joy Larkom: the veg patch can, should and sometimes does look good, with a bit of imagination. I love her book, Creative Vegetable Gardening.

Chard, and a few Borage seedlings

3 Spinach. The final trio of my outdoor winter leaves, along with the chard and beetroot, and looking healthier than my summer crop, though nibbled (there is more than one patch of spinach, but I admit this is small-scale veg growing!). To the left is my green manure, Phacelia, and at the back the garlic lurks underground. Mousty the cat photo-bombed this shot, but serves to prove that my cat-proofing installation works!

4 Greenhouse salads. We’ve got rocket, parsley and winter purslane, and the oriental salad leaves sown last month are coming along, slowly. There’s also some mustard that had self-sown outdoors, so I scooped that up and brought it in here, hoping for the best. It’s a tad reluctant to grow. The rocket here is has already been harvested several times.

5 Bulbs. Bit of a disaster here. I’d been storing my tulip bulbs from a Dutch supplier in the shed for about a month, and on opening the packs, realised many had gone a bit fungal and had to be binned. A pity. I took my chances with those that still looked OK, and planted in the ground or in pots (varieties: Aladdin, Dillenburg, Barcelona, Uncle Tom, and a botanical tulip, Tulipa clusiana ‘Peppermint Stick’). Luckily the Alliums, purchased elsewhere, were fine, along with some Dutch Iris and the botanical tulip.

6 Pansies and violas. I promised something pretty, here we are. I have loved pansies and violas ever since my mother grew them along the driveway of my childhood home in Kent, and so this seems like an appropriate one to end on for The Nostalgic Gardener.

PS Perhaps even prettier are the beech leaves in the forest which I admit is not in my garden but feels very much part of it (cheating I know, but I’ll call it a borrowed landscape).

28 thoughts on “Six on Saturday: 21 Nov 2020

  1. I’d love to have a greenhouse to raise veggies in the winter but at this point, with my working days growing shorter, adding an expense to heat one is prohibitive plus there isn’t a lot of space for one in the yard. I am envious of you having the luxury of growing one’s own greens.
    I like the beech foliage you’ve shot. Ours are quite bronzey right now and I am waiting for them to turn papery white later in the year.

    1. If you can handle the aesthetic challenge, a lot of cold climate growers manage to grow veg in unheated poly tunnels…chard, carrots, parsnips, cabbages – the hardy stuff!

      1. …but cold frames can look nice, if made from brick and glass like the Victorians made them. Polytunnels are usually plastic sheeting and honestly quite ugly!

  2. We have had T. clusiana ‘Peppermint Stick’ in the garden for years; love it and look forward to it each year.

    I am keen on vegetable growing but more or less give up at this time of year. Garlic is above ground but I am disappointed that purple sprouting broccoli ran to flower and I threw it out and I didn’t manage to get seed of broad beans which I generally sow at the end of autumn. Ah, there’s always next year!

    1. I do like diminutive plants so am looking forward to Peppermint Stick v much! Re broad beans, I never get round to an autumn sowing, next year will do! If I find the space.

  3. I think the ‘rules’ are very flexible. However, on Gardeners’ World they always mention ‘borrowing’ trees in the landscape or a neighbour’s plot as part of your garden design – so the beech trees are yours! Very pretty they are too, as are the violas and pansies, though sorry to hear about your bulbs.

  4. I don’t know if you have a cat who likes vegetables but mine loves them (but cooked of course!)๐Ÿ˜‚
    I had tried this variety of beetroots in the past ; this year I unfortunately didn’t sow any but one of my next sowing projects of beetroot will be the ‘ Chioggia’

  5. I love looking at the leaves of the Rainbow chard. The light coming through the stems makes the colours almost fluorescent. In fact I like looking at it more than I like eating it.
    Pretty pansies, and cat!

  6. What a shame about the tulips. Getting an order in early ensures you get the ones you want but then you have the problem of storing them until ready to plant. I keep mine in a cool room in the house and so far no fungal problems. I like your chard – I’ve never grown it since my husband claims not to like it. I might ignore hime next year!

  7. I love the violas best. I don’t have any this year because I haven’t been out shopping. The ones I grew from seed last year took so long, but maybe I’ll have to order some seeds as soon as I finish this comment!

  8. Hi Sel! Most of us gardeners have had some fungus on delayed bulbs.. .it’s a result of the long list of fall chores, I think! We’ll hope for the best for yours. I’ll need to look up Joy Larkom.

  9. It’s a shame about your bulbs, but it seems as though you’ll still have some to look forward to come spring. You garden helper is very sweet.

  10. I wish I had sown more of your luscious overwintering veg/salad additions – bought the seed, didn’t do the deed. Eygptian beetroot is a new one on me. I do have chard, but my husband isn’t very fond of it – what a waste! I suspect your Mousty is a bit like my Ella – Ella follows me whenever I take pictures and always manages to get into the shot. Joy is a star – do you have one of her earliest books – Salads the Year Round? Not a picture book – but a fabulous step-by-step to exactly what you are doing!

    1. Salads the Year Round definitely sounds like my kind of book, I never tire of salad, will look out for it. August sowing, so glad I did it, it was complicated as it involved taking seeds and trays to England when we went over in August, sowing them at my Mumโ€™s, getting her to look after them while we went to the Lake District, and somehow transporting them back as seedlings without squashing them in a v overloaded car! Madness.

      1. You might have to get it second-hand on Amazon. It’s an OLD book. What huge task sowing your seed has been. Even more congratulations on your success! I am in awe of people like you and an American blogger who has reported driving around in spring with seedlings nestling in the back of her car, since she has no more space at home! Dedication!

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