Saturday, 25 August 2012

A happy ending.

Coming back off our holiday, I had never imagined that the garden wouldn't get watered.
The whys and wherefores don't matter, it just didn't get watered.
When we got home and I saw the state of the plants I just felt gutted.
Instead of a lovely bulbed fennel, it's tall and flowering.
I think the romanescu broccoli has bolted, either way it doesn't look good. The other broccoli looks terrible only the kale is passable.

My poor strawberries!

I think the rudbeckia affected me the most, it was just so sad to see it all dried out and the flowers all withered.
Everything in the garden was drooping or looked like it was barely clinging to life.
Not to be dramatic but I saw it and just wanted to cry.

Today was a new day.
This morning, we passed by the post office to collect a parcel that couldn't be delivered while we were away.
I had no idea what it was going to be.
This is what it was.

You could have knocked me down with a feather.
I had entered a competition on Waterstones website back in February and I won second prize.
I waited  for weeks and then months and nothing came. I sent an email  reminder 6 weeks ago with little hope.
So it came and though they don't send out the plug plants until April, it made me feel a whole lot better.
Great timing!

I doubt very much that I will use this many plants, I will find homes for many by sharing them around.
I like growing from seed myself and I have plenty of seeds.
Still, it's something to look forward to.

We did have a nice harvest of tomatoes after such a hot week.

With so many and more almost ripe,  I decided to turn them into sauce.
The question was, which recipe do I use?
A year or two ago, I tried a Jamie Oliver recipe which turned out strong on vinegar or maybe I just didn't cook it down enough.
I don't want to replicate Heinz ketchup. Homemade is good.  I'm happy to go rustic.
I just want to use the tomatoes in a tasty way and not waste them.

I went for a recipe from Tomasina Meier's book.
It seems tasty enough but will leave it a week or so to mature a bit.

Gardening can be about highs and lows but it sure isn't dull.



  1. I'm sorry for your garden! Let's hope that at least some of them will recover.

    You got a lot of tomatoes. I have never made ketchup..

    1. Thanks Satu. I think ketchup is worth a go at least once, and hopefully you find a recipe that suits as long as you don't expect it to taste like shop bought stuff. x

  2. Oh dear - I dread coming back from holidays - you're never sure what you are going to find - I guess whoever you asked to water your garden - didn't. Hopefully a bit of tlc will work wonders. Congrats. on winning your prize looks like you'll have plenty of choice for next year.

    1. Thanks Elaine, things are looking better. x

  3. It could have been worse, you could have had a terrible holiday then come back to this!
    I'm sure that some things, like the strawberries and rudbeckia, will recover.
    Lots of nice tomatoes and a good prize must have helped compensate. Flighty xx

    1. You are right Flighty, the rudbeckia has some green coming through but will miss out on it flowering this year sadly. x

  4. Oh no poor you - congrats on your prize though, it's a lovely feeling to win.

  5. Lots of nice toms is a sort of compensation, but we have returned from hols before and found lifeless plants most did recover, congrats on the book prize

  6. Thanks David, things are looking a little better. x

  7. By the way we let fennel get tall and flowery the hoverflies love it they visit it by the hundreds