This is the journal of my endeavours to grow a range of fruit, veg and flowers from seed, grow organically, and my attempts to create a personal paradise with 1/2 acre of maintained gardens and 1/2 acre wild meadows. Northern Ireland's average daily high temperatures are 18 °C (64 °F) in July and 6 °C (43 °F) in January. Soil type: Clay

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

November Carrots

I was harvesting carrots this week on a rather chilly morning. 

This year, in Spring, I found I had to re-sow carrot seed a few times as it didn't germinate well.  With the re-sowings, this meant I wasn't sure how long the carrots had been growing. The indication of being ready (or not) was the top growth. I pulled a few carrots in early Sept but wanted them to grow bigger so I've been waiting. I sowed carrots in a wheelbarrow and  in a raised veg box. I've no huge carrots but am happy with what I've harvested. I've more carrots in the ground and hope they'll keep as I don't want to lift and store them.

Carrot varieties I grow this year: 
'James Scarlet Intermediate' and 
'Early Nantes 2'.

Above: One or two carrots had a bit of pest damage. I'm assuming this is from slugs as I blame slugs/snails for most things in the garden!
Above: Carrots washed.
Below: The range of size and shape.
Carrots grown in an old wheelbarrow seemed to do better last year; germination was more difficult this year and the carrots seemed to grow slowly. Photo above taken in September.

Copyright: All words and photos are property of Kelli's Northern Ireland Garden.

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Frosty Mornings

It's been a mild Autumn so far, with our temperature  this month fluctuating but mostly staying in the 40's (fahrenheit). Some frost as well and one morning I went out to capture a few frosty photos. There's something magical about cold, frosty mornings. I'm also looking forward to snow - December always seems like our month for a bit of snow. 

Left: Frost covered fern.
Above & Below: Frost covered geranium (perennial).

I love the frost covered Sedum Autumn Joy. 

Copyright: All words and photos are property of Kelli's Northern Ireland Garden.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Last of the Tomatoes

This is the very last of my tomatoes. The green ones have been left on a warm indoor windowsill to ripen, and should keep me going until the end of the month.

The varieties I grew this year were:

  • Tomato (Red Cherry). 
  • Tomato 'Gardener's Delight'. Both grown from seed in a sun room / glass house from April until November. 

Above & Below: Photos taken 13 October 2012.
Now the plants have been removed and discarded, and the sun room is cleared for the Winter.

Happy Thanksgiving to all in the USA - hope you have a great day!
(less than 5 weeks until Christmas!)

Copyright: All words and photos are property of Kelli's Northern Ireland Garden.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Mid November Blooms

It's almost mid November and there's still some colour in the garden, however, it's definitely reducing. Even with several frosts in October and early November, many plants are still holding on.

Due to the reduced daylight hours (we have light approx 7.45am-4pm) and my work schedule these photos were taken on 11 November.

Left: Kaffir Lily is one of my favourite plants in Oct/Nov, pictured with a late flowering white snapdragon grown from seed.
One or two wild foxglove are still about (looking rather summery in November).
Aubretia (hardy perennial), grown from seed. I think these have self seeded and are making a late show of flowers. The seed pack says they flower April-May; plants don't always do what the seed pack says!
Kaffir Lily
Above and below: holders on - calendula.
Sedum Autumn Joy with Kaffir Lily and bronze carex ornamental grass.
Pieris Forest Flame shrub - those look like flowers forming.
Above: Kaffir Lily (again).
Below: Roses generally keep flowering through November.

 Happy Blogger's Bloom Day!
Blogger's Bloom Day is hosted by May Dream Gardens and bloggers share their blooms from across the globe.

Copyright: All words and photos are property of Kelli's Northern Ireland Garden.

Friday, 9 November 2012

Autumn Weekend Jobs

I've been making a list of things I need to do in the garden... the list gets longer and longer by the week. I'd love to put the garden to rest for Winter and not venture out until.... either a nice Autumn day or early Spring (March), however, there's still much to do.

So here's part of my 'to do' list and what I hope to get done over the weekend (weather permitting).
1. Rake and bag leaves. (Check leaves I bagged last year to see if broken down).
2. Harvest kale. (Harvest carrots too.)
3. Leave plants to self seed - like these Honesty.

4. Trim or tidy up shrubs. Cut down the old cordyline palm tree trunks (in the distance) - this has been on my list about a year now!
5. Make new plants out of grasses that have self seeded - see the baby bronze grasses at the far right of photo above?
Above and Below: I've already been digging up plants that have self seeded and potting them up for friends. I could probably supply a nursery!

Have a great weekend!

Copyright: All words and photos of this blog are property of Kelli's Northern Ireland Garden.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Sunflower Bets

Will  it flower before its taken out by frost?

My nephew sowed a few sunflower seeds in a pot 
in late Summer (August). The sunflowers now look close to flowering. I'm wondering if they'll flower before the frost kills the plant. 
Should I bring the pot indoors!?! (why did I only think of this now - I'm off to bring the plant indoors!)

Copyright: All words and photos are property of Kelli's Northern Ireland Garden.

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Seasonal Changes and Multiple Frosts

It's amazing how much things can change in the garden in a week or so! I suppose the multiple light frosts we've had throughout October and going into November add to the changes this time of year. 

Left & Below: This tree has gorgeous purple leaves in the Summer. In the Autumn it looks fantastic as the leaves turn a bronze colour before dropping. 

Variety: Copper Beech (I think but not 100%).
Above and Below: Photo taken approx a week apart. A week makes a big difference - the leaves soon drop and the Autumn colour begins to disappear, looking more Wintry.
Above and Below: Photo taken about a week apart. The pine tree is quickly going from green to yellow pine needles and needles are beginning to drop to the ground.
Above and Below: Photo taken approx a week apart  Not sure there's much noticeable change but seems the colour is disappearing e.g. the blue forget-me-nots, etc.

Above and Below: Last week the courgette / zucchini were still going strong; this week they've been zapped by frost and are pretty much finished.
The runner beans have been finished off by frost. 
Above: Kaffir Lily with Sedum Autumn Joy are slightly past their best (in my opinion) but still look lovely in the garden.
Below: Aster and 
Sedum Autumn Joy

Burrr, it was cold taking photos today!

Copyright: All words and photos are property of Kelli's Northern Ireland Garden.