#LoveAutumnInTheGarden: September 2016

A beast of a tomato plant in front of sweetcorn
Its been a very busy and very productive two months in the garden.  Autumn is upon us and the garden has burst forth in all its glorious abundance.  One of the great things about this time of year is that I make it a goal to work in as much garden produce as possible into our daily diet.  This morning's breakfast contained blackberries and an apple picked moments before they were eaten.

Picked minutes before being eaten!

Plain Greek yogurt, granola, seeds mix, maple syrup, blackberries & apple from the garden, cinnamon
Although the slugs only left me one pumpkin plant and one tomato plant, what massive plants they are! I've never seen a pumpkin or tomato plant do so well.  The fruits aren't ready to harvest yet, the pumpkins will take another month while (hopefully) the tomatoes will be ripening shortly, especially as the days are sunny and warm.  If they don't, all I need to do is bring them inside once they reach a certain size.  They'll go red fairly quickly and be ready to eat.
Single, ginormous pumpkin plant

Its everywhere!

Four good sized pumplings (so far)

Beast of a tomato plant

Not only is it massive but its *still* sending branches everywhere and flowering
There's still mixed lettuce in the garden and the sweetcorn is just ripening to harvest. The mixed lettuce has been a great investment, we've had our choice of a variety of summer / early autumn salads and there's something great about just going out and selecting what you need for tea.  I've been making homemade salad dressing from plain greek yogurt, crushed mint leaves and lime juice.  Its very much like tzatziki and a great way to use the mint we have.
Mixed lettuce

Sweetcorn in the morning sun

Ripening sweetcorn
I only had a couple sweetcorn plantlings take this year, but like everything else they are more than productive.  Each plant has two ears (most corn plants will only have one or two) and some of the plants have grown side plants, each also baring its own fruit, which I've never seen.

The planter at the side of the house is doing well, the miniature pansies have been a great gift this year, as I let them go to seed and they've reseeded themselves throughout the garden and are on their second bloom.  The Boston Ivy is still showing no growth which is disappointing but I'm not giving up on it yet.  I recently cut back the lavender, drying the cut stalks and hanging inside.  The lavender in general is doing well this year, I've added two plants to the Spanish lavender at front and even though lavender likes sun, that side of the garden gets so much sun I need to be careful ensuring they get enough water so they don't get too woody.
Miniature pansies, pansies & (cut back) lavender, Boston Ivy (not thriving)

Miniature pansies have self-seeded throughout the garden

The apple trees have produced beautifully this year, not only am I happy to have selected self-pollinating trees but they have ripened at different times, the first in August/early Sept and the second just ready to pick now (mid Sept).
Apple tree 2.  Apple tree 1 produced beautiful apples which have all been eaten!
The clematis is on its second bloom and the herbs planted along the side of the back garden veg beds are thriving. I'm so glad they're doing well in that space.
Clematis

Marjoram

Sage

Rosemary, behind kale & the beast of a pumpkin plant
The plot of communal land I've taken over behind my house is doing well.  I'm happy to report that it has not been tampered with by human or beast and the maple tree has withstood some significant winds.  I'm looking forward to seeing its leaves change colour this year.

Maple tree planted last winter

Catmint (lower left), grasses, lavender, nasturtiums, snow in summer surround a maple tree sapling
That's about it for the garden this week.  I've a long list of jobs awaiting me today, including cutting the grass front & back; cleaning the fish tank; cleaning the hamster habitat and hopefully weeding out the beds in the back garden.  I notice stinging nettles are thriving  - I'm keen to see if I can find some recipes for nettle tea and/or nettle soup.

Oh, and a big shout out to the #DublinBusstrike for helping me tone up a bit more.  Not a word of a lie, I completely support the drivers and am grateful for being pushed to move that little bit more.  I do a LOT of walking but those few extra km have helped me drop a dress size.  Happy days!




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