Blackcurrants

The weather this summer, 2018 has been so hot. Our crop of blackcurrants has been good but the older blackcurrant bushes have produced currants of a much smaller size. All of the bushes have been grown from cuttings from our bush in Eaglesham, Scotland where we previously lived.

6lbs of blackcurrants picked

Springdale Blackcurrant Jam

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Broad Beans

Broad beans were planted late this year, April 16th 2018.  The ground was very wet.

Aqua dulce is the variety.

A lot of slug pellets were needed around the emerging plants.  Also to try and keep the black fly off they were covered in fleece.

Date of photo of beans covered in fleece.- 28th May 2018 – Hoops and garden canes were used to hold the fleece above the plants and pegged down along the edges.

Broad beans ready for picking and podding

July 14th 2018

Ready for the pot! And some to be blanched and frozen. 10lbs in total of podded beans.

New Flower Bed

May 2018 – July 2018

End of May 2018 – Plot marked out roughly with canes for a new planting area.

This area is situated in the front garden, by a small wall, adjacent to the front gate.  It looked ideal for a new flower bed.

This was the beginning of June after planting up.  Plants include Geum, Heuchera, Astilbe, Salvia, Spirera, Coreopsis, Penstemon

Now the beginning of July 2018 and this is how it has developed

Iris now coming up against the wall.

 

Monmouth Show 2018

Saturday 7th July 2018

Success at the Monmouth Show!

Scroll down for the shortbread wars!

Overall home baking – The Sterrett Perpetual Challenge Cup won by Deb!

The Ken Brown Challenge Cup for Savoury Muffins won by Sheila!

With the President of the Monmouth Show 2018

Receiving cups

Certificates

Sheila – Three 1st Prizes – For Raspberry Jam, Apricot (stoned fruit) and Savoury Muffins and Ken Brown Cup for Savoury Muffins, 2nd Prize for Shortbread

Deb – Five 1st Prizes – Bara Brith, Six Pieces of Tray Bake, Round of Shortbread, Damson Chutney and Six Strawberry tarts, Two Second Prizes for Welsh cakes and a loaf of bread, and one Third Prize – strawberry jam

Six Pieces of Tray Bake

Damson Chutney

Six Strawberry Tarts

Sheila’s Savoury Muffins

Winning entries

Round of Shortbread

Six Pieces of a Tray Bake

Damson Chutney

First Prizes for Sheila’s Raspberry and Apricot Jam

Deb’s Strawberry Tarts

Deb’s Loaf of Bread – White Bloomer

Sheila’s Raspberry Jam

Deb’s Damson Chutney

Deb’s 2nd Prize Welsh Cakes

Deb’s First Prize Bara Brith

The Shortbread Wars!!!!!

First and Second!!!!!

Third for Strawberry Jam

The Sterrett’s Cup won for the most points overall 

The Ken Brown Challenge Cup won by Sheila for the best savoury muffins

 

 

 

 

Summer flowers

Brachyglottis ‘Sunshine’

This plant comes from the daisy family and has beautiful silver-green leaves and yellow flowers in summer.

This small shrub can grow up to 3-5 feet tall, it prefers full sun and moist but well-drained soil.

It reminds me of the house where we lived as children where it grew well in our garden in Harborne.

At Springdale it grows in a lovely sunny spot, well drained and beside the drive.

Jazzy Potatoes

First potatoes of the year

Planted in April in raised beds in the polytunnel.

May 10th – growing well

Time for digging up

June 10th 2018

Jazzy Potatoes

Washed potatoes ready for the pot

Cooked and ready to eat

A delicious potato – one to remember – Jazzy

This is a new trial for Springdale. It has grown really well in the Polytunnel and is a tasty and strong growing potato which produces lots of evenly sized small waxy potatoes.

The cream coloured skin is very thin and needs no peeling, in fact it can be rubbed off with fingers.

This potato is a second early and has an absolutely delicious ‘melt in the mouth’ flavour.