In my garden this month there’s lots of clearing to do….
The ubiquitous calendula, and a few borage along with a few late verbena adding colour, but not much else. On sunny days, there are still a few more vibrant patches though….
Well, vibrant may be stretching it, but I love those gently sunny Autumn days when you’re suddenly reminded how much life there still is in the garden – thanks to our late, mild weather. I have to remind myself that scruffy though this garden is, this time last year, post-pigs, it looked like this:
We’d not long sown grass seed on the lawn that’s been played on and eaten on so much this year and marked out paths and beds.
And the flowers may be fading fast but I’m loving the colourful veggies. Rainbow chard is as plentiful and useful as ever, carrots in a few different hues too and then there’s the borlottis…
They’re one of my favourite beans, growing well even in poor ground, so tasty, and it’s debatable which are most beautiful, those crimson speckled pods or the creamy beans. We picked all of the remaining pods (I had some good help as you can see) as they were planted amongst the squash. This area has all been cleared and as it’s next to where the potatoes grew, it gave us a good sized cleared area to empty the contents of one of our three compost heaps onto, with a view to next year’s planting.
My favourite way of cooking the borlottis has been simply with garlic, olive oil and chopped tomatoes, adding a little water as they slowly simmer if it gets too dry. They made a lovely Autumn supper one night with our own pork chops (marinated in a maple brine from a Diana Henry Salt Sugar Smoke recipe) and chunks of our Mother Hubbard squash roasted with garlic, rosemary and olive oil.
I still have bulbs that I’m keen to plant once I’ve made some sense of the area just at the back of our house; Spring flowering bulbs including Alliums and Grape Hyacinth should add some easy colour early in the year. We made a late sowing of clover (various colours of flowers) and grass on a new area of ground we’d cleared and it’s thriving after a few weeks of growth. Hopefully next year it’ll prove attractive to bees and beneficial insects and when we mow it, we’re thinking it may be good for the compost heap too – I like the idea of the prettiness of a patch of clover lawn too of course.
It’s mostly food that interests me in the garden at the moment though.
As the balance swings between kitchen and garden (the warmth of the kitchen is often winning) I’m very grateful to the garden for providing me with plenty of food to pop out and gather. Swede are being brought in lots at the moment (love them just mashed with butter and black pepper) along with purple sprouting broccoli, beetroot, spinach, carrots and handfuls of parsley from that still-thriving hedge. Waiting for frosts before we start on the parsnips but we didn’t want to take any chances with the quince. With a storm heading this way at the beginning of the week it would’ve been a shame to lose our first, precious harvest so they were all picked.
Would love to join in again with Lizzie Moult’s great Garden Share Collective. As we bring squashes in to store for the winter and gather quinces for quince cheese, quince ratafia and warming tajines, it’ll be lovely to have a look at the Spring/Summer bounty in gardens on the other side of the world.
Those borlottis look fab, I bet they were great with garlic and tomato
I do love borlottis, must remember to grow more next year!
I’ll be out and about in my garden pulling out the tired plants, weeding and feeding the beds and, hopefully, planting under my grow houses this weekend – I hope.
I do like the look of your borlottis – very pretty.
I’ve been doing the same today, lovely to be outside lots, if blustery.
I hope you got more done than I did. My plans went awry when Saturday involved various jobs and then taking Little Mudlet to a party and staying at the venue.
Sunday Mud and I had to spend a couple of hours replacing part of Annie the 109 Land Rovers’ exhaust which had started to blow on the way home from the party! By which time the temperature had dropped and the rain had started
Can’t believe how much you’ve transformed the garden in a year! Lots of hard work, but it’s clearly paying off.
Thank you Chava, have been loving being out in garden today, so much to do though. I was weeding and thinking of what I was going to plant next year, you know how addictive it is!
It’s looking great. I have purple sprouting broccoli for the first time this year. So good to pick something from the garden this late in the season.
It feels really good doesn’t it. Hoping I am going to be able to being able to keep us in veg this winter for a few more months than managed so far.
Hope your garden missed the worst of the weather – it’s looking good in the sunshine, and you sound to be harvesting plenty from it still.
I don’t think we suffered too much in the storms, a few plants bashed about and our giant apple on the ground are about the only casualties so very lucky. Did you?
ha ha your post just sent me on a wild Google-chase looking for Borlotti (and then Pinto) beans for sowing over here. Can you use the store bought ones to start?
I’m not sure if you can plant culinary dried borlotti beans. Do Franchi/Seeds of Italy export to you? They do good borlotti seeds.
Thanks for that – they don’t, but that has enabled me to find their agent over here.
Brilliant, hope they grow well.
love borlottis, definitely my favourite and eat the like you do but often add in smoky bacon for flavour. You have come so far in a year since having pigs must have taken up a fair bit of room. I have just planted 60 tulips, my favourite!
Tulips are on my shopping list for this week. I fancy some of those really dark purple ones to look dramatic against all the fresh greens of Spring/early Summer.
Ooooh what a lovely haul, lucky you!
A very imperfect, knobbly, misshapen haul but I’m enjoying eating it.
I must try borlotti beans in the new year and see how they get on, i am always concerned that we get to much humidity for such beans but it is worth the effort. Sounds like you are still getting quite a lot of food from the veg patch even though its getting cooler over there.
Borlottis do like heat so may do well with you. We are still eating well from the garden but starting to notice lots of hungry pheasants around and we had a visit from a muntjac deer this week, so hoping they leave something for us! Tried commenting on your post (your tomatoes and aubergine look fabulous) but the site isn’t letting me at the moment?
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I don’t blame you for choosing the warmth of the kitchen at the moment, especially on these damp, chilly days! Your borlottis look fantastic, I’ll be trying that out with our pork chops too!
Lucky you with lots of pork chops again, we have exactly 2 left, no sausage but still eking out the air-dried ham! The maple syrup brine works brilliantly with the chops, it really tenderises them as well as adding a lovely flavour.