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

Thursday 27 August 2015

Late Summer Flowers looking Fab

Lots of colour in the garden this month, and most things will look good right up until the first frost (which will hopefully be late - end of October would be nice). 

Most of the plants pictured are perennial and will die down in the winter and come back each year - great value.

Pictured is Echinacea Purpurea / Coneflower. It's looking fab with its fashionable pink flowers, and provides some height in the border without the need for staking.

Top left to right: Lobelia Fan Burgundy, Achillea 'Terracotta' is still going strong, Hydrangea is coming into full flower, and Rudbeckia 'Goldsturm'.

Top left to right: Cosmos grown from seed are only recently coming into flower; trailing lobelia (annual bedding plant); Echinacea Purpurea / Coneflower, and agapanthus coming into flower.

The roses may be covered in blackspot but they have been full of blooms from Spring through Summer, and will keep going through Autumn. Quite hardy plants.

It's been a coldish, but great summer. I'm definitely not ready for it to end!

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

Monday 24 August 2015

Giant Sunflowers

Aren't sunflowers fab!  

I didn't grow sunflowers last year and I really missed them. This plant is definitely on my annual 'must grow list'.

I've tried various varieties like 'Teddy Bear' and the reddish 'Autumn Beauty' but the best sunflower (in my opinion) is 'Giant Single' Sunflower. They put on the best show, with their height and their giant, dinner plate-sized flower heads - very eye catching.

I started these from seed in April. They grew slowly but diligently all summer and now they're making a wonderful display. So cheerful!
I haven't measured these beauties, but they're on average 7 to 8 feet tall. A great plant for kids to grow too - who can grow the tallest!
Copyright: All words and photos are property of Kelli's Northern Ireland Garden.

Wednesday 19 August 2015

Potato Pentland Javelin Harvest

This week I harvested my potatoes, Pentland Javelin, which were planted as seed potatoes on 21 March 2015. 

In a 40 by 32 inch planting space, I had put in 10 small seed potatoes. The end result was a harvest of 9.1kg or approx 20 pounds. 

So far, I've baked them and made chunky oven chips and they taste great. They have a good texture after cooked.

They grew relatively pest free and have a very clean, light coloured skin. I'd definitely recommend them for the Irish weather.

Where I made space, taking out the potatoes, I've planted salad crops (mustard greens, salad bowl, mizuna, and radish) so I can continue my summer salad eating regime.

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

Friday 7 August 2015

Harvesting carrot, potato, onion

Even though it was the coolest July in 22 years here in Northern Ireland.... this has been a good year for veg growing. 

My nephew is staying the Summer with me and this week we were out in the garden pulling a few carrots, digging up some potatoes, and harvesting a few other things like lettuces and onion. He loved digging potatoes, and is looking forward to this job again in the coming week.
Pulling a few 'Chantenay Red Cored 2' carrots for grating onto salad.

Potatoes are Pentland Javelin, planted in the ground on 21 March 2015. They have a very clean, light coloured skin.
The onion are Stuttgarter, planted March/April 2015. We harvested a few for salad and they have a good flavour.
The carrots are Chartenay Red Cored 2, seeds planted on 6 April 2015.
The green is a self-seeded fennel plant I decided to pull and add to salad.
This year I have a good selection of purple and green lettuces, however, I keep forgetting to take photos!

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

Monday 3 August 2015

Spectacular Sedum Plants

One of the easiest plants to grow are Sedums. 

There are a good choice of varieties; they are generally carefree and  can be easily divided to make more plants. 

Pictured is a low growing alpine-type sedum plant that produces white flowers around July-August.

Above: the same small alpine-type sedum that was coming into flower in June. These plants self seed into gravel or tiny cracks amongst paving. They can be pulled apart easily to make new plants and provide good ground cover. They will take over an area (something to look our for)!
Above and Below: Sedum 'Autumn Joy' - is a great plant for any garden.  It grows throughout the summer with green flower heads that start turning pink (pictured above) around September, moving to red, and then to a deep burgundy colour (pictured below) around November.

My gardening group has an annual plant swap every Autumn. Sedum is one of the plants I'll be taking to the plant swap, as it's such a useful plant to have in the garden and is so easy to grow.

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