Friday, 17 November 2017

Review - Abel and Cole organic veg boxes.

We've been looking for an organic veg option for a while, I don't get many crops from my garden during the winter, and the organic stall has disappeared from my local market.   We've tried the Morrisons organic veg box, but I think we've settled on Abel and Cole's weekly organic veg boxes for now. 

This is what we got in our first few boxes,

Week 1.

Review - Abel and Cole organic veg boxes. From UK vegan blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #abelandcole #organicvegbox #vegboxreview

We went for a medium mixed box to start with, this costs £19.95 but we had a super special offer for 50% off our 1st and 4th boxes, so we actually paid £9.98 plus the £1.25 for postage.  This is a bigger box than we would go for usually, but we were cheekily making the most of the 50% off!

The box contains 3 fruits and 6 veggies, our box had,

5 big bananas, 6 apples and a box of red grapes.  A paper bag with 9 potatoes of various shapes and sizes, a bag of 9 carrots, 4 white onions, 3 big vine tomatoes, 3 huge portobello mushrooms, a cauliflower.

Opening the box was like Christmas and all the produce was beautiful and fresh and exciting!  Only two little niggles with the produce, one of the bananas was split and one of the potatoes had a green bit, but nothing that we were particularly bothered about.  I don't like the plastic boxes the grapes, mushrooms and tomatoes came in either - surely they could use cardboard ones instead!

Review - Abel and Cole organic veg boxes. From UK vegan blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #abelandcole #organicvegbox #vegboxreview

We got a free cookbook too. 

Week 2.

Review - Abel and Cole organic veg boxes. From UK vegan blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #abelandcole #organicvegbox #vegboxreview

We went for the small mixed box this time, which costs £14.25 gives you 3 fruits and 5 veggies, it contained,

4 big bananas, 5 apples, 6 clementines, 2 corn on the cobs, a red pepper, a punnet of mushrooms, a punnet of cherry tomatoes, a bunch of kale.

Although it wasn't as exciting to open the smaller box, I do think this amount of fruit and veg is more manageable for my two person household to eat in a week.  Usually the box comes with potatoes, but I swapped them out for a pepper because we still had loads of potatoes left over from the Morrisons organic veg box.  Again the produce was lovely and fresh and we were excited to eat it!

Week 3.

Review - Abel and Cole organic veg boxes. From UK vegan blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #abelandcole #organicvegbox #vegboxreview

We had the small mixed box again, this time it contained,

4 bananas, 9 apples (a double portion of apples), a bag of 7 potatoes, a red pepper, 3 big leeks, 5 medium size chestnut mushrooms, a bag of corn salad.

Again, everything was nice and fresh, although I could have done with a few more potatoes in my bag!

Week 4.

Review - Abel and Cole organic veg boxes. From UK vegan blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #abelandcole #organicvegbox #vegboxreview

Ok, I'll admit that we went too far with this one!  To make the most of the 50% off the 4th box offer I bought the large mixed box, which is usually £27.50, but we only paid £13.75 plus postage.

Inside the (huge) box was,

6 bananas,7 apples, 7 mandarins, 4 baking potatoes, a bag of 10 potatoes of various sizes, 2 broccolis, a cauliflower, 5 tomatoes, 12 mushrooms, 4 corn on the cob and a bag of salad.

I guess the portion sizes are bigger in the bigger boxes as well as you getting a larger selection of items. Luckily, Abel and Cole boxes are really flexible, so I skipped the next week's box to give us enough time to eat all this veg.

I made a couple of extra purchases from the Abel and Cole shop too, some organic pumpkin seeds and garlic.

Review - Abel and Cole organic veg boxes. From UK vegan blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #abelandcole #organicvegbox #vegboxreview

Overall, I've been super happy with the quality of the fruit and veg in the boxes, everything is fresh and it feels like a real treat to eat.  I love the convenience of having it delivered too, I don't have to go to the market, or try to find organic in the supermarket.  It's nice that the boxes are flexible too, you can skip weeks, and check the website to see what's in your box in advance -and swap out anything icky like parsnips or butternut squash!  I wish there was less plastic packaging on some of the things, but I suppose there's less plastic than if I'd bought my veg pre-packaged from the supermarket.

If you fancy trying Abel and Cole for yourself feel free to use the code below to get £20 off your first order (and I'll get £20 credit too!).

Review - Abel and Cole organic veg boxes. From UK vegan blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #abelandcole #organicvegbox #vegboxreview

Can you recommend any other organic veg boxes for us to try?


Friday, 10 November 2017

Charity shopping - the one with the Weasley blanket.

It's never too early to buy Christmas decorations, right?

Charity shopping - the one with the Weasley blanket, retro Christmas decorations, animal brooches and salad spinner! From UK charity shop blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #charityshopping #charityshopblogger #secondhandstyle #thriftshopping #opshopping

Charity shopping - the one with the Weasley blanket, retro Christmas decorations, animal brooches and salad spinner! From UK charity shop blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #charityshopping #charityshopblogger #secondhandstyle #thriftshopping #opshopping

I had to buy a huge bag of ugly modern baubles to get these retro Christmas decorations.  I couldn't resist though, the whole bag cost a pound and I'll donate the rest of the baubles back to the charity shop!
Retro Santa and snowman Christmas decorations, £1, local Salvation Army charity shop.

Charity shopping - the one with the Weasley blanket, retro Christmas decorations, animal brooches and salad spinner! From UK charity shop blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #charityshopping #charityshopblogger #secondhandstyle #thriftshopping #opshopping

Both of these brooches are from Ebay.  The owl is sterling silver and turquoise, and the hedgehog is just shiny and cute! 
Brooches, £1 each, Ebay.

Charity shopping - the one with the Weasley blanket, retro Christmas decorations, animal brooches and salad spinner! From UK charity shop blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #charityshopping #charityshopblogger #secondhandstyle #thriftshopping #opshopping

I spent so long looking for a second hand salad spinner (to help slosh the slugs off my home grown lettuce) and couldn't find one anywhere.  The day after I asked my mum to keep an eye out for one in the charity shop where she volunteers, she appeared with this fab yellow one.  Thank you mother!
Yellow salad spinner, a lovely second hand gift. 

Charity shopping - the one with the Weasley blanket, retro Christmas decorations, animal brooches and salad spinner! From UK charity shop blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #charityshopping #charityshopblogger #secondhandstyle #thriftshopping #opshopping

I couldn't resist this knitted blanket, it's huge,a bit knobbly bobbly and all of the colours!  It's massive too, I don't have anywhere big enough to take a photo if it in it's entirety. 
Huge Weasley blanket, £6, local Salvation Army charity shop. 


Have you had any luck in the charity shops lately?
 
P.S. Check out my other charity shop posts for more!  





Tuesday, 31 October 2017

My homegrown harvest, October 2017.

I've still had a few little bits and bobs to eat out of the garden this month!

My homegrown harvest, October 2017.  What I grew and ate from my suburban organic permaculture garden UK.  From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #homegrownharvest #permaculturegarden #organicgarden #growyourown

I was really pleased with my little cabbage!  It's so cute!

My homegrown harvest, October 2017.  What I grew and ate from my suburban organic permaculture garden UK.  From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #homegrownharvest #permaculturegarden #organicgarden #growyourown

Still getting loads of raspberries too, they're nearly finished now. 

My homegrown harvest, October 2017.  What I grew and ate from my suburban organic permaculture garden UK.  From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #homegrownharvest #permaculturegarden #organicgarden #growyourown

I picked all these beans too!  The variety is Lazy Housewife Bean from Real Seeds, I was really excited because there are loads of lovely fat beans on just three plants, but actually I don't like the taste of them.  I made them into falafels though.  I've probably got the same amount again still to pick - more falafels for me and I'll grow a different variety next year!

My homegrown harvest, October 2017.  What I grew and ate from my suburban organic permaculture garden UK.  From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #homegrownharvest #permaculturegarden #organicgarden #growyourown

My homegrown harvest, October 2017.  What I grew and ate from my suburban organic permaculture garden UK.  From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #homegrownharvest #permaculturegarden #organicgarden #growyourown

My homegrown harvest, October 2017.  What I grew and ate from my suburban organic permaculture garden UK.  From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #homegrownharvest #permaculturegarden #organicgarden #growyourown

My chilli plant has made it's first chilli too.  I'm planning on overwintering the plant so it can carry on next year, although it still has some flowers now.

My homegrown harvest, October 2017.  What I grew and ate from my suburban organic permaculture garden UK.  From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #homegrownharvest #permaculturegarden #organicgarden #growyourown

How are your gardens?  Are you harvesting anything exciting?
 

 
 

Sunday, 29 October 2017

Photo an hour, October 2017.

Saturday 28th was October's photo an hour day, here are my photos.

Photo an hour in organised by Jane and Louisa, anyone can join in and post their hourly photos on social media throughout the day tagging them #photoanhour.  Why don't you join in next time?

9am - Setting off for work a bit earlier than usual, it was the day of the library book sale and I was on setting up duty. 


10am - Voila!  Here is the library book sale, just waiting for some customers.


1pm - That was a busy morning at work, but I'm pleased with my £1 bargain book sale purchase of Terence Conran's House Book.  This is an eighties edition, I had the seventies one and it was much better but I gave it away (whyyy!).  


2pm - There's nothing like a child's dinner after a busy morning.


3pm - I wanted to do some gardening but it was so cold, so instead I'm re-watching That Seventies Show on Netflix.  I haven't seen it since it was originally shown on TV, it's so good and I love the costumes and sets.


4pm - Got the washing on. 


5pm - What a grey day!


6pm - Joe got home from work and finished off making his Lego Ecto One and now it's in pride of place on the book shelves.


8pm - Here I am, looking very grumpy and serious as I'd just woken up from a nap!  I got about 4 hours sleep on Friday night and was completely knackered. #bedhead


9pm - I lit some cute little Halloween candles and cosied up for the night.


Did you take part this time?  How was your day?



Friday, 27 October 2017

Diary of a suburban edible garden, October 2017.

There's been some really very lovely sunshiney days this month, but it's definitely feeling more autumnal.

Diary of a suburban edible garden, October 2017. By UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenblogger #suburbangarden #permaculturegarden #organicgarden

Look at these lovely berries, 

Diary of a suburban edible garden, October 2017. By UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenblogger #suburbangarden #permaculturegarden #organicgarden

I'm really pleased with the growth of the hedge in the front garden - look it nearly covers that annoying van, and the silver car that keep parking outside my house (even though they have their own drives, grumble grumble).  At least they're not as bad as the blue car that frequently parks over our driveway. Sigh.  These are grown up problems indeed.  I know we don't have a car but we would actually like access to our own drive to, you know, actually walk up to our house!

Diary of a suburban edible garden, October 2017. By UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenblogger #suburbangarden #permaculturegarden #organicgarden

'Scuse the state of the front garden, we're going to re-gravel it and move things about, but until then I've let it get a bit feral.  Look at all those strawberry runners rooting themselves in the gravel.

I've planted loads of new things in the back garden.  I'm not sure if you can quite make them out, but there's a new tall yellow plant, smoke plant, almond tree and my bin of blackberries in this bit of garden.

Diary of a suburban edible garden, October 2017. By UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenblogger #suburbangarden #permaculturegarden #organicgarden
  
I thought the bin would match the metal raised beds, and it was also a cheap option to contain the thornless blackberries.  I do not want a repeat of the raspberry situation I've currently got going on - they're sending out runners everywhere!

Diary of a suburban edible garden, October 2017. By UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenblogger #suburbangarden #permaculturegarden #organicgarden

I put an olla in the bin - I'm not sure if the metal of the bin will mean the soil will get hot and dry out in the summer or if it'll be ok here in the shade of the wall.  I've mulched it with leaves too and added a stepping stone so I can get to it without stomping all over the soil.  On the right of the bin I've planted an angelica and transplanted a self seeded hypericum. 

I'm really happy the late sowing of borlotto beans I did have fruited - I'm just leaving them a little longer to fatten up.

Diary of a suburban edible garden, October 2017. By UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenblogger #suburbangarden #permaculturegarden #organicgarden

I don't know if I planted this sweetcorn too late for it to do sweetcorns before it gets frosty - fingers crossed!

Diary of a suburban edible garden, October 2017. By UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenblogger #suburbangarden #permaculturegarden #organicgarden

For some reason I still have strawberries coming.  This is climate change everybody.

Diary of a suburban edible garden, October 2017. By UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenblogger #suburbangarden #permaculturegarden #organicgarden

I'm in the process of digging up the huge fuchsia down the side of the house.  Every year I cut it back and it comes back bigger and bigger and it's blocking the path.  The roots are proving tricky, but there's lots of space now it's nearly gone and I'm going to plant an apple tree in it's place.

Diary of a suburban edible garden, October 2017. By UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenblogger #suburbangarden #permaculturegarden #organicgarden

I've planted my new blackcurrant bush at the back of the garden and my hazel trees are lurking at the back there, I'm still trying to decide the perfect position for them.
 
Diary of a suburban edible garden, October 2017. By UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenblogger #suburbangarden #permaculturegarden #organicgarden

I made a 'water feature' with the bin lid (from my blackberry bin), it's just upturned and buried, filled with stones and water.  I've yet to see any birds use it for a bath like they do my washing up bowl pond, but maybe a toad will visit in spring!  It's not the prettiest thing, but it was free and it brings in another habitat to the garden too.

Diary of a suburban edible garden, October 2017. By UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenblogger #suburbangarden #permaculturegarden #organicgarden

Here's my little robin friend, he's getting stupidly tame, as soon as I take my root off the spade he's hopping about on the blade!

Diary of a suburban edible garden, October 2017. By UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenblogger #suburbangarden #permaculturegarden #organicgarden

I just love the colours and the leaves and the berries and the flowers this time of year! 

Diary of a suburban edible garden, October 2017. By UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenblogger #suburbangarden #permaculturegarden #organicgarden

Diary of a suburban edible garden, October 2017. By UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenblogger #suburbangarden #permaculturegarden #organicgarden

Diary of a suburban edible garden, October 2017. By UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenblogger #suburbangarden #permaculturegarden #organicgarden

Diary of a suburban edible garden, October 2017. By UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenblogger #suburbangarden #permaculturegarden #organicgarden

Diary of a suburban edible garden, October 2017. By UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenblogger #suburbangarden #permaculturegarden #organicgarden

How's your garden this month? 




Friday, 20 October 2017

Review - Morrisons organic veg box.

Now that the growing season is nearly over I've been looking into organic veg boxes to keep us in fresh and ethically grown fruit and veg during the winter. 

Review - Morrisons organic veg box. A review of Morrisons organic vegetable box from UK vegan and eco friendly blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #morrisonsorganicvegbox #vegbox #organic #review

I ordered the new Morrisons organic veg box so I could compare it to the Abel and Cole organic veg boxes I've also signed up to. 

The Morrisons veg box costs £8 and is available in store or for home delivery.  They also do a non-organic box for £5. 

The organic box I received was quite big and it contained the following,

17 potatoes of various sizes
11 carrots
4 leeks
4 golden beetroot
5 small red onions
1 bulb of garlic
1 fennel

The veg is nice enough, but not as nice as the posh veg that comes in the Abel and Cole box.  It's a good budget organic option - and it's going to take us ages to get through all those potatoes and carrots - but I'm going to stick with the Abel and Cole box as long as we can afford it.  

Having said that there's nothing actually wrong with the Morrisons veg box, other than the veg is not quite as fresh as I would like.  It's nice to get a bulb of garlic, the leeks, fennel and onions are fine, the beetroot and potatoes are all perfectly usable but they're a bit knobbly bobbly and blemished. 

Review - Morrisons organic veg box. A review of Morrisons organic vegetable box from UK vegan and eco friendly blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #morrisonsorganicvegbox #vegbox #organic #review

As you can see, my fridge will be full for quite some time! 

Can you recommend any other organic veg boxes for us to try?



Friday, 13 October 2017

My Hotbin composter.

Back in spring I bought myself a Hotbin, which is a super-posh composting bin, that takes all cooked food waste, as well as gardening waste, and cooks it up into compost really quickly.

My Hotbin composter.  A review of my Hotbin composter by UK garden and eco blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #hotbin #composter #hotbincomposter #gardening #ukgardener #permaculturegarden #ukpermaculturegarden

I emptied it for the first time a couple of weeks ago, and I thought it would be a good time to share how I've been finding it.  Spoiler alert, I love it!  

It's clean, not-smelly, compact, gets really hot and steam comes out of it - what's not to like! 

Filling the Hotbin composter.

There's a set up process with the Hotbin, you fill it with twigs at the bottom, then either add a lot of waste to get it heating up fast, or add little bits of waste as you have it (both these methods are described on the Hotbin website).

Once you've done that first step you continue to add a mix of waste to the Hotbin regularly.  I find my compost stays hotter if I add waste every other day, but sometimes I go a week between topping it up if I'm busy or the weather's bad, and it still works good.

My Hotbin composter.  A review of my Hotbin composter by UK garden and eco blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #hotbin #composter #hotbincomposter #gardening #ukgardener #permaculturegarden #ukpermaculturegarden

The mix of waste you need to put in the hot bin is as follows,

Food waste - raw and cooked food waste is fine
Garden waste - chopped into smallish pieces so it breaks down quicker
Shredded paper - a handful or two of shredded or ripped paper or card - I find shredded paper works best and I shred it with a pair of those special shredding scissors with 5 sets of blades.
Bulking agent - a couple of handfuls of bulking agent - Hotbin supply partially composted wood chippings, but you can make your own and I often cut up some twigs to use instead.  

My Hotbin composter.  A review of my Hotbin composter by UK garden and eco blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #hotbin #composter #hotbincomposter #gardening #ukgardener #permaculturegarden #ukpermaculturegarden

Use half the volume of shredded paper to waste, and another fifth of bulking agent to get the mixture right.  I like to mix everything up in a trug before popping it in the Hotbin, then I tip it in and mix it with the top layer of compost.

My Hotbin composter.  A review of my Hotbin composter by UK garden and eco blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #hotbin #composter #hotbincomposter #gardening #ukgardener #permaculturegarden #ukpermaculturegarden


Emptying the Hotbin Composter.

I put off emptying my Hotbin for ages, because I thought it might be tricky, and because I was worried if it hadn't have worked I'd have wasted a lot of money!  But I shouldn't have worried it was fine. 

Once I'd opened the bottom hatch I started digging the compost out.  Eventually the top, unfinished layer of compost collapsed down, but it happened slowly enough that I was able to shove a trug in place and catch it.  

Emptying the Hotbin was a surprisingly un-smelly and quick job, it took about 45 minutes to empty including spreading the compost.  I've spent entire days emptying compost bins before, so I was really happy with this!  I got about 4 small trugs full of compost out too which was more than sufficient to spread by my fruit trees.

The finished compost.

The finished compost is dark brown, it smells good (am I the only one who smells their compost to see if it's ready?!), and it's also really, really sticky.  This is normal apparently, due to the large amount of humic matter in the compost

My Hotbin composter.  A review of my Hotbin composter by UK garden and eco blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #hotbin #composter #hotbincomposter #gardening #ukgardener #permaculturegarden #ukpermaculturegarden

It was easy to spread, although a bit clumpy, but I'm sure my garden worms will work on that over the winter and by spring my garden beds will be lovely.

My most favourite thing about my Hotbin composter.

I just love that it comes with two thermometers (one on the lid and one on a probe to poke inside) and that steam comes out of it.  It's so satisfying to see it working! 

My Hotbin composter.  A review of my Hotbin composter by UK garden and eco blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #hotbin #composter #hotbincomposter #gardening #ukgardener #permaculturegarden #ukpermaculturegarden

My Hotbin composter.  A review of my Hotbin composter by UK garden and eco blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #hotbin #composter #hotbincomposter #gardening #ukgardener #permaculturegarden #ukpermaculturegarden

Don't forget to check out my other gardening blog posts


Disclaimer - I received a teeny little discount on my Hotbin in return for the promise of reviewing it.  I was going to buy one anyway, and as always all opinions are my own.  I've also borrowed a graphic from the Hotbin website - I hope they don't mind and it 100% belongs to them. 



 

Friday, 6 October 2017

What I ate in a day, a day of yummy vegan food.

This is what I ate in a day, it was my day off work, with just a few errands to run and a bit of gardening to do, but mostly just chilling out at home.


Breakfast was a yummy mix of potatoes, chickpeas and onion, fried til crispy with some paprika and garlic and a splodge of ketchup.


My breakfast was super filling, so for lunch I had some home-grown salad leaves, with a few crackers, a stick of vegan cheese and a BBQ Graze box.


Followed by an apple and home grown raspberries - they're so sweet this year!


Joe made this tea.  Home-made tomato sauce, wholemeal spaghetti and sausages-pretending-to-be-meatballs.  If you cut up Linda McCartney sausages and fry them in a little paprika they make excellent quick pretend-meatballs for pasta dishes.


This vegan ice cream is supposed to be in the shape of a lion, but I think it's more like a cute little sheep!  It's not quite chocolatey enough so I like to dip it into dark chocolate chips too!

Don't forget to check out my other vegan blog posts for more vegan meal inspiration! 


 
 

Sunday, 1 October 2017

My homegrown harvest, September 2017.

I've eaten so many raspberries this month that I've started craving them.  I'm going to be sad when raspberry season is over! 

My homegrown harvest, September 2017. By UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenharvest #homegrownharvest #organicgarden #permaculturegarden #suburbanpermaculture

I have about 8 raspberry canes and they've provided more than enough for me and Joe to scoff at least a handful each every other day.

My homegrown harvest, September 2017. By UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenharvest #homegrownharvest #organicgarden #permaculturegarden #suburbanpermaculture

I planted a sprouty potato in a pot super late in the season.  The plant died so I tipped the pot out and harvested these 3 nice red potatoes.  They were so yummy!

My homegrown harvest, September 2017. By UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenharvest #homegrownharvest #organicgarden #permaculturegarden #suburbanpermaculture

Mini sweetcorn is one of my favourite things to grow.  It's Always over packaged and imported when you buy it in shops, so I grow it myself and have a couple of delicious stir fries every year!

My homegrown harvest, September 2017. By UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenharvest #homegrownharvest #organicgarden #permaculturegarden #suburbanpermaculture

This is my first home grown apple.  As you can see I wasn't the first to get to it!  I suspect Mr Squirrel and I am not happy with him!

My homegrown harvest, September 2017. By UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenharvest #homegrownharvest #organicgarden #permaculturegarden #suburbanpermaculture

I finally got some salad on the go, I've learned my lesson about being organised with successional sowing for next year.

My homegrown harvest, September 2017. By UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenharvest #homegrownharvest #organicgarden #permaculturegarden #suburbanpermaculture

How are your gardens?  Are you harvesting anything exciting?

 
 

Friday, 29 September 2017

Diary of a suburban edible garden, September 2017.

This month, most of my gardening time has been taken up with de-lawing.  I no longer have a (weedy, patchy, lumpy, bumpy, weirdly small) lawn!

We sheet mulched it, which involved digging the edges of the lawn up, laying card and newspaper over the lawn, then topping with a thick layer of bark chippings.  Bonus feature - the garden currently smells like a pine forest!

Diary of a suburban edible garden, September 2017. From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #permaculturegarden #ukpermaculture #suburbangarden #ediblegarden #sheetmulching #raisedbeds

We also removed the stones that edged the narrow border between the lawn and the fence, which is why there's a pile of stones in the middle of the path now!

Here's what it looked like before.

Diary of a suburban edible garden, September 2017. From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #permaculturegarden #ukpermaculture #suburbangarden #ediblegarden #sheetmulching #raisedbeds

I'm much happier now.  And once we've got the hard landscaping sorted (path, patio, shed + stompy builders stomping all over the garden) I'll plant up the ex-lawn and have lots more lovely plants and trees.

You can see I also bark-chipped over the ex-weedy patch at the bottom of the garden, as I'm probably not going to get round to planting it all this year, and the chips will prevent weeds and soil erosion, and rot down into the soil and make it nice. 

Diary of a suburban edible garden, September 2017. From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #permaculturegarden #ukpermaculture #suburbangarden #ediblegarden #sheetmulching #raisedbeds

The bin's there because it's waiting to be planted up with a thornless blackberry plant I was given for my birthday.  I figured it was the biggest, cheapest plastic free option for a large pot, that would also stop the roots escaping and spreading through the garden.  It also matches my steel raised beds. 

Diary of a suburban edible garden, September 2017. From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #permaculturegarden #ukpermaculture #suburbangarden #ediblegarden #sheetmulching #raisedbeds

This is my plant waiting area.  Every time I go out to garden it rains on me!  Waiting to be planted are a blackcurrant bush and the thornless blackberry - excellent birthday gifts from my father in law and his partner, it's not very often someone buys you exactly the things you were planning to buy yourself, with no prompting or clues, but this was one of those times.  There's also two hazel nut trees, an almond tree and a discovery apple tree that I bought with some birthday money I was given.  

Diary of a suburban edible garden, September 2017. From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #permaculturegarden #ukpermaculture #suburbangarden #ediblegarden #sheetmulching #raisedbeds

This is my other plant waiting area.  There are lots of herbs waiting to be planted, including a curry plant that smells amazing and Siberian perennial onions.  I have a tray of herbs I bought from Homebase in the sale for £2 to plant too.  The herbs and trees are from Victoriana Nursery, it's hard to buy plants without a car, but I think this is a good online option, they seem pretty eco-friendly and the plants are healthy barring the odd insect hitch-hiker.  

I bought these perennial cut and come again cauliflower from Victoriana Nursery too, which I'm pretty darn excited to plant! 

Diary of a suburban edible garden, September 2017. From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #permaculturegarden #ukpermaculture #suburbangarden #ediblegarden #sheetmulching #raisedbeds

My back garden raised beds are doing good.  I was worried I wasn't going to get any beans from my lazy housewife beans, but they're coming along now.  I had two cabbages that suffered from being eaten by cabbage white caterpillars.  I've tried to live peaceably with my caterpillar chums, because butterflies are struggling so much, so I just left them to much away happily.  I like the thought that the caterpillars have eaten their fill, and now one of the cabbages is making a comeback, so I'll get to eat my fill too.

Diary of a suburban edible garden, September 2017. From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #permaculturegarden #ukpermaculture #suburbangarden #ediblegarden #sheetmulching #raisedbeds

Diary of a suburban edible garden, September 2017. From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #permaculturegarden #ukpermaculture #suburbangarden #ediblegarden #sheetmulching #raisedbeds

Diary of a suburban edible garden, September 2017. From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #permaculturegarden #ukpermaculture #suburbangarden #ediblegarden #sheetmulching #raisedbeds

There's lots of yummy salad growing too, and some beans and sweetcorn that I'm doubtful will make beans and sweetcorn before we have frosts - but you never know! 

Diary of a suburban edible garden, September 2017. From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #permaculturegarden #ukpermaculture #suburbangarden #ediblegarden #sheetmulching #raisedbeds

This bit of the garden is really pretty right now, all the flowers seem to be putting on a final flourish before winter.  I'm planning on planting my new almond tree at the back of this patch by the fence, and I have a smoke bush on order I want to plant along here too.  There are lots of plants to move if the weather is Ever un-rainy.

Diary of a suburban edible garden, September 2017. From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #permaculturegarden #ukpermaculture #suburbangarden #ediblegarden #sheetmulching #raisedbeds

This cute little calendula has been my favourite flower this year.  It's smaller and yellower than all the others and has flowered all summer long, I'll be saving seed from it.

Diary of a suburban edible garden, September 2017. From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #permaculturegarden #ukpermaculture #suburbangarden #ediblegarden #sheetmulching #raisedbeds

I shall leave you with this beetle friend.  Isn't he cute!  I'm so pleased there are beetles in the garden - they eat slugs don't you know! 

Diary of a suburban edible garden, September 2017. From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #permaculturegarden #ukpermaculture #suburbangarden #ediblegarden #sheetmulching #raisedbeds

 How's your garden this month?