We had some stunning clouds pass by earlier in the week.  No rain again though, so the watering can has been used a lot.  It's the end of Summer (boo) which is always sad (admittedly an odd opinion since I don't like it too hot, but I'm sure we all have our little idiosyncrasies). Looking on the bright side though there are the fruits and vegetables to enjoy of course.

The Mulberry tree and some Magnificent clouds

Below is the Potager, which was constructed on a patch of garden which had been used as a hard standing for Portacabins by the previous owners.  As a result the soil is a bit ropey to say the least, and I get much better results in a separate bed over by the greenhouse.  But I don't intend to give up on it and manure and compost will continue to be added each year in the eternal hope that the future will bring better things.

The Rainbow Chard is getting going now the daytime temperatures have cooled a little.  Sad to say that I haven't actually eaten any.  I have a bad habit of admiring, but not picking, this plant.  I have no great yearning to eat it, but I do love the colour of the stems.

Not actually a fruit or veg, but growing in the Potager, are these box cones which got an overdue trim with the topiary shears this week.

Next up is our Mulberry tree standing in the Knot Garden which is of some great age (Victorian like the house I presume) and is covered in fruit.  There is far more than we could ever eat.  The fruit is quite tart and has juice that stains your fingers if you pick them.  I don't enjoy eating them fresh, but like damsons they are nice stewed with sugar and served with yoghurt.  

Fourth spot goes to Aubergine 'Long Purple'.  Despite the red spider mite, these have managed to produce some fruit and not only that they actually look like something you might buy from a shop! (See bricks behind for some sense of scale).

More giant vegetables next, and again you can't really get a sense of the size of these beauties from this photo.  Lets just say you could get 6 portions of soup out of the one on the left and I'm now keeping a closer eye on them so I can pick them a bit sooner.  Meanwhile, it you've got any good courgette recipes please send them my way.

To finish with, here's my new toy or rather toys since there are two lovely cold frames.  Expect some serious seed sowing and propagating to take place.  It will make hardening off a whole lot easier too (and will stop me skipping this vital stage).

That's all from me for this week, but do check out the Propagator who hosts Six on Saturday, where you'll find plenty more garden news from around the world.



  1. I prefer Spring and summer too, I think it is because I like all the light we get with short nights. Those new cold frames look exciting.

    1. You're right Rosie. The long hours of daylight are lovely.

  2. I too have beautiful aubergines this summer with a variety with long narrow fruit (A. De Barbantane) and resembling yours. (Last year I grew a green long variety - A. Louisiana Long Green - but they weren't as good. )
    Spider mites too but I've already harvested more that a dozen, which is already good. The first header photo has a really beautiful light !

    1. Thanks Fred. Pleased your aubergines are doing well too.

  3. Those are two very nice cold frames! Have you thought of making the beds in the potager higher / deeper so you can get more compost in? It looks like a lovely space and I am envious of the Victorian cloches.

    1. I'm trying it out on one bed. Hubby has built a raised bed frame and I did put some manure and home made compost in it. It didn't make much difference this year, but I'll keep filling it up and I'm sure it will get there.

  4. I make this a lot - makes a nice lunch as is or with some tomato sauce. The recipe is from one of the "Beautiful" cookbook series, The Beautiful Provence Cookbook. I have enjoyed every recipe I have tried, and these cookbooks do have beautiful pictures of the areas represented, though I admit to thinking wistfully that I bet it tastes even better if eaten at that quaint table in the picture...

    Tian de Courgettes

    1 large onion, chopped
    1 lb zucchini, sliced
    1 C fresh bread crumbs (I have used dry bread crumbs like panko, which also works)
    ½ C uncooked long grain rice
    2 C milk
    3 eggs
    100 g grated parmesan cheese
    4 T olive oil
    1 T fresh marjoram (or thyme, I have also used basil, but like thyme better than basil in this recipe)

    Preheat oven to 350 F. Heat 2T olive oil in large pan and sautée onion until soft, but not colored. Add sliced zucchini and sautée for a few minutes. Don’t overcook, I go until the green is bright and the slices begin to soften. Remove from heat.

    In a bowl, pour 1 C of the milk over the bread crumbs. Add 2/3 of the grated cheese, thyme or marjoram, eggs and rice and remaining olive oil.S and P to taste. Mix well. Add the zucchini/onion and mix gently. Pour into a greased 6 C gratin dish. Gently pour remaining 1 C milk over the mixture. Top with remaining parmesan. Bake for 1 hour or until golden.


    1. Thanks so much. That sounds delicious

  5. Those aubergines look very impressive as do the new cold frames. Lovely photo of the clouds over the mulberry tree.

  6. N20: I am getting quite excited by autumn, replanting some corners and finally getting round to some much needed tidying up. Your first picture is a stunner, amazing clouds. Keep adding the mulch to those beds, they will come good in the end! Re the chard, yes I have that same feeling. I use it wilted in stir frys but that's about it!


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