Still playing a bit of catch up here is the September update on the chillies.  I think I said in the last post that things were starting to look a bit frayed around the edges. Well I might have to back track on that because the cooler weather seems to have suited the plants enormously, especially the Aji Limon which are currently looking very healthy indeed.  There’s been no change in the feeding and watering regime so it can only be the temperature.  I’d be interested to know what everyone else is finding.

Hungarian Hot Wax

And after complaining about the fruit being unripe finally we are all red with a bit of yellow thrown in for good measure.  I think my favourite at the moment has to be the Scotch Bonnet, I love the crenulated shape and waxy skin.  We didn’t grow this plant from seed but picked it up from Victoriana Nursery Gardens as an extra. Maybe one to try for next year. Of course the Aji Limon is interesting because of it’s colour as it the Vampire which is a particularly dark, rich shade of red.

Vampire Chillli

Aji Limon

Scotch Bonnet

Aji Limon

The Cayennes are all picked and we’re drying them to chop into chilli flakes. I’m finding this a lengthy process. So if you have any tips I’m keen to know. Otherwise I’ll be looking back to the very first Chilli Challenge post written back in January and getting the cookery books out for recipe inspiration and making some packs up to give as gifts. A busy month ahead ensuring all the effort doesn’t go to waste.

Thank you for reading.


Tuesday Plotlines

This week sees us fresh back from a family holiday in Cornwall. In the normal scheme of things I visit the plot most days and do a few ‘jobs’, little and often being the thing in my mind, and it seems like not much changes. Clearly I achieve more than I think because although gone for just ten days we returned to a bit of a jungle.  Any plans I had for days out on Sunday were put aside in a bid to get things back on track

Southbourne Gardens

Derek was keen to mow the paths, one of his favourite jobs, on the basis that it would ‘make everything look better’ and this is true, it does, but to me it’s a superficial job and the real nitty gritty is dealing with the beds.  Clearing, weeding and tidying.

Southbourne Gardens

Southbourne Gardens

The tomatoes in particular had put on a whole new growth spurt and some of the plants with the heavier fruits, marmande and pink ruffle had fallen over completely.  Luckily no blight but in the warm, damp conditions with a very juicy, sweet food supply on tap the slugs were having a party.  We’ve now removed as much foliage as possible, added extra canes for support and taken off any tomatoes that have been eaten or are starting to rot.

Southbourne Gardens

You may remember we planted a whole load of seedlings a while back, beetroot, turnips, coriander etc.  Well these have also been providing a ready food supply for the mice with only the carrots and the beetroot doing well.  So back to the drawing board with how we protect crops sown directly until they become established.  All tips welcome.

Southbourne Gardens

So five hours of hard work and we’ve reclaimed the plot, the weather here is gorgeous and it’s on with the planning for autumn winter planting. More of which soon.

All these photographs were taken yesterday morning and the central path looks super trim due to Site Chairman John’s mowing efforts.

As ever thank you for reading and let me know in the comments what’s going on in your garden.


Gardening Days Out

Aside the harvesting and preserving this time of year often gives us a break from the more onerous tasks in the garden or on the plot. We’re also looking at some country wide good weather for the weekend so perhaps it’s an opportunity to escape to another horticultural space and maybe soften the back to school blow for the kids at the same time.  A quick look around the internet reveals that there’s still plenty to get out and do; here are some ideas:

Roses at Wisley

National Gardens Scheme

There are over eighty gardens all over the UK opening this weekend for the NGS, with all entrance money going towards good causes.  Enter a postcode, how far you want to travel and you’re good to go.

All information here

Horticultural Shows

The next couple of weeks should see a whole raft of local horticultural shows. So if the Big Allotment Challenge whetted your appetite for the show bench this could be just the thing or alternatively there will often be craft and baking categories.  I’ve included the link to ours here to give and idea and they will often welcome late entries if you fancy the competition.  A quick ‘google’ of your local area and you should find one close to home.

Plant Fairs

I’m a big fan of these as you’ll know if you read regularly.  Access to independent nurseries, excellent quality plants and good advice, often in a garden setting.  There’s a list here and this weekend sees an excellent looking event at Ness Botanic Gardens close to Ellesmere Port.

All information here

The National Trust

Of course we love the National Trust and their 50 things to do before your 11 3/4  programme makes this a family day out. Specifically I’m thinking about Waddesdon Manor which is hosting it’s annual Chilli Festival this weekend with forty exhibitors and artisan producers.  There will also be talks, demonstrations and a full entertainment programme.

All information here

Flower Shows

I’ve already written this week about the National Dahlia Society Show and details of the RHS Wisley Flower Show can be found here. Alternatively next weekend sees The Harrogate Autumn Flower Show, with over four hundred exhibitors it looks like a corker.

All the information here


Enjoy your weekend!

And if you have any events your attending or would like to publicise let me know in the comments.