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Forums / Staying well / Who else likes gardening?

Topic: Who else likes gardening?

  1. ecomama
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    13 April 2021 in reply to Paw Prints

    Hey Paws, that's really disappointing it took so long to deliver your plants.
    I hope Mark and J*s advice helps ALOT!

    Roses don't go well in my garden ooops.

    GOOD LUCK! Let us know how you go please. xxxx

    Update: I explored my back garden today and really enjoyed it. I didn't get into EVERY corner... I hope to in the next few days while I'm still on leave.

    I DID notice the lantana has not come back in most places.
    YAY! There's still some to remove, plus other less troublesome weeds but we're "getting there". The worst ones, besides the lantana, are the tobacco tree seedlings. Also some Mickey Mouse trees which are difficult to remove. Ferns growing where I've never seen them before will need mowing lol.

    I'm leaving the dandelions and other weeds that promote grass growth over time.

    Seems I have MORE Native Violets than grass lol. Happy Days!

    I have tons of "accidental" food plants growing in different places that I never planted them in.
    Pretty cool actually.
    Lots of tomatoes!
    A few passionfruit vines (babies from my old one).
    Lots of Cape Gooseberries.
    My oranges are ripening.
    I picked lots of Tahitian Limes.
    PLENTY of lemons! yay.
    The macadamia nuts look ready to pick.
    I even found a remote strawberry patch - go figure!

    I've decided to ask my brother for my lawn mower back.
    I'd rather mow the weeds over and over and get that nitrogen back into the soil.

    The weeds I cut back and piled up, then covered in sheets of metal or old carpet have composted down SO WELL. I can use this soil to level some places that eroded from all this rain. I'll use some thick branches to "hold" the soil.

    The front garden looks pretty great atm, I'm always out there feeding the chickens lol.

    Happy gardening everyone!

    Love EM

    2 people found this helpful
  2. Matchy69
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    13 April 2021 in reply to ecomama
    Hi Em it's amazing how much life rain brings to your garden and how new plants suddenly appear.Mother nature is amazing.
    One of my mandarins trees I am picking from and I noticed a bush lemon was yellow the other day.I will be busy in the kitchen in the next few weeks making lemon butter,lemonade and marmalade.
    My grapes will need a good pruning it has grown everywhere now even over my gate and I think it would be in my bedroom if I didn't have fly screen.
    Take care,
    Mark
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  3. Shelll
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    13 April 2021

    Hi all,

    I have this massive Kent pumpkin vine growing out back. Sprouted from the compost

    Never grown one before. It has 15 or so pumpkins on it. Baby ones and bigger ones.

    I am not doing anything to it just allowing it to spread where ever. Should I be doing anything to it? And how will I know when the pumpkins are ripe to pick?

  4. ecomama
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    13 April 2021 in reply to Matchy69

    Lolol Mark I LOVE how you describe your grape vine! They want to be with daddy too!! hahaha...

    I pruned my grape vine WAY back the other day. They go mental don't they?

    Awww Wish I was in your kitchen helping you make ALL those wonderful lemony things, sounds DELICIOUS!
    My bush lemon I let sprout from the Kaffir Lime graft is going GREAT!

    I'm so grateful for my gardener... he knows I'm dealing with having to repair my roof and ceilings at a huge cost, so he OFFERED to come work for free.
    I actually cried when I read his texts.
    So many family live nearby and all of them now NC.

    I'm looking at "family" differently now. Certainly the "need" for them! No point in needing them if they ain't doing nuttin'! (I KNOW they'll call when THEY want something tho grrr).

    Anyhow I'm replacing "family" with "tribe" now. There's just no point in HOPING with family anymore. My tribe = the nice ppl who make a difference to my life just by BEING themselves; kind, compassionate, helpful!

    So Uncle Mark, how's it going?? lol!

    My gardener is coming tomorrow morning and I plan to be working with him. YAY!!! I'm so excited I can hardly wait.

    Hey Shelll!!
    WOW accidental PUMPKINS! Excellent.

    Mark may have some great advice to add or even negate mine lol - I'd go with Mark's advice ANY day of the week lol.

    YES! absolutely let it spread.

    When I had Pumpkin vines crowding out my back yard... I noticed some of the leaves were going mildewy, so I cut them off. Rain can do this. Watering from ABOVE the vine does this too.
    Let any hose watering run UNDERNEATH the vines. Don't water much!

    You may need some DRY STRAW, I've also used pantyhose as a "pumpkin sling". My farmer friend uses bricks ugh... to lift UP each pumpkin OFF the ground so they don't rot.

    When you go to seek and find pumpkins, tread very carefully!
    I've stepped on and squashed SO MANY ugh. (I harvested 45 that year so no biggie losing a few lol). SO armed with secateurs, lift up a leaf, check the ground to step on, then step. Repeat.

    We can wait until the entire vine dies back exposing the pumpkins.
    Or when they get to about as big as their parent, you can harvest one at a time to eat.
    We're supposed to cut off as much of the vine as physically possible WITH the pumpkin.

    STORING pumpkins we grow is an art form lol. Please come back when your pumpkins are at this stage.

    Aren't you CLEVER Shelll! Just happened by magic.

    Love EMxxxx

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  5. Matchy69
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    13 April 2021 in reply to ecomama
    Shellll their the best pumpkins that come up unexpectedly.I wouldn't do to much just leave it be and be careful with over watering it probably won't need any.Just pick them when they colour up and the stem starts to dry out.You can pick them younger.Just remember coming onto the colder months the frost will finish them off.
    Happy gardening,
    Mark.
    p.s you can make pumpkin jam out of them and it's delicious
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  6. Shelll
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    13 April 2021
    Ah thanks heaps Em and Mark. Appreciate your help
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  7. ecomama
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    15 April 2021 in reply to Shelll

    You're very welcome Shelll. Let us know how you get on please!

    Hey everyone

    Had a huge day in the garden yesterday.

    My gardener had offered to garden for free for a few hours and I said yes!
    Tbh I actually cried at his kind offer... then texted yes please. He knows I've got to pay out big for roof & ceiling repairs.

    I feel like getting out there again for a while but need to take the kids Winter clothes shopping today, so I'll hold back.

    My back garden is huge for an urban block here. Big enough for a cabin and it's land and STILL lots of room left.
    It's too big for me tbh with working FT and kids.

    Anyhoo we got STUCK IN!
    I dug out lots of dead lantana stumps, weeded stacks (still some lantana, the dreaded tobacco trees and other weeds), made new compost heaps. I put the tobacco plants in a garbage bag, we CANNOT compost those in any way, not even weed tea.

    I decided to move all unsightly things like that over to be hidden from the view from my balcony.
    Gardener took out lantana, blackberry and other weeds, from around the pool.

    We decided to leave all the new ferns and Cape Gooseberries bec they're easy to take out later and crowd out the other weeds from growing.

    I made us lunch and we ate together, it was nice! He said I WIN FIRST PRIZE in growing the Best Weeds lol.. I'll take that!

    We took ALL the structures away from the fence and hid them, dead worm farms in baths and he emptied the frog pond before I told him NO! But oh well, hope they found the row boat.
    That fence line needs to be cleared for the future cabin's walkway (I'm still dreaming!).

    When he left I kept working; removed all twisting vines from fruit trees. Detangled jasmine, it seems contained now. NO I didn't plant Jasmine! But if I take it ALL out, our fence will fall down lol. Those neighbours are almost 100yo and I'm NOT making them pay for a new fence, that would be cruel.

    I also took apart my LAST Mandala garden from the beautiful 7 circle Mandala garden we used to have.
    Wow that was powerfully emotive, all the memories came back with each brick. I took the whole fence down. It's completely cleared now. It's gone.

    Around 200 bricks are in a pile. Not sure where to store them yet.

    Looks REALLY neat there now.

    I collected macadamia nuts, lemons, a few cherry tomatoes. It was fun.

    I prob need to make a deal with myself to visit the back garden for 20 mins a day, just to tidy up stuff. IDK.

    Happy gardening everyone!

    Love EM

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  8. randomx
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    2755 posts
    15 April 2021

    getting really sick of these tasteless tomatoes.

    Oh well , they're all going off anyway so my saga will be over soon haha

    rx

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  9. Shelll
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    15 April 2021 in reply to ecomama

    Shall do EM

    Shell xx

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  10. ecomama
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    15 April 2021 in reply to Shelll

    Darned shame about the tasteless tomatoes rx, pretty sad!

    You could make a zucchini and tomato soup?
    Think I put the recipe on the BB Cafe last week or thereabouts.
    Maybe it's too fussy atm.

    If you know anyone with caged hens, they'd probably gobble them up in no time lol.

    Better luck next time hey?

    Hey Shelll

    Can't wait to hear about your pumpkin adventures!

    Love EM

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  11. Matchy69
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    16 April 2021

    Hi all I went for a drive down to a craft where I sell some of my things through and took down a load of plants.Just as well I did as I have sold all the ones I had there.I took down a heap of different types of geraniums and I sold a red one the moment I put it on the shelf and I took down a few fruit trees as well.

    The drive down was lovely and it was all green and farm dams were all full but on the way back I came back a different way and one area was still so dry and looks like they missed out on most of the rain we had which was surprising ASI it was only half an hour from me.

    Take care,

    Mark.

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  12. Jstar49
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    824 posts
    16 April 2021

    Hi all,

    Fun to read about the pumpkin advetures Shell!

    Em your place sounds like a food forest! All that prolific growth! As is usually the case tho the trouble is containing the unwanted growth....glad your gardener is so kind and will continue to work with you while you have the momentum......Pray the roof is sorted quickly and affordably!

    Mark great news on the popularity of your plants- well done. It's strange the way the rain skips around- I would have thought everywhere was green by now, it's been so widespread....

    I'm mainly just watering atm, watching for the seeds to pop up, and watering tomatoes, cabbages, lettuces.

    Seeds are pak choy, allysum, and peas/beans. We loved our pod peas love year, couldn't get enough! Hope they grow well again this year.

    It's nice to have a garden to look after again, rather than just weeds.

    Happy days green thumbs!

    Cheers,

    J*

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  13. ecomama
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    16 April 2021 in reply to Jstar49

    AWESOME news about your plants selling so well Mark! That's exciting!

    Nurseries won't touch our home grown plants here. I'm happy they'll take our clean, used pots back though.

    Looks like you need to get more young plants going. Do you propagate plants in Autumn? It's a great time to get cuttings and make new plants - you already know this Mark, more for others here lol.

    Hey J*

    My GOAL is one day to have 5 or 10% of my time spent in the garden on all those happy things like planting, sowing seeds, harvesting lol.
    Atm it's 100% weeding and maintenance. Okay 150% I won't lie lol.

    I had a real grumbling attitude about it all before but now I'm viewing my work as uncovering, excavating, removing the unwanted things to discover the beautiful garden I want to see.
    It's easier having a better attitude.

    Funny thing is that the garden being uncovered is so much different to what I imagined it to be.

    Can't wait to get a MINI DIGGER in there YEAH! Gonna RIP down that old pool and the pool fence and have some excavations done... in the future ofcourse. Atm I'm still DREAMING hahaha.

    Thanks, the roof should be repaired in about 2.5 weeks now, counting the days lol.
    Then all the ceilings, it'll be a right royal MESS for a while here.

    I didn't realise how deeply stressful this has all been on me.
    Now that "affordable solutions" are presenting themselves I realise it all.

    Having such high levels of stress has been pretty destructive in my life tbh. It's wonderful to have creative pursuits to even it all out!! lol.

    Love EM

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  14. Boudica
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    195 posts
    17 April 2021 in reply to ecomama

    Hello all,

    It sounds like you all have such beautiful big gardens, I am quite jealous. I live in a townhouse so have two small courtyards only 6 x 5 metres each plus an entrance way that is 15 x 2 metres, so my gardening space is very limited. Nevertheless I do what I can, and I am presently developing one courtyard as a kind of green room retreat. So far I have a grapevine overhead which gives beautiful filtered light in summer and sunshine in winter, and I am working on masking the walls with foliage. I have strelitzia and tree ferns and monsteria and one large staghorn, but I am looking for suggestions of plants that will create lush green walls without taking up a lot on space horizontally. My soil is very sandy as I live quite near to the beach, so that adds an extra challenge. Any suggestions would be most welcome.

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  15. ecomama
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    17 April 2021 in reply to Boudica

    Hey Boudica, LOVE that name! It's powerful.

    Welcome to the Gardening thread and to the forums overall!

    SO LOVELY to have another green handed person join us. You'd need alot of knowledge to grow plants successfully in small spaces.

    Your garden sounds beautiful.

    Maybe some others can chime in with suggestions for your green wall... my only suggestion taking up minimal space is English Ivy or Hedera Helix I think it's called.
    I'm training some to grow up an ugly metal fence lol. Hopefully it goes GREEN all over.

    I was given some cuttings from a friend years ago but have used it for Celebratory Headdresses and decorations for years now, it hasn't had much of a chance to grow lol.
    It should now though, since we've reduced those things.

    I like it because it copes in shade AND in the sun.
    Though I think it's more beautiful when grown in the shade, deeper greens and softer foliage.
    Looks a bit shabby with too much sun imho.

    You've packed alot into your spaces there. Our Monstera is MASSIVE since all this rain.

    Is the wall in the sun or shade?

    EMxxxx

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  16. Boudica
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    18 April 2021 in reply to ecomama

    Hey EM,

    Thanks for your suggestion. Ivy is a good idea, I will try to get a cutting from someone. I have tried a ficus climber, but the light conditions are low at the ground, so it is growing soooo sloooow. It is hard getting things growing as the light varies between very dim at the ground to scorching sunlight when plants grow to 1.5m.

    I have lots of monstera, but I have secured them to the wall so they grow up instead of trailing along. I just love the huge leaves and they are tough as boots. I also have planted aspidistra in the dimmest areas as that can take the shade.

    I love that you have had such a strong demand for celebratory headdresses in your life!

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  17. ecomama
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    18 April 2021 in reply to Boudica

    Lol it wasn't THAT much ivy we cut off, just alot of children at one point for those events.
    And they carried those into their birthday parties for a while.

    The kids went to a Waldorf Steiner school for a while, that's where it all came in useful lol.

    Monstera are beautiful plants. I love their huge leaves... some growing in a huge area near our Vet's just harks back to the Dinosaur era! Gorgeous.

    If you're willing to put in the maintenance by cutting it back all the time, then Ivy would grow well. It seems to cope well here in both full sunlight and shade. It seems to prefer the shade though, wants to grow towards the shade like it's hiding lol.

    But I love it! I love it covering ugly metal fences.

    Gosh we have a ficus that's a monster. Grew 3 stories high and it's a real nuisance. I keep cutting it back but it's a tree... not sure if there's a difference?

    EMxxxx

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  18. Matchy69
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    18 April 2021 in reply to ecomama

    Em most of my plants I grow these days are from cuttings and seeds.I use to do a bit of grafting and air layering but don't do much of that these days.I don't even know where my grafting knife is.Gradting was a bit of a hit and miss for me though I had some success.

    Happy gardening,

    Mark.

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  19. Boudica
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    20 April 2021 in reply to Matchy69

    Good Morning,

    It is a perfect gardening day here today, not to hot or cold, sunny with a slight breeze.

    Em, keeping ivy under control would be no problem for me as I am prone to being a slight control freak in the garden and hence have electric shears for my hedges already :)

    The monstera plants are a dedication to my Grandmother who had masses of them. She liked to paint and had a beautiful water colour painting on her sitting room wall of monstera. We also have a chinese tallow tree that was planted to remember our old cat, who is buried there (chinese tallow is a weed in places with higher rainfall but not here). The leaves are just starting to colour up for autumn.

    Mark, it is great you have grafting skills, I am yet to learn this, but I want to. No idea what air layering is. In the future I want to graft some different grape varieties onto my existing vines. Someone I knew from hiking who knew about grafting offered to come and help, but I got a bit panicky about having him come to my house and declined :( I think I will try to learn about it from youtube, it is where I learn most things!

    Today I will finish pruning my grapevines that cover the pergola (that I built after watching youtube videos). Sadly I had to throw out several wheely bins of grapes this year, as we are under a strict fruit fly quarantine in SA due to an outbreak (SA is usually fruit fly free and primary industries are having a blitz of baiting and releasing sterile females to try to control outbreak). No fruit can be given to others, and the children cannot even take fruit to school, even shop fruit.

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  20. Matchy69
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    20 April 2021 in reply to Boudica

    Hi Boudica that's sad about the fruit getting in to SA you have to throw out all your fruit.

    Air layering is simple to do.Its the main way of propergating Lychees and Long and.You just ring bark a branch and wrap it with moist sphagnum moss and wrap it with plastic tightly.It will develop roots and you can cut up in two to three months and pot up.You can use this method on Azhalias and Maples.

    Happy gardening,

    Mark.

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  21. Boudica
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    20 April 2021 in reply to Matchy69
    Oohh how interesting! I will have to try your air layering technique. Thanks Mark
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  22. Matchy69
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    20 April 2021 in reply to Boudica
    It is really fun experimenting with different propergation methods.It is always exciting when you have success.It is always a learning experience and you never stop learning.
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  23. Boudica
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    22 April 2021 in reply to Matchy69

    Good Morning,

    As I don't have a lot of space, but I still want to grow fruit trees, so I have been experimenting with espaliering fruit trees. I have a long narrow garden leading next to the front door, so I have put in 2 pomegranate trees that I am going to train flat like a trellis, and a young nectarine tree that I am training into a fan shape. I'm not 100% sure that they will get adequate sunshine, but I hope so. I also have a dwarf lemon that is a few years old now and has for the first time produced the tiniest baby lemons at the moment - any tips on encouraging lemon production would be most welcome!

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  24. Matchy69
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    22 April 2021 in reply to Boudica

    Hi Boudica lemons take at least 3 years to get good production.Give them plenty of water in spring and summer.Give a good ferliser and Phosphorus will encourage flowering and fruiting .Don't to prune to much as the fruit will set on the end of branches.And watch out for stink bugs on citrus as they suck the goodness out of branches and cause fruit drop.

    Happy Gardening,

    Mark.

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  25. Boudica
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    23 April 2021 in reply to Matchy69

    Hello Peeps,

    Thanks Mark, I didn't know that lemons set fruit on end of branches (this is my first ever lemon tree). That is critical information for me. My lemon tree was attacked by gall wasps when young and I have had to counter attack with the shears to get rid of them, so that probably impacted the fruiting situation. All clear now though.

    I want to find opportunities to also produce fruit that may be preserved for later use (both bottling and drying). I am trying to get a zante currant, so I can graft it onto existing grape vines so I may grow my own currants. I am having trouble obtaining the plant due to quarantine restrictions in SA though. I have also planted a white shahoot mulberry, as the description said that the fruit was well-suited to drying as well as eating fresh. Does anyone have any experience with drying fruit? We used to dry apricots naturally by spreading them on mesh screens on the tin roof in summer, but they dry quite hard.

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  26. Matchy69
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    23 April 2021 in reply to Boudica

    Hi Boudica gall wasps can be a pain on citrus trees and the only realethod of getting rid of them is removing effected branches and destroying the galls.When a tree is infected with galls it will reduce the trees growth and fruit production.The gall wasps them selves are only small about a couple of mms and lay their eggs in the bark and when they hatch burrow deeper into the branch to feed the tree reacts by producing more cells in that area making the galls.

    The Shahtoot Mulberry comes in white and a red one which produce long sweet fruit.I have grown both as well as the English black Mulberry.Mulberries make the best jam.

    I haven't done much drying of fruit just mostly tomatoes but it is a great way to preserve fruit.I really like dried Mango and Jackfruit.

    Happy gardening,

    Mark.

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  27. Matchy69
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    23 April 2021 in reply to Boudica
    Boudica I was going to mention a Zante currant is the grape Black Corinth which is a seedless grape.
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  28. Boudica
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    23 April 2021 in reply to Matchy69

    Greetings gardenfolk,

    Mark as a man who grows his own fruit then makes his own jam, you must be very in demand! I am very impressed! My ex can barely make his own sandwich. I really admire people who are practical and self sufficient and it is something I always strive towards. I feel that many have lost touch with how satisfying it is to make things with your own hands rather than buy them. A gift that someone has put their own labour into has so much more meaning too. In summertime I like to pick wild blackberries to make jam. Scones with blackberry jam and whipped cream - very old fashioned but yum.

    Have you been making it out into your garden at the moment? What is happening there?

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  29. Matchy69
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    23 April 2021 in reply to Boudica

    Hi Boudica my mum had my brother and I in the kitchen cooking.We always had a mulberry tree loaded with fruit in spring and we use make mulberry piex and bottle them and I asked her if their was anything else we could do with them and she said we could make jam so that's how the jam making started and now make over 50 different ones.My brother liked making bread and buns and scones and things.

    I don't know about me being in demand but my jams are in the craft shop I sell them in especially my mulberry jam and Rosella jam.I have my ex wife a jar of mulberry jam when I first met her and she said it was unusual for a man to be making jam.

    I haven't done much on the garden of late.I need to do some pruning when things are dormant.I have got some broadbean seeds to go in that I will try and do in the next week.I did pot up a few grleranium cuttings last week that had set good roots.I grow my cuttings in an old laundry tub.

    Most mornings I pick some mandarins and sit out in the sun and eat them.I will make some marmalade out of some when I have chance.

    Happy gardening,

    Mark.

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  30. Shelll
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    7359 posts
    24 April 2021

    Hi Em and all

    Em you wanted me to keep you updated on these pumpkins at our place.

    Well I had a look, the grassy ground was quite boggy. The ground where the vine is sprawling over. The soil does not have good drainage. After reading what Mark and you said. I decided to lift the pumpkins off the ground. Then I placed bricks under all the big ones. They were all a yellowy/whitish colour on the underneath of them.

    Quite heavy some of the bigger ones. The little ones look adorable.

    Anyway that is where they are up to

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