Jennifer’s Garden Diary for 10 September 2011

Scarlet runner bean flower - pretty and delicious beans later too!

Beans! Such a crop of runner beans this year, delicious as they are I am almost tired of them and have been giving some away.  However, the wind of last weekend has played havoc with my beanpoles and we are expecting more and a worse storm this weekend so that may be their end. I dread the wind which can whistle through my garden twisting plants out by their roots.

As well as lots of beans, I have been eating the thinnings of Chard which was sown last month, they are truly delicious and I wonder why I did not sow more. It may not be too late and there is now some empty ground where onions and tomatoes have been harvested. The onions are not drying very well, where is our Indian summer?  The tomatoes are all green and I will make chutney with them using my own onions and apples and feeling smug. I have a strong feeling (and it is just a guess from observing my vegetables) that Ireland is cooling, courgettes have been a complete failure for me and they used to be abundant, some tomatoes have ripened other years and now cold weather crops like kale are doing well.  Remember last winter?

Ongoing work: as well as harvesting and preserving which I love, is pruning the loganberries, prickly work but they have certainly repaid any care they get with a magnificent crop this year. There is always weeding and when weather is dryish getting compost onto the vacant plots.

I lent a bit of land (I have too much now I am seriously old) to a young couple who were away traveling all summer.  Interesting to see that the weeds did grow but so did the vegetables they planted.  I thought of what I have read of pre famine Ireland when the really poor would plant their potatoes and then wander the roads until harvest time. Am I obsessed with weeding? Wasting my time and energy? Of course I don’t think so and I love the look of clean cultivated beds. Gardening should always be a pleasure!