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December Calendar Picture

December 1, 2015


Like many of this year’s calendar pictures, this is from the San Francisco Botanical Garden. After a bit of googling, I think this is Passiflora mollissima.

I said, in my June Calendar Picture post, that I was glad I’d bought a camera with a good zoom. Because it’s almost Christmas, you get a bonus picture this time: This is what it looked like before I zoomed in on the flower:


You can barely even see the flower.

November Calendar Picture

November 1, 2015


Hibiscus rosa-sinensis, from the Conservatory of Flowers in San Francisco.

Harvest Monday – October 5, 2015

October 5, 2015

Not sure what happened last week – why didn’t I post?

Luckily, I checked Daphne’s blog anyway. It would have been quite a shock to discover that she’s stopped hosting Harvest Monay. This way, at least, I had a week to get used to it. So this is a goodbye to Daphne, and a hello to Dave.

On to my harvests, then…


Lots of white currant tomatoes. I’m glad I got to grow this variety again, but it’s a bother to harvest (they always burst when you pick them) so I put it off until there are lots and lots and I can’t wait any longer… I think I used those for a pasta salad. And I finally saved some seeds.


More of the white currant tomatoes, pathetically tiny eggplant (one day, I will figure out how to actually make them thrive on my balcony… one day…) and some basil.


Three tiny but delicious cobs of corn.


The remaining bean pot on the balcony has finally started producing a decent harvest. I once read that beans don’t bloom when it’s too hot, so that’s probably why it took them so long this year. We had a very hot summer, after all. And two late strawberries.


Tiny mouse-chewed cabbage, big radish, bolted fennel…

sDSC06248This radish made me laugh so much. I hope that you’ll excuse the fact that my mind made a quick trip into the gutter… I’ve seen plenty of root vegetables that looked like they had penises, but this is the first one that looks like it also has a vagina…

October Calendar Picture

October 1, 2015


A rather ordinary flower… and I don’t even like roses… but I like the colour of the tree in the background. I have no idea what kind of tree it is – this was in the botanical garden in Washington, D.C., and pretty much the first thing that made me really understand I was on a different continent was not recognising the trees.

Harvest Monday – 21 September, 2015

September 21, 2015

Oops, has it really been three weeks since my last Harvest Monday post?

I wish I could claim I’ve just been too busy, but to be honest, there simply were weeks when I didn’t harvest anything except for some chives, and there were weeks when I simply didn’t feel like posting.

Still not much to show now…

According to my records, there was a week when I picked a lot of tomatoes, but these are the only pictures I have from it:



A tiny little bell pepper:



Zucchini ‘Tondo Chiaro di Nizza’ that got way too big, bolting fennel, mouse-chewed kohlrabi and red beets (the damned critters got almost all of my beets – I’m so angry!), a pathetic amount of beans and some chard.


Big and small… the last of the zucchini (I pulled out the plants at last and sowed some lamb’s lettuce and spinach instead), and because a reader asked about the white radishes in the last Harvest Monday post, a size comparison with an ordinary red one. Idon’t expect the red one can actually still be eaten, they had all bolted and were pulled out during Saturday’s big garden clean-up. The white one is actually quite small – if you buy them in the store, they are often almost as long as the green zucchini (which is as long as my arm from shoulder to wrist.)

3rd Place!

September 17, 2015

… in the Urban Gardening Competition.

DSC06014500 € prize money, and quite a big honour for my little garden!

Thank you to all who helped me with your facebook likes!


September 2, 2015

Sometimes I joke that my life is really a story that’s being written by someone, when things happen that just seem too perfect to be true. This was one of those moments:

I went over to my mother’s place recently to pick up some of my and my brothers’ old toys and picture books, so Squirrel – my best friend’s son, my as-good-as-nephew – will have something to play with at my place.

One of the things we found in my mother’s cellar was one of my picture books – something I had completely forgotten about until I saw it, but once I had it in my hands, I remembered that it was one of my very first books.

And then I saw what it was called, I just burst out laughing:


It’s called “In the Garden”.

I guess the author of my life story wanted to put in some foreshadowing of what I’d grow up to be… gardener, horticulturist, all-around plant-obsessed person…


I’m quite impressed that it has survived all those years and all those children – not just my brothers and me, but also visiting cousins and friends.



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