Puttering Progress

 photo WP_20161003_001_e_zpssvloc6sv.jpgOh…that’s a lot of jam.

I’m dealing with the, the, I don’t know what it’s called, if anything, but junk-food cravings. This happens on occasion and it’s a pain to deal with, give in and all you want is more as it never satisfies. Stick to it and, well, you need a little catharsis to relive the stress. So, here we are, understanding reader, a post without a purpose on the progression of my garden towards, well, maybe not perfection, but towards something better. Sadly there aren’t as photos as there wasn’t anything new to photograph, just the conclusion of many plans and plots. I’ll get to that in a moment. I tried my hand at jam making and met with a decent success. I made pumpkin jam and it came out a bit thin, thick enough that it doesn’t dribble too much, but not as thick as I’d like. Now I know I could’ve done a few things: Reboil, add more jam sugar or used high pectin fruit alongside the pumpkin etc. Still the taste is there, but I’m not happy enough with it to share it as a recipe. It’s just a 1:1 recipe, with lemon juice added. The pumpkin really does have a wonderful flavour in jam, I was able to get a cooking, as opposed to a carving, pumpkin this year. I’m planning on getting at least one more. Most likely for savoury applications. If Hokkaido Pumpkins crop up again I’ll be stocking up on those by the dozen. I may revisit the jam making process again, maybe not. It was fun to try and I do need to live up to the name of Jack Of All trades, don’t I?

As far as the site goes it’s a bit quiet these days. I’ve been repeating recipes, I even went as far as to accidentally make two loafs of the same bread!, but there’s nothing new to report on. I’ve added a corn free tag to the site. Most of my recipes, bar like three, are corn free as I don’t used cornflour (Starch) or corn. I try to tag recipes with useful tags, I think of it as repaying the kindness and help I was given by so many that never even knew it. If you have any suggestions for free from tagging please do mention them. I’ll at the very least take them into consideration.

So, we’ve had another anomalously warm day today, the plants don’t know whether to thrive or die. I found I’ve managed a rare success, for me at least, I have plant cutting growing. One is a rambling, a climbing, rose, another is a lovely peach hued rose, one simple pink, the last, one I’m very hopeful for the success of, is a cutting from a dahlia variety called the Bishop of Llandaff. They were all taken from other peoples gardens, maybe  that’s the secret to success? Stealing plant is fine as long as you leave my garden alone! They’ve been potted in small hadopots and left in the greenhouse so I’ll hold out hope for their successes. This time if they fail I leave the soil in the pots and put them down in the greenhouse rather than empting them and having to refill them. I filled about three hundred small pots last year, it’s time consuming to say the least. Any short-cuts are welcome. I still have cinnamon basil growing slowly. There’s thyme that was outside, a mix of English and Garden, which may be the same thing for all I know, that seems better indoors. I had bay-leaf cuttings that just stayed small all year, alive but not growing. I’ve re-potted them and we’ll just wait and see.

Sadly even with the occasional hot day there isn’t going to be much growing. I finished up a lot of odd jobs today. The bordering planks are all staked down. The rain barrels have their overflows set and siliconed and one has had the rain guttering held up by a bracket. The other end is held by a chain. I’m taking my time, doing what I can whenever I feel like it. I have to dig out half of what’s referred to as my side and the other half needs weed matting pinned down. I’ll probably dig that first too. I’ll mark the boundary with the remaining planks so I can dig the open side. I’m just going to leave it open and leave dirt paths, that way I can change it year by year and keep the crops rotated rather than locking them into beds. I have the big planters filled and there’ll be about ten squash pots. That’ll be the basic plan, but I may add pots as I see fit. May, heh, you know I will, dear Reader. The tame garden is getting another set of sunken planters next. All I need do is saw the bottoms off some buckets, pop off the handles and slash the matting. There’ll be lilies and other assorted tall bulbs, probably the gladiolus, but they don’t go down until January so I’ll have to be patient. There’s still a bit of drilling to be done, which I’m getting better at. The drill I bought wasn’t very expensive, it was on sale too, but it’s done wonders. It’s just a Black and Decker Hammer action drill, but it’s been used everywhere and for everything. Pots, Barrels, Walls, Concrete, Metal. Perspex, you name it it’s faced the drill. I may upgrade someday, but for me in the here and now it’s perfectly suited.

There’s still work to be done, but what has been done has proved effective. The weeds are no longer running rampant. The flowers are taking over instead. I’ll never eradicate them, but they’ll never take the hold they once had. I have a lot going on, most of which is going to take a few years to really come  into its own. The nice thing is I can share ideas with a few people as there are others I know who are willing to take risks and be adventurous in the  garden. Who knows what next year will bring, but the grunt work will be mostly over, at least I hope so. Until next time, take care.

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