29 Jan 2016

Five on Friday




Hello everyone!  As it's Friday I'm joining in with Amy's Five on Friday post and this time I'm talking about gardening. Following on from my last post about the box containing packets of seeds chosen by our son and DiL who have an allotment themselves and know what we like to grow, it's time to sit down and take a look at some of them.

 Tomatoes,  Herbs





I was pleased to see that there were herbs and several varieties of tomato as we grow as much as we can to use in a lot of basic recipes. For example, a pan of tomato sauce was used as a topping on a pizza base when our grandson came for lunch after a football match at the weekend and for an evening pasta meal for ourselves.
My husband is quite conservative in the varieties of tomato that he likes to grow, mostly plum, because with plenty of pulp they're good to use in cooking.  He saves some seed from these, but since we have been given new seeds we'll try them out. One variety might be good for our limited space in the covered yard -  F1 Sweet 'n' Neat - which is a dwarf plant. It's yellow so that will be interesting to grow for salads.  Two others are Gardener's Delight and Heartbreaker Vita F1.

Lettuce and Mixed Salad Leaves
The varieties of lettuce also look interesting.  There's a red leaved 'little'gem' called Dazzle, and two packets of mixed leaf.  The Salanova Mix with baby-sized leaves has a dark tinge to the outer leaves and a green-red heart in the picture on the packet!  That will be different! 



Root Vegetables and Beans
We're not very adventurous when it comes to root vegetables. We like carrots and parsnips and although they're a challenge to grow we're very grateful when we harvest a few. 
How about yellow beetroot, Yellow Cylindrical?  That would be interesting to try and grow.
Beans of all kinds are always welcome.  A packet of dwarf bean seeds - Bobis d'Albenga - will definitely get sown. 


Fruit
The biggest growing challenge would be the melons and even the strawberries. Now that would be something to be pleased about if we got some fruit from either. The variety of melon is Musk Melon F1 Emir.  I imagine it has a lovely aroma when cut into. The strawberry is F1 Sarian



Packets of seed are expensive so it was a welcome gift to receive and hopefully we'll enjoy some produce later in the year.  Have you grown any of these varieties of fruit and veg I've mentioned and if so, how did you get on with growing and harvesting them?

Flowers
There were no packets of flower seeds in the box and that's fine. We already have some lupin and sweetpea seedlings coming on and plenty of other plants being overwintered that will fill the flower beds later on after the Spring bulbs have flowered and gone over. 
On the way back from shopping our daughter came by and gave me a pot of three pink hyacinths. They replace some white hyacinths I prepared at the end of last year that flowered over the Christmas season.  Pink makes a change and like the tulips I bought recently they do look pretty. The three bulbs are quite crowded in the pot and one is a little stunted, but they should bloom at different times and last a little longer.  I've put them on the corner cabinet in the entrance hall and the fragrance is quite delicate.






I'm going to be busy for a while with a family member coming to stay, but I'll be in touch.  
Have a good weekend and week ahead,
Linda :)



53 comments:

  1. It looks like you're going to be very busy in your garden this year! Jx

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    1. Gardening does rather take over especially with the two gardens to maintain!

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  2. What a wonderful selection of seeds for you to try out this year. Like you we tend to stick to the same varieties especially of vegetables and tomatoes. We like plum tomatoes too to make sauces and pizza topping with and the basil is perfect with it. Strawberries grow very well here but we planted them as little plants and have never tried to grow them from seed. We put some in a hanging basket once too:)

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    1. Growing strawberries in a hanging basket is a good idea.

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  3. It's always fun to select seeds at this time of the year, you have a nice selection there it won't be long before you can plant them out, have a great weekend. :)

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    1. Thank you Linda. Have a good weekend yourself.

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  4. You are going to be very busy planting, growing and harvesting in your garden this year. How lovely to have fresh vegetables though, my Dad always grew his own vegetables and I really miss that fresh taste, you cannot beat it. xx

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    1. Harvesting and tasting the produce is the best part, although nurturing and getting some success out of the process is satisfying!

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  5. Small packets of seeds full of promise, how nice! Have a good gardening season!

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  6. We've started getting seed catalogs in the mail already! The husband and my father pour over them again and again ;) I hope you can stop by:

    http://collettaskitchensink.blogspot.com/2016/01/tea-time-operation-and-snow-12916.html

    Colletta

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    1. It'll be interesting to see what you decide to grow this year. Have a good weekend and stay warm!

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  7. A lovely five on friday post...I haven't grown any of the varieties you mentioned except for the tomatoes which always do well.

    I have grown James Wong sees in the past though and always with great success so I hope you do well with your melons, I did grow a different variety of melon a few years ago and although I didn't get many fruit fro the plant what we did get were delicious!!

    I don't think you'll have a problem with the strawberries once you hve got them to germinate....I have strawberry plants and there is nothing better than harvesting your own sweet strawberries!!

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    1. I enjoy James Wong's television programmes as they're always informative. Your success with melons and strawberries is encouraging.

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  8. You have pricked my conscience, I keep meaning to get in my seed potatoes and each day/week I forget, best get a shift on before it is too late! Love the pink tulips and hyacinths x

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    1. There are plenty of seed potatoes in the stores right now along with other gardening products.

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  9. What a beautiful and inspiring post, Linda!
    We love yellow cherry tomatoes, but our variety at the moment is 'Sungold'.
    I'm very much looking forward to seeing your lupins blooming. (We love lupins as well.)
    Have a lovely weekend and enjoy your time with the family! xx

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    1. Thank you for sharing the variety of yellow cherry tomatoes, Sara. The lupin seeds were gathered from the plants we had in the garden and hopefully we shall get a few more plants out of the seedlings that will be kept inside away from the slugs for now!

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  10. Your post has reminded me that I must get on and think about what I'm going to grow this year.

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    1. Looking forward to hearing about what you decide to grow this year.

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  11. How lovely to receive all of those great seeds, there is much promise to look forward to there! You will enjoy everything I am sure. Thank you for joining Five On Friday, happy weekend! xx

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    1. Thank you for organising Five On Friday, Amy.

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  12. Oh, this is the perfect time of the year to start looking at seeds, it's so exciting too, I just love all yours! Good luck with them all. I try to grow melon every single year, sometimes the slugs get them other times the fruit develop and then fall off....sighs....I hope you have better luck than me! I'll be away travelling for most of February, so I'll catch up with you when I get back.xxx

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    1. Enjoy your break, Dina!

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  13. Flowers bring sunshine into our homes during the dreary winter days - these are beautiful!
    It's a fun time planning what to grow for your summer garden - it looks like you've got it well covered Linda.
    Only one day left in January, oh my goodness the year is leaping ahead so quickly!

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    1. Although I don't wish my days away I'm looking forward to a break away in the sunshine of Italy. Counting the days!

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  14. OOoh, so much to think about for the lovely garden!!! I wish I didn't have to start again with my new house! I'd be so impressed if you managed melons!x

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    1. It's not easy when you have to start again because of a move. Our eldest daughter grows her flowers and veggies in pots and grow bags in a small courtyard. She rents and knows that she might have to start all over again, but thankfully she's settled in long-term accommodation. Our son has an allotment and our other daughter has just re-designed her new garden and enjoys her flowers.

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  15. I just love getting new seed packets and growing things in the spring! Good luck with your garden! The flowers are just lovely!

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    1. Thank you Marie. Enjoy your gardening!

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  16. Looks like you plan your garden well. We've enjoyed the bounty of our son and dil's garden. Hats off to the successful gardeners share. :)

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    1. Our children are interested in growing fruit and vegetable and so we all share whatever we produce whether it's fresh or preserved. Here's to this year's growing and harvesting!

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  17. So exciting getting the seed packets out! It won't be long will it! Your pink tulips are just wonderful. Have fun. :-)

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    1. My husband has started already and I noticed he was looking at the packets again today!

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  18. You've got some interesting varieties there. I always used to grow Gardener's Delight, it's a lovely cherry tomato but since I discovered Maskotka I now grow this instead. Maskotka is a bush variety whereas Gardener's Delight is a cordon, but I think it does pip it at the taste test. Nevertheless, both are good varieties. I notice that some of the seed varieties are for growing in limited space, I shall be looking for these myself now that I no longer have the allotment. I look forward to seeing how you get on with the melons, it's fun trying to grow new things, isn't it?

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    1. Thanks for the thoughts on growing Gardener's Delight and good to know that it tastes good as cherry tomatoes are always popular in our house. As for growing melons - they'll probably need a lot of attention (watering and supporting) so we shall see what happens!

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  19. What a lovely array of seeds. Gardeners delight I have definitely grown successfully and they keep cropping until quite late. I have grown melons but only in a conservatory. We only managed 3 melons. Hopefully you have more success. Have a good weekend. Barbara

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    1. Thank you for the info about Gardener's Delight tomatoes, Barbara. It sounds as if they're a popular variety to grow and do well. We would grow the melons in the covered yard which is like a conservatory along with the tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers etc. Getting a crop of three melons sounds good to me! Hope you're having a good weekend yourself.

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  20. I no longer grow vegetables as I'm not there to harvest them, but I still remember the thrill of browsing the racks of seed packets in the local ironmonger's and choosing what to try this time.

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    1. We're fortunate that our daughter is on hand to water and pick crops so veg and fruit growing tends to carry on as normal when we're away.

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  21. Wow you are so organised with your seeds, I have still to dig my garden - then my thoughts will turn to growing again. But it is lovely to meet a fellow veg grower, we can compare notes :)

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    1. I usually write a few gardening updates throughout the year. Most of the growing is done under cover as we only have a small space for growing vegetables in the garden. Conditions are too wet and cold for being outside at the moment.

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  22. Hi Linda! The tomato sauce seems so delicious!! I didn't know that only putting some seeds on soil would grow tomatoes! I put tangerine seeds on a vase and it is growing!
    The flowers are beautiful!!

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    1. Hello Sandra. Good to hear from you. A simple tomato sauce using oregano and basil is a good base from the sort of food I like to cook. Well done with the tangerine seeds germinating. We have done the same with lemons.

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  23. I love oregano very much and we put it in many dishes such as pizza, pasta among others. My mouth is watering with this tomato sauce! I want to do it with lemon seeds. I hope your lemon tree grow big!

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    1. Thank you Sandra. Have fun growing plants on your balcony.

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  24. What a lovely tin, and great seeds too. Purple lettuce is my absolute favourite I must remember to grow some this year - good luck with yours!

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    1. Thank you Stephanie and thank you for coming by and leaving a comment.

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  25. What a lovely variety of seeds. I usually just go to the farmers market for my vegetables. I do want to try an new variety of bush raspberries this year. Hopefully, I can grown them on the back deck. That's a really pretty pitcher you have filled with the pink tulips too. Have a blessed week.

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    1. I hope the bush raspberries do well for you, Gloriade.

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  26. We hope to embark on a garden one day soon, at the moment it is an idea in hubby's head so I will let it sit and simmer. One day he will be ready and we will go and get whatever is necessary and we will be off. I find that's the best way to get something done - sounds like a long process but it works for us. And when you're retired there's no real rush.
    Have a good week.

    Diana

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    1. That sounds like a good plan, Diana. My husband enjoys his gardening and he finds growing vegetables and fruit a satisfying way of life. He's happy for me to decide what to grow in the flower beds and does the prep for me. It has taken a few years to sort out the UK garden after we moved in and everything has to be easy to grow and maintain as we go back and forth to Italy.

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  27. Those lettuces look amazing! I've never had any luck growing lettuce though. But it's expensive so if you can grow it, that's fantastic!

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