Smoothly Bedraggled Gardening!

Doin’ The Dirt Directory

The image above is one of the most recent crops from our tomato plants, tomatillos, runner beans and the lemon cucumbers. A solitary cucumber and in the bags are some large green toms we are trying unsuccessfully to ripen up. But we have discovered a new method of treating them like mushrooms so will adopt that soon!

Seasonal Ending Round Up

Late middish August and how is the garden looking?

In two words – “Smoothly Bedraggled!”

The thing with gardening is that it really requires dedication, commitment and enthusiasm – but above that ‘passion’ and ‘able bodied’ gardeners! Sadly, Suze who took ill whilst in Australia visiting her daughter and the grandkids, came back ill July 17th, just over a month ago, and hasn’t improved health wise since then and if anything has gotten worse. She is currently off work and very unwell, it was diagnosed that she has pneumonia and worse than that pleural effusion, otherwise known in layman terms as ‘water on the lung’. She has an appointment next Tuesday to go and see a specialist and undergo a proceedure called thoracentesis.

Principally this means the specialist whilst using image guidance applications will insert a needle into her chest and into the pleural space in order to drain of the excess fluid, and once done, then they can hopefully start to find out why Suze is always falling victim to chest problems. Pleural effusion has a detrimental effect on the sufferers, with symptoms like difficulty breathing, painful back areas, chest pain and feeling seriously unwell.

Combined with the fact that l have been out of action since in truth May 2018 due to the physical problems with my neck, spine, shoulder and right arm, l haven’t been able to assist her as l wanted to in the gardening arena.

Prior to Australia Suze was very actively involved in the garden, post Australia and with her failing health, she has seriously struggled to maintain and sustain it. She has done her best and even when unwell continued to work in the garden, despite my protests. Even yesterday, she still insisted on working in the vegetable garden, but it has absolutely knackered her and l have said “Enough! Now you are going to listen to me. I will pay for a gardener to come in and attend and maintain till we are both able to get back in with some gusto.”

The photographs l have taken were from this morning, and secretly l was chuffed to discover that whilst photographing, l was able to lift my right arm up higher to capture some of the moments l have. [Meaning it is getting better]

So here is the shape of the garden from this morning … later summer and fast approaching autumn.

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These flowers l think have had a really good run, they have lasted well equally have their colours. They are just coming to the closing days of their season now.

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So far these are the plums that are looking good and holding their own in terms of ripening up, so fingers crossed.

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The start to the vegetable garden is looking much slimmer now due to yesterday and Suze cutting it back! Mostly all the courgette plants have been dug out, leaving just the Tomatillos and the Tomato plants.

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The tomatoes looking good.

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The tomatillo crop has been great this year, which has been a motivator for growing more next years.  Tips we have learned is ‘bigger pots’. The wind loves these guys in small pots!!

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The Courgette line really thinned, slimmed and dug out!

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More tomatoes making their presence known and our very few beetroot plants ready for harvesting.

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The line up looking a lot smoother and more manageable.

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The runner beans are still yielding a crop and out of everything we have harvested l guess we have managed to consume roughly 50% only from what we have picked. It’s been only an ‘okay’ crop this year.

The peppers didn’t yield as  good a crop as they did last year, but we are maybe still getting one or two a week. I think the star of the greenhouse this year has been Ava – the Avocado! She is now just around 5 feet tall!! She went into the greenhouse you may recall around May at a height of around 2.6 feet tall …. ha ha! She loves being out there. More of the tomatoes are growing but not ripening up, irrelevant to the feeder being applied.

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The garden probably doesn’t look that bedraggled to the reader, but it is, l have just shown you the vegetable crops. It is overgrown and in desperate need of a bloody good maintenance and over haul which the gardener l have booked to do the job will start tackling come the 16th September. Although she will be mowing the grass this weekend as l have forbidden Suze do even do that despite her pleadings!

The end of the garden is a clear example of how far things have gone without regular pruning and attendance. I do hope that l can start on the compost heap again soon, as it is starting to look desolate and forlorn!

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As l was coming back into the house after photographing the vegetable plants, l passed by one of the plum trees and came across some beautiful Red Admiral butterflies sunning themselves in the branches, trunks and leaves as well as feeding off the plums themselves. I asked if they minded if l snapped them in their rest time and they were all quite obliging!

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It’s really lovely to see the Red Admirals in the garden this time of year and we have a lot of them visiting alongside other varieties such as the Cabbage, Skippers and Speckleds and Marbleds.

Thanks for reading everyone, till the next time …

Doin’ The Dirt Directory…

31 thoughts on “Smoothly Bedraggled Gardening!

  1. We haven’t done any gardening in many years, so I think your garden and all the varieties of plants look wonderful! 🙂

  2. Thank you for sharing all those photos. Those butterfly pictures are fantastic!!!
    I’m so terribly sorry that Suze seems to be getting worse…That poor dear. I hope and pray that the procedure works to her benefit and that she starts to feel better really soon.

    Another mention… Those fresh plums look fabulous! I wish they didn’t charge an arm and a leg on produce here. It’s insane what they charge for produce here.

    1. Hey Beckie thanks for Suze’s good wishes.

      Sadly the plums only look better than they are – that crop simply couldn’t be picked that well. The tree sadly has some kind of blight.

      But the butterflies were awesome 🙂

        1. I have to keep watching her Sadje – Suze is a person who doesn’t like to do nothing even when unwell – l am trying to get her to utilise this time to maybe persue a new hobby – give her some motivation 🙂

          1. Yes, do that. Is she still of a mind to start her blog? Maybe she can write a few experimental post for it!

            1. Sadly, l have come to the conclusion that Suze will never blog, instead l bought her an adults colouring book and some lovely colouring pens … start motivations small with Suze – years of learned lessons 🙂

              1. Very true – Suze has danced around this topic for a very long time – too long Ursula [An Upturned Soul] and Paula have both said in the past that Suze probably wouldn’t – you either take to the idea of blogging like a duck to water or quite simply …………………. you don’t ha ha 🙂

  3. Hay Rory, sorry to hear Suze is eill I hope she gets better soon. The garden looks nice, those fresh veggies look taste 😀.


  4. Oh, poor Suze. Pneumonia and pleural effusion… that procedure on Tuesday doesnt sound fun. She’s ill and probably worried and scared. I will do whatever woo woo mojo that I can to send positive energies towards you guys. Hopefully the pneumonia will clear up faster after the external pressure is off.

    It’s so wonderful when butterflies come to visit. Very kind of them to allow photos.

    1. Thank you for woo woo mojo 🙂

      Hopefully so .. amd yes l was actually astonished at the obliging butterflies …personally l think it’s because they were tipsy on plum nectar 🙂

  5. That beautiful Red Admiral butterflies were really all quite obliging! Wonderful!
    For me that tomatoes and peppers looks pretty good 🙂
    All the best to Suze! Hope she will be better soon!

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