Tag Archives: orchard

Monster Runner Bean!

I have just been out into the orchard picking plums and blackberries for the big house and on my way back stopped in our little garden to pick some runner beans for our supper tonight. 

The monster runner bean is in the foreground.
The monster runner bean is in the foreground.

Well, hiding at the back of the now dense leafy foliage, was a huge bean.  This is what happens when you miss picking them.  I have so many plants growing it’s very easy to miss a bean or two that’s ready to harvest.  This little beauty is really inedible now, so I shelled out the beans and will cook them without their green casing.  I must check for other ‘runaway’ beans in future.

the shelled beans from the monster runner bean will cook up nicely.
the shelled beans from the monster runner bean will cook up nicely.

Country Produce at last!

The lettuce continues to feed us with salads every day.
The lettuce continues to feed us with salads every day.

I am starting to reap the rewards for all the hard work watering and feeding the garden.  The lettuce I pick daily and provides me with some gorgeous salads.  Steve dislikes this type of lettuce and prefers the plain, pale Round lettuce in Tesco.  Good, it will go further!

The baby tomatoes will be ready soon to pick and put into all these lovely salads.

baby tomatoes almost pickable!
baby tomatoes almost pickable!

The raspberries we are picking now and continue to be wonderful….served with natural yogurt, heavenly.  The wasps love these plants and I am very careful as I was stung last summer picking plums and my finger was throbbing and swollen for four days!

Raspberries plants are wonderful.
Raspberries plants are wonderful.

The apples in the orchard and gardens aren’t ripe enough to eat yet but they’re not far off.  There are quite a number of varieties but not sure of the names.  Can’t wait as I am a huge apple fan and they stew very well.

Gage Willingham, what a wonderful delicious plum!

Gage Willingham in the orchard is just starting to ripen.
Gage Willingham in the orchard is just starting to ripen.

 Just when I thought I had tasted the best plum of all time in the Golden Gage Plum, I was extremely excited to find another variety in the orchard even more superb! (in my opinion)  Okay, I must admit I perhaps, maybe going over the top with my love of plums and being so excited in such a small fruit may seem disturbing to some (I think my husband thinks I’ve lost the plot finally!)  But this time of year should be enjoyed in what ever way I can manage……summer in England is extremely short in comparison to my homeland of Australia.

The Willingham Gage is stunning in my opinion.
The Willingham Gage is stunning in my opinion.

It doesn’t get any better than this in the plum tasting stakes!  This superb plum is full of flavour and refreshingly sweet and I think juicier than the Golden Gage.  Fantastic eaten fresh with yogurt or stewed (which I have been doing to put into the freezer for the winter months on top of piping hot porridge)

Golden Gage…..what a treat for plum lover me!

One of many plum trees in the orchard.  This one is a beauty, called Golden Gage.....wonderful!
One of many plum trees in the orchard. This one is a beauty, called Golden Gage.....wonderful!

I will never forget living here in Hampshire on this property.  I’m always discovering interesting things about plants and nature and I’m so blessed Steve has set up this website for me…..I will always be able to refer to it in future years when I’m old and grey, walking and  writing books!!

I found this variety of plum today when I was in the orchard picking a selection of plums to put into a dish for the big house.  It’s called Golden Gage, a variety I have never heard of and certainly have never tasted.  Not surprising I guess, living most of my life in Australia!

Golden Gage plums picked fresh from the orchard.....how lucky am I?
Golden Gage plums picked fresh from the orchard.....how lucky am I?

So unlike any other plum I have tasted.  Not as juicy, I would say and not so sweet, but refreshingly sweet, if that makes sense.  The colour is gorgeous; starts from a beautiful lime green then when fully ripe, a lovely golden yellow.  I like to eat them just before they reach their fully ripe state of golden yellow.   How lucky am I as a plum lover to discover this today?  Poor Steve is working hard inside on his computer and when I came back into the cottage with a broad smile on my face, he was wondering what all the fuss was about.  “Over a plum!  I’m trying to work here!” he said.  Oh well, I just get caught up in my own little world I guess!!  My next job is to water the tomatoes with the dogs!!

Spring is on the way……..

Crocus are popping up everywhere in the garden now!
Crocus are popping up everywhere in the garden now!

What an incredible sunny day it has turned into today.  BBC Weather Website is so wrong again today.  They forecast mist and my last glimpse on their weather page is still saying mist for this area when all we have had is beautiful bright sunshine all day.  Hard to plan our long hikes in advance when the forecast is so inaccurate.  Someone needs the sack! 

I walked leisurely through the large gardens today on the estate and saw many signs that spring is definitely on the way.  Yippee!!!!  Crocus and daffodils are pushing their way up through the ground at a rate of knots and the gorgeous little snow drops are present there too. 

The Snow Drops are growing in numbers.
The Snow Drops are growing in numbers.

The bird life are growing in numbers also.  I hear two woodpeckers near the orchard as I am writing this bog (outside on the sunny decking area)  The birdsong is wonderful and as I close my eyes to listen , it is very relaxing……except for the chainsaw! I can now hear in the distance…….hopefully for not too much longer!

Pansies planted outside the cottage.
Pansies planted outside the cottage.

I have planted pansies in large tubs on each side of our Cottage front door.  They are already looking lovely and have proved to be frost tolerant much to my surprise.  So, a lot to look forward to now as I love the garden with a passion and can’t wait for all the freezing cold conditions to be well and truly behind us.