The vegetable garden in August

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– butternut squash plants that have had no female flowers at all, I’ve no idea why, but if we don’t get some soon the squash won’t have time to grow anyway!


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– onions and comfrey, with a patch of mint at this end.

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– the tomatoes, all of which (beef, cherry and plum) have done terribly, mostly due to the weather I think. 2013-08-20 wed 017

– French beans have done poorly… but that’s normal for us and we get about enough beans for two servings each per week.

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– a beautiful grass-hopper, but I think he’s eating the tomato!

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– Fennel, and you can just see the mint clump behind it.

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– one of the two beds that I’ve got to dig over and try and get all the Bindweed roots out, and then we can plant some more onions in it.

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I think they’re both Swallowtails, different sorts though.


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Waiting for those seed pods

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The seed pods are developing

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The seed pods of the fantastic tree featured in my last post are now growing.  I’m keeping an eye on them because some friends of ours would like to grow the tree from seed.

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Mystery tree

These trees are on a neighbour’s land amongst his olives.  They are extremely fast growing but I have no idea what they are.  Any ideas?

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Edit on 9th April 2013:-

The trees are in bloom!

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I know what they are now too – Paulownia tomentosa but they are also known by their common
names of Foxglove, Empress or Princess trees.

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This is so true, because sometimes the sound quality isn’t very good on Skype……… but sometimes, just sometimes, it’s not so bad.

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Golden light

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The light yesterday evening was simply amazing, and when I looked out of the window at the Mas and saw the pine trees by the pool glowing…. I just had to go outside and take some photos:-

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Just beautiful isn’t it?

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Vegetable patch – December 2012

Thought I’d do a long overdue post about the state of our vegetable garden, so I took the photos this afternoon… but the blogging will seems to have gone and left me… so let me just say that we’ve both done a lot of work on the patch over the last couple of weeks, especially weeding, and this afternoon saw us both down there again.  We’ve sown some more broad beans, some ordinary peas – as opposed to the mange-tout variety that I usually sow – a few radishes and a short row of lettuce… and here’s the rest:-

cabbages beginning to heart up

cabbages beginning to heart up



curly kale - yum yum!

curly kale – yum yum!

first sowing of broad beans just appearing

first sowing of broad beans just appearing
young onions

young onions

Swiss chard

Swiss chard

carrots - lots of them!

carrots – lots of them!

the end of a very productive day

the end of a very productive day

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Foods that are difficult/impossible to obtain here:-

This will be added to as and when I think of things that I’d like to be able to buy easily but can’t, and when we next travel back to the UK I’ll print it off as a shopping list!

  • vegetable suet                                                           Custard_cream_biscuit
  • custard creams
  • Shreddies
  • Shreddiespacket stuffing
  • pearl barley
  • golden syrup
  • cocoa powder
  • icing sugar
  • star anise
  • Oxo
  • gravy granules
  • extra mature cheddar
  • back bacon
  • semolinachocolate-fruit-n-nut-cases20081231glace-cherries
  • self-raising flour
  • Quaker style rolled oats i.e. very refined
  • glace  cherries
  • naans and poppadoms at a reasonable price
  • apple and blackcurrant squash
  • small spring onions!


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Big Sky Sunrises

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Because there’s been a lot of noise on our street in the village, we’ve spent the last two nights at the Mas and it’s reminded me how much I miss the hugeness of the sky there and the glorious sunrises and sunsets that we experience with being so high up.  If we look out of the window of the village house we can’t see any sky at all unless we crane our necks!

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