The Land Rover Owners Wife


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Volunteer Squash or Pumpkin

This squash/pumpkin plant appeared from nowhere

This squash/pumpkin plant appeared from nowhere

Back at the beginning of June, I spotted a very unstrawberrylike plant growing in one of my strawberry pots. I could see at a glance that it was either a pumpkin or a winter squash but which one of the 5 varieties I am growing this year it is, will remain a mystery until it forms a fruit – if it ever does that is. I carefully removed this volunteer (the term used by gardeners to describe the unexpected emergence and growth of a vegetable plant) from the strawberry pot and potted it into some fresh compost and left it in the greenhouse to recover. Once it was big enough, I planted it into a spot amongst the sweet corn and other winter squashes and left it to its’ own devices.

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Squash and Pumpkin weights (update):

My squashes are used as part of our Halloween display

My squashes are used as part of our Halloween display

I was really rather taken aback at the size one of my Anna Swartz Hubbard Squashes reached. I’ve never grown this variety before and I have managed to grow two of them, across two different plants and, to be honest, other than the colour they look nothing like each other really which was surprising to say the least.

However, I love growing squash and pumpkins (bet you hadn’t figured that one out :D), in fact I would say that squash and pumpkins are to me what yarn is to a fellow blogger Claire. I squeeze as many as I can into whatever space there may be and try to grow two or three different winter squash varieties, plus a pumpkin each year. Continue reading


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Squash and Pumpkins growing (weekly update)

I am always fascinated by the speed at which a squash or pumpkin swells and grows, following successful pollination. Sometimes it can take a couple of days before you actually see any increase in size but once they get going, as long as they have a plentiful supply of food and water, they generally grow at a staggering rate of knots.

In the past I have kept an almost daily, photographic record of growth for the Mudlet pumpkin growing contest. Sometimes the fruit will grow to a certain size and then stop which is very frustrating but the ones that are set on World domination, can look spectacular in next to no time. Continue reading


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Anna Swartz Hubbard Squash: Seed saving (update)

The flower just looks 'ready' if you see what I mean.

The flower just looks ‘ready’ if you see what I mean.

Following on from the disaster of my first attempt at step one of seed saving, when a slug ate its’ way into my secured female squash flower, allowing the bees access, I have been keeping an eye out for a second opportunity. Then yesterday, during my usual evening walk around the garden, I spotted a pair of Anna Swartz Hubbard Squash flowers which it was clear to see, were due to open this morning. As I mentioned in my earlier post, it is really, really easy to predict when squash flowers are due to open – they just look ready, with the very tip of the flower looking loose and yellow and, well, just ready. Continue reading


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Can I have my stove back please

Cabbage and Kohl Rabi are just two of the veg picked this time.

Cabbage and Kohl Rabi are just two of the veg picked this time.

There comes a point every summer when the BBQ begins to lose its’ appeal and I long to be able to cook on my temperamental Rayburn once again and I have reached this point today. I can’t say for certain what it is about today that has brought about this need for a more conventional method of cooking because I’m usually okay until September time and Muds’ tolerance of salad and ‘Summer’ food is usually surpassed long before my need to be back onto making stews and home made bread.

I suspect that it probably has a lot to do with what seems to be a trapped nerve in my left shoulder which makes carrying hot, heavy pans from the BBQ back into the house, less than fun. Continue reading


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A eureka moment in the garden

Pollen from the male flower

Pollen from the male flower

This morning, in my usual amble around the vegetable patch, I spotted the sight I had been waiting to see for several weeks, since the first squash flowers started to open …… a male and female flower open at the same time!!! And not only were they open at the same time, they were the same species but on different plants! Yay! Eureka! Continue reading


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Yellow and green ……

The view from the half barrels

The view from the half barrels

…… those are the colours of my garden at this moment in time. There is some white and a bit of pink and blue dotted around for good measure, oh and let’s not forget the luscious red of the strawberries but on the whole yellow and green are the key colours this week. Continue reading