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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Does size matter? Newton Wonder Seedlings

A few years ago I grew about 10 apple seedlings from Newton Wonder pips. Now as I am sure you know, apples do not breed true from pips and each seedling is a unique 'variety'. In fact apple varieties, like potato varieties, are clones. It is supposed to be very rare to get an edible apple from a random seedling, so I stuck these seedlings behind a bit of fence on the side of the road and forgot about them. I saw there were a few apples last year but the crows got to them before me. Mike picked one from each of three trees recently and we were pleasantly surprised. The two on the right were a bit sour but might improve on storage like their mother. The one on the left was crisp sweet and tasty. It was small, but does size matter? It has been named John Hope.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Tomatoes 2011

Inspite of savage balckbirds, half the polyunnel blowing away, and a crap summer we have a pretty interesting selection of tomatoes. As always the Tumbler was the first tomato to ripen here this year. Even in a rubbish summer, this little fellow produces ripe fruit outside in June. We grew some Tumblers outside in pots where they look pretty and provide a passing snack. They are really delicious when left to fully ripen which happens a few days later than they turn red.Below are a selection of the polytunnel tomatoes. The new (to us) varieties, came from Jean Perry of Glebe Gardens. These are Chocolate Stripe, Paul Robeson, (not in the picture because we ate them all) Ananas Noir, Federle and Vintage wine. The others are old favourites whose seeds we had run out of.
I really like both Paul Robeson and Chocolate Stripe, which are red/black beefsteak varieties. Like Black Crimea and Black Russian they seem to manage good flavour, even in cool sunless summers.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

School Garden

I got these photos from Fionnuala Fallon today. They are of her kids' school garden in Blessington. It includes some of our seeds, Gortahook cabbage, Daniel O'Rourke peas and Hungaria Black Seeded sunflowers.
My earliest memory is of standing under the clothes line in the garden and the thing that all gardeners seem to have in common is memories of a garden as a small child.
So, if you have any small people around, get them out there a little bit. It could be life changing.