Thursday, September 27, 2007

Autumn Harvest in the Kitchen Garden

Autumn is a wonderful time of year in the kitchen garden as so much is waiting to be harvested. There are grapes and pears
and .......????
Any idea what those are? Tatties! Yep, that's right those are potatoes but not ordinary ones as they are small and purple too, something you cannot see yet as they've just been harvested and the fat clay is still sticking to them. I'll leave them outside to dry for a few days so most of the earth will fall off, before I bring them into my kitchen.
There are still yummy strawberries waiting to be eaten. I've been picking them since May this year, almost non stop. And that's not the only crop I've been picking since early May;
I'm also very happy with the lovely flowers my garden has provided me with for months on end now. One of the things I'd like to do most in the garden, is pick a nice bunch of flowers and then arrange them in a sweet little bouquet. I always put in some scented flowers as it is nice to please your nose as well as your eyes. It's a pity really that you can so rarely buy a bouquet of scented flowers in the shops. Why is it that shop bought roses don't have a scent?

The last of the blackberries are ready to be turned into jam in my bread baking machine. I've made quite a few pots of jam already. They will be a nice reminder of summer during wintertime when we'll be eating the blackberry jam.
The last of the tomatoes are waiting to be picked and eaten. I shall miss my lovely tomatoes come winter and wish I could grow them all year long. The shop bought tomatoes don't taste half as good as the ones you grow yourself.

But it's not only fruit, flowers and potatoes we're harvesting at Bliss, there are lots of veggies ready for harvest too. There are leeks,
and red cabbages,
and sweet black peppers,
and the quintessential autumn harvest of pumpkins too of course. What would autumn be without them? I'm already looking forward to eating a nice hot bowl of pumpkin soup with some home baked bread. And I'll be baking the odd pumpkin pie or two in the coming months as well.

But at Bliss we always have a surprise or two up our sleeve and here they are:
and limes. And no, the Netherlands doesn't have a tropical climate, far from it I'd say. No, these little trees live in my conservatory during the cold months (from October to May) and outside in the garden when the danger of frost has passed. There's a lemon tree and a kumquat as well. I'm very proud of my little tropical forest; it gives me so much pleasure all year round with the lovely scented flowers and all the fruit it bears. Simply wonderful! And really not that difficult to grow. Contrary to what people may think I do not really have green thumbs but so far I've managed not to kill any of my tropical fruit trees and some have been living with me for over 5 years now. So, if I can do it, you can do it too even when, like me, you're not living in some tropical paradise or other.

As I was working in my kitchen garden today, as it was an unexpected glorious autumn day full of sunshine, I suddenly noticed some sweet peas still in flower. Such a lovely surprise from my garden! Of course I had to pick them and bring them in for maximum enjoyment. I also found another little surprise, a climbing nasturtium still had a few flowers as well. The little cow that is carrying this mini bouquet on her back is drooling with pleasure. I know how she feels! ;-)

My garden is the place to be
Peace to dream
Plant or read
Potter leisurely.
Glen Philips, 'My Garden'


Heidi said...

Are the autumn colors starting to appear near you? It is slowly starting to look really golden here and up in the north of Holland. This is my favorite season! You can smell the fall in the woods right now.

Your garden is showing its bounty even now and those pears looks really delicious. The flower bouquet in the jug looks so beautiful! What a pretty array of colors.

Happy autumn to you!

Birgit said...

So ein reichhaltiger und lecker Post, Yolanda. Wenn ich Deine Fotos sehe, bekomme ich direkt auch Lust auf Gemüse und Beerenobst. Dass Du noch Erdbeeren ernten kannst! Und Orangen und Limonen! Und Kohl und Lauch! Du musst unendlich viel Platz haben.

Das kommende Wochenende soll ja nicht ganz so schön werden. Trotzdem wünsche ich Dir ein Schönes.
LG Birgit

Flighty said...

I love reading this blog and looking at your lovely photos.
The poem at the end of the post is charming.
Happy gardening!

Marie said...

Healthy and beautiful fruit and vegetables!
Happy gardening :o)

M Sinclair Stevens (Texas) said...

I still am surprised to see sweet peas in your garden in September. Your growing season may seem short compared with mine, but what a bounty you grow! The berries, grapes, and potatoes. I'm so glad you left the mud on the potatoes. I'm always interested in what kind of dirt gardeners have their hands in.

Carol said...

The harvest is as pretty as the flowers and I think you DO have a green thumb!

Carol at May Dreams Gardens

rusty in miami said...

We are getting ready to plant our winter garden in Miami, reading your blog is encouraging me add more veggies. I love pumpkin soup but I don’t have the space in my garden too grow them.

Marian said...

Je hebt ook werkelijk àlles in je tuin hè, Wow!
Als onkruid enigszins "bruikbaar" zou zijn,
zou ik ook een fantastische oogst kunnen laten zien! ;)
Nu blijft het beperkt tot een schaaltje walnoten.

@ Walnoten in de bankschroef kraken? LOL Ik heb gewoon een hele goeie notenkraker. ;-)

Ja een goeie notenkraker heb ik ook, maar vorig jaar waren ze zó keihard, dat ze ècht alleen met de bankschroef te kraken waren.
Nu heb ik het nog niet geprobeerd, maar ik ben wel benieuwd.

Het geheim van de kopergroenzwam is waarschijnlijk de franse boomschors die we een paar jaar geleden onder de dennebomen gestrooid hebben.

Een boeket uit eigen tuin, iets mooiers is er toch niet?

groeten, Marian

Libbys Blog said...

I am impressed with how much comes out of your garden. I have learnt alot by reading your blog, thank you so much for sharing. By the way I love the blue & white cow, it would look so lovely on my dresser full of blue & white china?? So if it goes missing, you know where to look!!! lol!

Yolanda Elizabet said...

Hi all and welcome to Bliss!

Heidi: autumn colours are starting to show over here in the south of the Netherlands. The amelanchier (krentenboompje) is always the first to wear the beautiful autumn colours.

Birgit: I was also surprised to find that there are still Erdbeeren in my garden. I do not have all that much space, my kitchen garden is about 90 m2, no more. And you don't have to have all that much space as I grow a little of everything. Afterall what would I do with 40 heads of lettuce in 1 week? ;-)

The weather predictions for saturday are not good (lots of rain) but sunday should be better and the weather for next week should also be much better with lots of sunshine. I hope you'll have fine weather too the coming week!

Flighty: welcome to Bliss. Yes, the poem is darling, isn't it? Glad you enjoyed my blog.

Marie: welcome to Bliss! Harvesting in this time of year gives me so much pleasure and hopefully more harvests will follow.

MSS: the sweet peas surprised me too. ;-) I garden on heavy clay, very heavy clay. The place where I live is several meters below sea level and used to be (long ago) part of the sea bed.

Carol: I'm working on it, so far they are not green enough yet!;-)

Rusty: perhaps you could grow pumpkins in a big pot? There are pumpkins that don't get so big (the plant I mean), perhaps you could try that. I'm glad that Bliss has encouraged you to grow more veggies.

Marian: ik doe mijn best in mijn moestuintje om zoveel mogelijk verschillende dingen te groeien.

Wat grappig dat jouw walnoten zo keihard waren vorig jaar, die van mij waren gewoon met een notenkraker te kraken.

Jouw groenkoperzwammen zijn heel bijzonder, leuk dat ze ws via de franse boomschors in je tuin zijn gekomen. Ik hou wel van dat soort mooie verrassingen. En nee, er gaat niets boven een boeketje uit eigen tuin.

Libby: I'm glad to share my garden knowledge (such as it is) with my fellow garden bloggers. And, I'm happy to say, I learn a lot from them too. Isn't garden blogging wonderful?
The little blue&white cow is Delft as you probably guessed. It's a little milkjug but I use it for flowers too. BTW I'll keep a sharp eye on my little cow. :-)

marl1 said...

Ik dacht: jij hebt toch niet OOK nog truffels in je tuin....maar het zijn (bijzondere) aardappeltjes...:-))))
Nu ga ik zeker een citrusboompje aanschaffen, ik stond al in dubio van het voorjaar, maar het ziet er geweldig uit en je hoeft dan niet meer zo maniakaal te boenen voor het raspen ;-)

Brimstone said...

Wat ziet dat er allemaal smakelijk uit!
Dit jaar kwamen uit de Brimstone tuin tomaten en frambozen. Volgend jaar als het een beetje mee zit ook aardbeien en aalbessen. gaat niets boven tuinsnoepen!

Leuk dat je ook bij Brimstone Dreams een kijkje bent komen nemen!

jodi said...

Your post reminds me that when it stops pouring and I feel better, I must go out and look at our grapevine, which has a number of grape clusters on it--but I can't remember if they're red, blue or white, as the plant hasn't produced before.
I too shall miss the tomatoes in our greenhouse (the only place they will ripen in this often-foggy marine climate, where they get a bit more heat). You can keep the pumpkins, though--I only like them for decorating, not for eating.

Poppins said...

Yes, you should be proud of your tropical garden. Your oranges and lemons look wonderful.
And you have strawberries! Great.

Kylee said...

Yolanda Elizabet, your garden just keeps on giving, and that's as it should be. I'm surprised that you have time to even take vacations!

If I ever make it to your side of the Atlantic again, be prepared for a visit from me! This is one garden I would love to spend some time in. And of course, I'd love to meet the owner in person, too! :-)

Rosehaven Cottage said...

What a delightful post! I just love all the photographs of produce and the arrangements of flowers. It just brought so much joy to my heart to read this post, Yolanda! Thank you, thank you! Cindy at Rosehaven Cottage

Lucky-1 said...

I just had to come and see what your blog is all about. I have added it to my bookmarks:D

I have a white Russian cat called Rebel and he's 4 years old.

Nicole said...

Wow and wow. Your garden just keeps on going! Of course I can relate to your citrus.Fabulous produce and flowers-you must spend a lot of time on your garden.

Yolanda Elizabet said...

Hi all and welcome to Bliss!

@ Marl1: truffels? :-) Was het maar waar, zeker van die mooie zwarte. Nee, we zullen het met truffel-aardappeltjes moeten doen. Ook lekker. Leuk, zo'n citrusboompje is een goede aanschaf en je kan het de helft van het jaar buiten zetten. Welke gaat het worden? Citroen, limoen, sinasappel, kumquat, mandarijn? Er is zoveel keus. Niet goedkoop, maar oh wat een plezier heb je ervan: vruchten en bloemen (met een zalige geur) tegelijkertijd.

@ Brimstone: leuk dat je hier een bezoekje hebt gebracht. Ik hoop dat het volgend jaar gaat lukken met de aardbeien en aalbessen, want er gaat niets boven heerlijk snoepen uit eigen tuin.

@ Jodi: I hope you feel better soon and that your grapevine has a lovely surprise for you in store, regardless whether it's red, blue or white. ;-)
BTW I grow most of my tomatoes in my greenhouse too as they do much better there than outside.

@ Poppins: I'm very happy with my tropical garden. I'll do a post on it soon(ish). I was pleased to find those lovely strawberries and they tasted rather yummy too. :-)

@ Kylee: we all need to take a vacation from time to time but it is difficult for me when I have to leave my kitties and garden behind.
You are most welcome Kylee, if you ever come this way!!!

@ Cindy: one of the best things about garden blogging is reactions such as yours. :-) They make my day!!

@ Lucky-1: welcome to Bliss and come again! The Bliss Team says hi with lots of purrrrrs to Rebel!

@ Nicole: my garden has been great this year but is now slowing down. The days are getting much shorter, so soon most plants will either die down or stop growing for the winter months. I do not spend al that much time in my garden as most of it can look after itself. The kitchen garden is the most labour intensive, but even there I work less than 8 hours a week.

karin a said...

I'm impressed of everything still growing and producing in your garden. It certainly looks tasty as well. I would love to have a citrus tree but unfortunately I don't have the possibilities to store during the cold months. What a bouquet - so Beautiful!

Thank you for your comment about my home-made crown! :) We have had varying weather but today we have rain. :/ I hope the weather is better in Netherlands. Have a lovely weekend

Bert said...

Hi Yolanda,
What a nice crops this harvest Yolanda! And still a lot of flowers too. This must give some nice and healthy meals. Hope the weather is still mild, so you can go on gardening for a while.
See you,


kate said...

The bouquet of flowers is beautiful. I like the white jug which sets them off so wonderfully. When I saw the sweet peas in the cow pitcher, I had to smile. I have a white cow just like that - I'd much rather have one with the blue decoration though.

Your harvest is bountiful - the blackberry photograph made me wish I could reach into the screen, pluck some and pop them into my mouth. You'll have wonderful jams all winter long!

stadtgarten said...

What a variety of fruit and vegetables you can harvest from your garden!
And I am surprised to see that you have got grapes -are they edible? When I see those grapes from your garden I don't understand why they don't produce wine in the Netherlands?
Have a nice weekend, groetjes, Monika

marga said...

Zo Yolanda...dat is een mooie oogst.
En die bloemen.....prachtig. En dat nu nog....ongelofelijk.

Ben er (af en toe) weer.

Groetjes Marga

Diana said...

I love all your wonderful vegetables! You must have a huge garden to have such a boutiful harvest. I lived in the Netherlands, in Stein (close to Maastricht) for 4 years when I was growing up. We were back last year for a visit - I so miss it. Especially all the wonderful gardens that are so lovingly cared for. I have leeks ready to harvest this week, and they always remind me of the Netherlands where they grew wild along our canals...Thanks for sharing - come visit my blog sometime at

Yolanda Elizabet said...

Hi all and welcome to Bliss!

@ Karin: the weather here has helped a lot this year with the growing and producing in my kitchen garden. In April until half May (6 weeks in total) we had Summer weather instead of Spring weather so everything grew like mad.

In these last few weeks the temperature was slightly above average, so that helped too. But the days are getting shorter now and plants need a certain amount of light to grow. Soon they won't, just as with you in Sweden.

On Saturday we had a lot of rain, practically the whole day. Now it's Sunday and it's dry so far. ;-)

@ Bert: I hope the weather stays mild for a bit longer too. But I have the greenhouse to grow some veggies and herbs during wintertime.

@ Kate: I'm very happy with all the lovely bouquets from my garden this year. I've been picking them every week since early May. Not bad eh?

What fun that you have the little white cow!

My blackberry bush has no thorns so the picking is scratch free, a bonus!

@ Monika: yes my grapes are edible. My father has been growing them outside for 20 years now and the grapes he produces are very sweet and so are mine.

Wine is produced in the Netherlands but on a small scale. Excellent wine is made in the province called South Limburg. They have hills there and its the mildest area of the Netherlands.

I know that Germany produces excellent wines, I've tasted them often enough! ;-)

@ Marga: allereerst fijn dat je er, af en toe, weer bent! Heerlijk he, dat al die bloemetjes nog bloeien in mijn tuin. Veel van die asters heb ik bij Piet Oudolf gekocht. Zoals je weet is zijn tuin in de herfst ook nog volop in bloei en schitterend om te zien.

@ Diana: welcome to Bliss! And no, my vegetable garden is not all that big, only about 90 m2. How nice that you lived in the Netherlands for 4 years. And you're right, the Dutch are known for their wonderful gardens. ;-)

No Rain said...

How long does it take your oranges and limes to ripen?

Annie in Austin said...

What a bounty you reap from your garden, Yolanda! The fruit alone is wonderful, let alone the vegetables and flowers.

But a wicked little part of me wonders whether even you, with all your skill and diligence, could figure out a way to garden with our blankety-blank heat & squirrels ;-]

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Ex-Shammickite said...

Your garden is so productive, it's lovely. My old pear tree had about 10 pears on it this year, and the squirrels ate them all, but last year we had so many pears we were giving them away, We could not eat them fast enough.

Betty said...

What a treasure trove of harvest you have.......vegetables, fruit, flowers, so many good things....

Thank you for visiting me and commenting on the red lilies and the pine cone lilies....the scent is only noticeable when the cone is touched.

I enjoyed sweet scented bouquets also...Betty

Reflection Through The Seasons said...

What a bountiful harvest of fruit, vegetables and flowers your garden provides. I so much enjoyed seeing your pictures. I am surprised to learn that you are still picking strawberries, lucky you. The strawberries in our allotment were very prolific earlier in the year, but sadly are finished now.
Enjoy these mellow days of Autumn. Thank you for your recent comment, I'm always pleased to hear from you. Marion

Yolanda Elizabet said...

Hi all and welcome to Bliss once again!

@ Aiyana: it takes all summer for my citrus fruit to ripen.

@ Annie: I think, as far as temperature is concerned, that there are suitable plants, fruit and veggies for almost any climate. The squirrels are a different kettle of fish altogether. :-D The bane of my gardening life are the slugs and snails and the odd neighourhood cats that digs up my freshly sown veggie bed.

@ Ex-Shammickite: last year the fruit and nut trees had a record amount of fruit and nuts. This year the harvest is more moderate. One humongous harvest one year, usually means hardly of no harvest the next. To help your tree in giving you a good crop every year: thin the fruit out in spring. That way the tree has enough energy left to give you a good crop next year too.

@ Betty: I enjoy all the gifts of my garden. I have yet to meet the person who doesn't love a sweetly scented bouquet. ;-)

@ Marion: those mellow days of autumn are, for me, an unexpected treat from mother nature and I enjoy them a lot. I hope you do too! ;-)

lenie said...

wat is dit een rijke oogst zeg !! heerlijk allemaal ..van groente tot fruit ....allemaal verwerken ...véél werk !!Ken het hoor meis we zitten in de appels en peren hier ....van Chutney tot appeltaart ...alles wordt gemaakt , alleen de citroenen moet ik kopen voor de lemoncurd ...maar wat een gigantische variateit heb je om jaloers op te worden ;)))

chigiy at Gardeners Anonymous said...

I would say that you definitely have a green thumb judging by all the beautiful pictures of your garden.
I have never seen black peppers. They're gorgeous.