I do not know about you but I have always a what to plant for the following year in my mind. It is one of my little pleasure in life since I was a child. I was given a little glass Terrarium in the shape of an apple as a gift with mainly succulent plants. It did have a Fittonia nerve plant which had red 'Veins' which did do really well and ever since I loved growing various plants.
The Saffron Crocus project... Back in the days... When we were still using slug pellets instead of frogs for our plants.
Then we came with an organic pest killer, the good old Frog. We have a pond and a perfect climate and habitate for them. We didn't know if they would stay in our garden but from a couple of Frogs we have plenty now years later... This Frog project did work, I can tell you that.
The Frogs are eating the slugs mainly at night.
The result is that we can grow, fruits, flowers and vegetable. In terms of fruits: We have a Olive Tree project which is doing well. Our Lemon Tree is giving us Lemons every year. The Blueberry Bush is doing fine but feed less us than ours Birds. We also a have a Redcurrant Bush and different kind of Strawberries. The Fruit project for the following year is going to add a Gooseberry bush in the Garden.
Our Blueberry Bushes: there are three Varities within the planter. Not only there are useful fruits coming every year but in Autumn the leaves have a nice hue.
As for Flowers, multiple projects we did embark on: From growing Black Dragon Irises, to Rhasopdy in Blue Roses, passing by our Saffron Crocus project. This year we did let a corner of the garden grow wild to offer protection for the birds an undergrowth to hide. It also promoted our Bees. However we are going to reclaim again that area this Winter. It is in order to still help the Bees by bringing in Flowers which attract more Bees and for the Birds we did plant another Tree, a Hazenut Tree.
The project for Flowers next year will include a Lilac and a Magnolia Tree, Sunflowers, Black Tulips and Irises and more are being considered. Sunflowers will give Sunflower Heart seeds for the Birds.
Black Dragon Irises which are beautiful so much so that they were a joy to watch blossoming.
As for Vegetables, we did have many projects over the last decade year after year. One thing that doesn't change every year is that we always have Tomatoes of different varieties. This is my DaDa Veg. I must confess that growing Indigo Rose Tomatoes which is Black is always an enjoyement.
Indigo Rose Tomatoes: The Black Tomatoes with a very good taste.
Another variety which I love growing and is very fruitful is the Bumblebee Tomatoes. I tried that one which works very well within Hanging Baskets. It is also rather pretty and the project of using Hanging Baskets for Tomatoes was succeful.
Bumblebee Tomatoes, colourful small Tomatoes which is stipy like little Tigers and are perfect for Cocktail Snacks, Skewers and Hanging Baskets
For my Partner, his favourite Veg to grow are Chillies. We tried a lot of varieties yearly. I do like his passion for them. He start almost the new year by starting planting his chilli seeds. But also by choosing the selection he will grow that year. We do enjoy Lemon Drop Chillies, Padron ones and Cayenne Peppers.
Peruvian Lemon Drop Chillies growing. It has a relatively a Mild to Medium Chilli heat on the Scoville Scale.
My own project is annualy to use our Chilli Bounty Harvest, to preserve it for our entire year but also to find lots of Culinary uses for them. I would say it is a reward in itself. We also did create our own personal seeds bank, which is not for only Chillies in a tool box. It is wonderfully useful.
A little colourful sample of one of our Harvests with Lemon Drop Chillies, Cayenne Peppers with my Tomates Indigo Rose and Bumblebee ones.
Now I must confess I do find smaller varieties of Chilli Plants pretty and perfect for the house as well as the Garden. Prairie Fire makes a perfectly decorative house Plant.
The Colourful Prairie Fire Chilli: Edible as well as nice to look at in a House. But it is a Tiny but Mighty one as a Chilli, if you want to put your palate on fire this one delivers a kick.
I must mentioned another Project which I insisted upon us doing one year and this was to grow Espelette Peppers, a Chilli from the South of France which is Tasty. It was recommended by a Friend who unfortunately passed away this year 2021. That Pepper which possess a relatively Mild to Medium Heat was excellent. But it was fairly hard to acquire some seeds I must say. However that project ended up in a success.
Espelette Pepper. In Memory of Angelina I will grow more next year.
Speaking of another Veg project of ours it was to grow Aubergines/Eggplants. The fact is it was endeavour of mine for cooking purposes. As the learning process went on I did manage to get two Aubergines but it was better than nothing. They were enjoyed dispite my Partner not liking them in general. But he admitted that he was pleasantly suprise by the result in the Garden and the Kitchen. My next project in that matter is to grow miniature decorative and variegated ones for the patio.
My plan there was to make my Partner like Aubergines by growing them in our Garden. It partly worked.
Next I am also taking on board four more projects Veg: First is one which I did before with some success and which I want to improve upon: Growing Mushrooms. I find it a little complicated but I love Mushrooms to the point where I can eat some everyday without complaint just like Pasta.
One of the First Mushrooms which showed up during my first experiment. A lots of others followed of different varieties and I dare say it was a succesful project in my point of view.
The Mushroom that grew so large that it ended up as a lovely Stuffed one which I shared with my partner as a Starter. It was with Autaumnal filling of melted Stilton Cheese, pieces of chopped Walnuts and Home Made Thyme and Garlic Breadcrumbs.
The White Oyster Mushrooms that went bonkers. They ended up in a Chicken, Mushroom and Miso Broth which was nicely spiced.
However I miscalculated my order and I have 130 plugs of Mushrooms to deal with. I would be surprised if I don't get one Mushroom out of those. I went for Shitake, Lion's Mane, Oyster Mushrooms and Chestnut Mushrooms.
The Mushroom 2022 project received. This is going to be exciting.
So dare I say it will be Big Mushrooms Project 2022. Not only that because our new Hazelnut tree has spores of Black Truffle Mushrooms in its roots in the following years we will look forward for those babies to grow within the base of that little Tree. This will be an exciting moment to dig them up carefully.
Second will be another go at growing Squashes from Butternut Squash to Pumpkin passing by the good old Marrow. I envisage to learn to do Home Made Ravioli with Butternut Squash, a Pumpkin Soup which will remind of my Father bringing some from his allotment to the point that we almost spent a month eating Pumpkin Soup (Nostalgic Project that one). And I do enjoy a Stuffed Marrow with minced Lamb.
Squah Time: If I have more than one Pumpkin in the coming year one could end up as a Halloween one like those two did.
Third I will attempt my hand to grow Celeriac. Closely related to Celery however in a very different shape, they do make excellent Soups, and Mash or filling for a Savoury Pie. So this is a project for next year which has my vote.
Celeriac does look like a rugged Veg but it is one which mutn't be overlooked. It can offer to a dish something else that a Potato can offer.
Last but not least, the project I entertain the idea off planting wise is more Herbs related than Veg but can enhance Vegetables or Meat dishes this is growing different kind of Tarragon.
I absolutely love Tarragon but it is quite hard in the UK for some reason or another. It goes so well with Chicken and add flavour to Creamy Sauces.
And of course I am looking forward to grow the 'Tulipe Noire' which I already received. I grew some a few years ago and they are dashing; Almost like an Alain Delon doing a Cape and Sword Movie during the good old days...
Black Parrot Tulips for 2022/2023. Sent and Delivered.