Just Merveilleux

Life at № 42

Winter tomatoes and other green matters

I’ve stupidly been ignoring the greenhouse for the past couple of months. I just presumed cooler temperatures meant the season was over. So when I went to have a look this morning to plan what to plant for this year, I was surprised to see this:

The cherry tomato plant is alive and well and still producing. And they still taste good too. So I pulled up my sleeves and decided to do some test-planting now to see what I can get away with in this weather.

This year I’m going to take the greenhouse much more seriously than I did last year. In 2015 I did mostly herbs, lettuces, cherry tomatoes and my test vegetable was okra, which it turns out does incredibly well in this part of France. Now I have more or less an idea of what works well here (not least of which because I put a ladder against the wall to spy on the kitchen garden of the property next door.) Their beefsteak tomato plants looked like something out of a gardening book. Just amazing.

In other parts of the garden, the camellias continue their show:

The red and white Mazamet Japonica varieties still haven’t begun to open- but all of them are covered in buds which means we’ve got something to look forward to.

The tiny Kramer’s Rote heather plants all look happy. Some have even decided to flower. The colour is a bit brighter than I had expected, but I think it’ll work.

greenhjanheather

 

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23 comments on “Winter tomatoes and other green matters

  1. Ruth
    January 13, 2016

    Your camellias really are lovely!

    Like

  2. foolsmusings
    January 13, 2016

    Yum 🙂

    Like

  3. Arkenaten
    January 13, 2016

    Isn’t it grand growing your own stuff? Can’t wait til we can harvest our veg.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mr. Merveilleux
      January 13, 2016

      I just love it; and the difference in taste is just shocking. I bought supermarket tomatoes earlier this week and was reminded of how tasteless they are.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Arkenaten
        January 13, 2016

        The taste is everything and once you eat homegrown you begin to wonder what the hell you have been eating all this time! The difference is remarkable.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Helen Devries
        January 13, 2016

        Don’t they sell those gorgeous Moroccan ones any more?
        People used to astonish me when shopping in France: depths of winter, two types of tomato on sale – Moroccan, red, ripe and luscious and alongside them the produce of the greenhouses of Nantes, tasteless gobstoppers. What did people buy? The latter, because French produce was the best in the world…
        Same with carrots…beautiful sweet primeurs from Portugal disdained in favour of huge hard cored lumps of stuff preserved in sand…

        Liked by 1 person

      • Mr. Merveilleux
        January 13, 2016

        I’m glad you just said it. Isn’t it exhausting? It’s like communist or fascist propaganda. One would presume French manure smells of Chanel no. 5 😀 They just never shut up about what’s produced here.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. roughseasinthemed
    January 13, 2016

    Ah. The lady of the camellias eh? They do look gorgeous.

    As for veg, can’t comment on toms, not my forte. But as you have space, why not add artichokes in the garden? Ornamental and edible.

    I love having fresh basil and cilantro. Beans are pretty easy to grow, peas slightly less so, but still work. Spinach is easy. And I’ve mentioned garlic and potatoes on my latest post. I’d think about asparagus too. Have you got a rotation system in your greenhouse?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mr. Merveilleux
      January 13, 2016

      No rotation yet. And I don’t have space! This property is on just half an acre. In Spain we had half an acre of lawn, plus the green zone and an 1100m2 separate plot to the side of the house 🙂

      Like

  5. Helen Devries
    January 13, 2016

    Ex Mazamet semper aliquid novi: peeping Toms are one thing…peeping at toms another…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. acflory
    January 13, 2016

    Does it ever snow in Mazamet? From all your photos the climate seems to be more temperate, like what we have here in Victoria – cold, generally wet winters but the temperature rarely drops below 2 or 3 C.

    Like

    • Mr. Merveilleux
      January 13, 2016

      Yes! Or maybe yes. Or maybe no? There are no guarantees. They say some years it can snow a lot, but then there’s no snow for ten years… At the moment the temperature fluctuates between 3 on a cold morning to 17 on a sunny afternoon. They’re saying a cold front is arriving next week and we may have below zero temperatures 🙂

      Like

      • acflory
        January 13, 2016

        Aaaah… okay, so not really like here at all. In that case you really will need your greenhouse. Funny, though, I somehow never quite imagined you growing vegies! Can I suggest giving some of the gourmet lettuces a try? I have had a huge success with mine. I bought the seeds the first time around but after that I let some of the plants go to seed. Some I managed to save, but a lot took off on their own and I’m finding self-seeded lettuce in almost every pot – even in with the succulents!

        Like

      • Mr. Merveilleux
        January 13, 2016

        WHICH??? Tell me now!

        Like

      • acflory
        January 13, 2016

        Gah…I’m terrible with names. I’ll try and take a few photos so you can see.

        Like

      • acflory
        January 14, 2016

        Just sent you an email with some pics of the lettuce. Hope that helps.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Mr. Merveilleux
        January 14, 2016

        Thanks!

        Like

      • acflory
        January 14, 2016

        🙂

        Like

  7. wcs
    January 14, 2016

    Okra doesn’t work up here (sad face), but maybe in a greenhouse… another project for the list.

    Like

    • Mr. Merveilleux
      January 14, 2016

      I planted the clemson spineless variety. The soil temperature has to be +21 degrees, and the plant likes full sun. I think the trick for your area would be to start it early in a south facing window near a radiator and then move it outside once the heat arrives.
      In a greenhouse I imagine you’d have no trouble at all. They’re also cheap these days. I saw a decent sized polycarbonate and aluminium one at the garden shop last week on sale for €250 (but you have to put it together yourself.)

      Like

      • Helen Devries
        January 14, 2016

        I grew okra outside in the south of the Loire Valley…the Clemson’s Spineless variety..
        Started indoors in the kitchen in early March and planted out after the Ice Saints had passed in mid May.
        They liked plenty of water…and when I was fed up with them they gave the bonus of those gorgeous flowers.

        Like

      • Mr. Merveilleux
        January 14, 2016

        The mini-hibiscus like flowers were such a wonderful bonus. The colours reminded me of Spain 🙂

        Like

  8. davidprosser
    January 14, 2016

    The camellias are still stunning.
    Hugs

    Like

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This entry was posted on January 13, 2016 by in Mazamet and tagged , , , , , , .
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