It´s Getting Chilli in the Garden

30 Oct

Well, they say there´s no rest for the wicked, and no sooner was I back home than I was out digging up chilli plants and other sad looking vegetables.  It´s been a fantastic year for the chillies, I have grown five varieties, although I don´t know really what they´re called.  Long chillies, medium chillies in red and yellow, round chillies and tiny ones which are probably cayenne. Anyway, it´s a lot of chillies.

This is about two thirds of the crop, the rest have already been pickled, frozen, dried or made into sweet chilli dipping sauce.  Check out this amazing recipe from Natalie at Cook Eat Live Vegetarian.  I´m also going to try Fati´s recipe here later this week.

I spent a happy couple of hours putting my sewing skills to use in rather a different way.  Using strong cotton thread and my own special patented (!) stitch, I strung a couple of hundred chillies up to dry in the sun.  If the weather turns bad, I´ll hang them up in the shed where it´s nice and dry.

When we moved to the house three and a half years ago we planted our lemon three which this year finally took off and started producing lemons.  It´s gone a little mad now but we´ve been advised not to prune it until May.

Fortunately we now have lemons which have very kindly decided to turn yellow.

And new flowers every new moon.

Then, just to take us by surprise, although I think it knew its days were numbered, our Bougainvillea finally decided to stop looking like a dead twig and make our garden look Mediterranean.

So the roses decided to join in.

The garden seems to think it´s spring, so “shhhh” don´t say a word and for goodness sake don´t tell it it´s really autumn.

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56 Responses to “It´s Getting Chilli in the Garden”

  1. Mad Dog October 30, 2011 at 16:02 #

    What a fantastic crop of chillis, not to mention lemons and your Bougainvillea is just like New Orleans!

  2. Kim October 30, 2011 at 16:10 #

    lol, all that chili! I have to wait for summer to get my chili plant that I can put on the balcony :S

    • chicaandaluza October 31, 2011 at 11:32 #

      And you can get a lot of chilis from a plant so it will be worth the wait!

  3. ChgoJohn October 30, 2011 at 16:22 #

    That’s quite the crop of chilis you’ve got there and your Bougainvillea looks great, too. It won’t be long until that wall is completely covered by it. That will be something to see! ANd don;t worry. I won’t tell your garden. I won’t even tell my garden just in case they know each other. (But that would explain some of those long distance calls.) :)

    • chicaandaluza October 30, 2011 at 20:38 #

      Phew – now I know what all those whispered sweet nothings were…your garden and mine! Can´t wait till our wall is covered in purple…slowly, slowly.

  4. Katie @ SerenityintheStorm October 30, 2011 at 16:43 #

    What a gorgeous harvest from what looks like a totally exquisite garden! The lemons, bougainvillea, and chilis–all some of my most favorite things! Thanks for sharing these amazing pictures.

    • chicaandaluza October 30, 2011 at 20:38 #

      Thanks Katie – it was a long wait for the lemon and bougainvillea – luckily the chillies delivered the goods quickly!

  5. Food,Photography & France October 30, 2011 at 16:57 #

    Garden looks fabulous – and I love the chilli dipping sauce.

    • chicaandaluza October 31, 2011 at 11:31 #

      Thanks Roger – the sauce is well worth making, tastes great!

  6. Florence October 30, 2011 at 17:29 #

    Hi Chica. Gosh, that lemon tree has grown and what a bumper crop of chillies! The garden looks beautiful. Thanks for sharing the photees. Heavy rain due in the next couple of days!!
    Regards Florence x

    • chicaandaluza October 30, 2011 at 20:39 #

      It has – it´s sprouted all over. Will take your advice and get those chillies tucked away in the dry shed.

  7. thecompletecookbook October 30, 2011 at 19:16 #

    I love the way you describe your chillis – at least we know which ones you are referring ;-) and I am insanely jealous of your magnificent lemon tree – just too beautiful!
    Have a super week. :-) Mandy

    • chicaandaluza October 30, 2011 at 20:40 #

      You can tell that this growing lark is still quite new to me! I blame the locals – they give me seeds but don´t know what they´re called :)

  8. foodblogandthedog October 30, 2011 at 19:18 #

    I’ve picked all my chillis too, the freezer is full! So glad you like the sweet chilli sauce, I’ve still got to try your spicy tomato ketchup and a Sriracha chilli sauce recipe too. I agree with Florence- put your chillis in the shed it’s supposed to rain for week now!!

    • chicaandaluza October 30, 2011 at 20:41 #

      Have just had some of the sauce with some Little pieces of leftover grilled chicken..fabulous! Will have to look up Spiracha chilli sauce. Am intrigued! Am off to the shed now… :(

  9. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide October 30, 2011 at 19:19 #

    What a wonderful pepper crop and you’re so lucky to have that lemon tree.

    • chicaandaluza October 30, 2011 at 20:41 #

      It´s starting to look like a proper Andalucian garden!

  10. ceciliag October 30, 2011 at 21:03 #

    That lemon is a gorgeous tree. You probably know all this but because the lemon will be flowering and fruiting almost all year round it will not need a lot of pruning. Other than removing suckers that are taking over the trunk of the tree and any dying branches, just prune back as you cut off a lemon. I am so so sad that I cannot grow lemons out here and so I shall grow them vicariously through you. c

    • chicaandaluza October 31, 2011 at 10:23 #

      Thanks for this C. I told Big Man and he nodded wisely as if he knew (but secretly I think he didn´t!). He said May is when it gets it´s big haircut, but that he will be doing some minor trimming between now and then. I think you´ve taught him something!!

  11. DyannT October 30, 2011 at 21:13 #

    Oh my. Not only do you put me to shame with not getting some sewing done…… Now I feel propelled to getting my home blog organised so that I can record my garden’s progress through the year. Well done, Tanya. Just what I need in my life. :-)
    Our lemon tree has grown as big as I want it too and as it fruits and flowers all year, I just give it a haircut when the mood takes me. It doesn’t seem to mind what time of the year it is – though I tend to avoid the middle of winter.
    Thanks for sharing your beautiful photos.
    D.

    • chicaandaluza October 31, 2011 at 10:25 #

      Well, they are carefully taken shots. I didn´t show you the big overgrown bit right behind the tree! It seems that Big Man is now saying that he does trim regularly, but I´m not convinced about this! Luckily our mid winter weather is not too brutal, but we will avoid cutting the poor tree when it´s really cold. How lovely to be going into Spring now… :)

  12. spicegirlfla October 30, 2011 at 23:04 #

    What a beautiful backyard…and that lemon tree is gorgeous!! I’ve got a little one that I’m hoping will take off one of these days!! I love the strings of chillies, almost a decoration in itself!

    • chicaandaluza October 31, 2011 at 10:12 #

      Yes, it seems a shame to have to tuck them away – but they get dusty if I leave them out (the joys of country living – mud or dust!)

  13. fati's recipes October 31, 2011 at 01:21 #

    But it’s spring! It is, it is! (on the other side of the globe!! ;) )
    I am so astonished! I can’t believe you have so much chilli… I really want to go live in your back yard for a while, I’m a complete failure with gardening, I only ever get 1 round of harvest, and then the plant dies.. :(
    I hope you like my sweet chilli sauce recipe :)

    • chicaandaluza October 31, 2011 at 10:14 #

      That´s true – am obviously a bit upside down here! Am looking forward to trying out your recipe as I go through a lot of chilli sauce! And you´re welcome to come and live in my backyard :)

  14. cookerann October 31, 2011 at 02:35 #

    Such a beautiful garden! We were fortunate to enjoy some heirloom tomatoes and beets from my garden this evening. Considering we are in Chicago and it is almost November, that’s quite an accomplishment. Wish I could grown peppers like that. Oh, and lemons!

    • chicaandaluza October 31, 2011 at 10:15 #

      That´s amazing – tomatoes and beets in Chicago in November! We dug the last of our tomatoes up yesterday, they were so sad looking :(

  15. Yvette October 31, 2011 at 08:03 #

    Everything is looking fantastic in your garden…Our garden is surrounded by perfumed blossoms as well. Lemon, orange and cherry.Some of the roses are in full bloom, but there are still many buds…I love the Spring weather. What a chilli crop…so colourful! x

    • chicaandaluza October 31, 2011 at 10:17 #

      I almost wish it really were Spring here, but it´s autumn and I have to accept it. But it does mean autumn fruits, hearty foods and good weather for taking walks. Will have to pop back to my blog and remind myself where you live – Australia?!

  16. TheDorsetFinca October 31, 2011 at 08:10 #

    Beautiful pictures!!! I love the lemon tree – am very jealous! :)

    • chicaandaluza October 31, 2011 at 10:18 #

      My grandmother managed to grow a small lemon tree in London which flowered but never gave fruit – she put it inside in winter but one year she just wasn´t quick enough and the frost killed it. Sadly the UK weather is cruel to citrus trees :(

  17. gardenfreshtomatoes October 31, 2011 at 12:03 #

    Look at all your chillis! Can’t wait til next summer – with the garlic out in the new bed, I’m going to have a whole row in the kitchen garden!

    We have some ‘confused’ plants around here – last week I noticed one of the crab apple trees up on the road had new blooms, right next to its ripe fruit…it’s been a very strange year…

    • chicaandaluza October 31, 2011 at 13:24 #

      It has indeed – especially for you with all that wild weather you had a while back!

  18. sportsglutton October 31, 2011 at 15:30 #

    That picture of your collect of chilies made me so happy, yet jealous at the same time. ;-)

    • chicaandaluza October 31, 2011 at 15:36 #

      That´s an ok kind of jealousy :) I feel it daily reading other people´s blogs!

  19. bitsandbreadcrumbs October 31, 2011 at 15:50 #

    Lucky you! I would love to have some of those chilis to dry and make chili powder out of them. Beautiful lemon tree and bougainvillea. I love it when flowering plants suddenly decide to give you a surprise after their season!

    • chicaandaluza October 31, 2011 at 16:01 #

      My blender can´t seem to grind it right down to powder – I think I need a coffee bean grinder for that. Will have to put it on the Christmas wish list!

      • bitsandbreadcrumbs November 1, 2011 at 16:09 #

        My husband is the chili powder maker in our house. He roasts/toasts the dried chilis for a while on some foil on the grill (doing it in a pan in the house caused too much eye watering!), then grinds and yes, he found that the coffee bean grinder is the way to go…blender doesn’t make it fine enough.

      • chicaandaluza November 1, 2011 at 16:17 #

        Ooh – thanks for the tip about roasting/toasting…makes sense!

  20. Tandy October 31, 2011 at 15:53 #

    welcome home! and your Bougainvillea looks amazing – mine is a very dead twig I am afraid :( I also dry my own chillies – but have never sewn them :) Please can you email me your email address for Secret Santa – and thanks for saying you will take part! tandy (AT) tandysales.co.za

    • chicaandaluza October 31, 2011 at 16:00 #

      Thanks Tandy – ours has looked like a twig since we got it…it just took us by surprise in the last month! Swing chillies is ok, but I much prefer clothes ;)

  21. promenadeplantings October 31, 2011 at 21:45 #

    Makes my crop of chillies look positively miserly, well done you !

    • chicaandaluza November 1, 2011 at 09:50 #

      I think I may got a bit carried away with the number of plants :) Next year I will probably be “restricted” to a few less! Thanks for popping by.

  22. JamieAnne November 1, 2011 at 03:43 #

    You’ve got a lot of hot stuff hanging in those photos!
    :)

  23. Stitch Nerd November 1, 2011 at 05:40 #

    Wow! The photos are gorgeous and those chilis look wonderful!

    • chicaandaluza November 1, 2011 at 09:50 #

      Hi Stitchnerd and thanks for coming over and commenting. I do like my chilis and so glad you liked the photos!

  24. Neelima November 4, 2011 at 10:00 #

    Wow, thats a great garden you have… and the chillis!!! good luck with those!

    • chicaandaluza November 4, 2011 at 17:17 #

      Thank you so much, we´re lucky that we have lots of pace to grow both flowers and veg :)

  25. katyarich November 5, 2011 at 14:50 #

    Beautiful chillis, my husband also grow them at home but your ones looks gorgeous, congratulations……nice garden

    • chicaandaluza November 5, 2011 at 15:34 #

      Well thank you so much…and lovely that you popped by and commented. I think I got a little carried awy this year, but I know I´ll enjoy those chillis!

  26. Fired Up Cooking SA November 5, 2011 at 16:36 #

    Wonderful photos!! Enjoy that chilli crop, Chica :)

    • chicaandaluza November 5, 2011 at 21:33 #

      Thank you – am already making good use of the chillis!

  27. Cinnamin November 7, 2011 at 12:03 #

    That’s one helluva chilli collection! I love the small red chillies. Very versatile. Do you know that in Kerala lots of fruit shops hang apples and bananas by the string like you’ve done in this post? Your garden is sunny beautiful and thriving…I want to get on the next plane visit Spain again!!

    • chicaandaluza November 8, 2011 at 10:39 #

      How interesting – bet it´s a good way of storing and displaying the fruit and stops it from bruising. You´ll have to post some photos!

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