My Gardening

August and All That She Brings

Already in August, where are the months going? The past month has brought many changes to our “too big” garden. I have spent many long hours weeding and digging, planting and pruning which I have to say is very rewarding!

“When we put the effort into the grounds it reward us with her treasures”

Hungary is a country of Hibiscus. Every village you travel through the verges are lined with pretty hedges of Hibiscus flowers. We have them growing in various places around the garden, I have noticed they self seed very quickly. Severe pruning of ours last spring helped to keep their shape. They seem to come in a variety of pinks and whites, lilacs and purples. I just love them.

I have a constant companion by my side, Haley Husky helping out wherever she feels necessary! Mostly she just hangs around getting under my feet until something catches her eye then off she charges!

There is a tale about these plants. A Hungarian neighbour donated about 12 rather large knobbly tubers! I had no idea what they were but planted them anyway until suddenly they burst into bloom. Such an elegant plant needed identifying, I contacted my English expat friends and they kindly identified it for me. “They are cannas – or canna lily. Can be big or short, pink, yellow, red, green leaves or dark leaves.” I think they are gorgeous and will lift them before winter ready for planting out again in next spring. 

I planted this sunflower corner a little later than I usually would. The idea was to create some sort of natural pleasant looking screen to hide the corner and add a little colour. The sunflowers have just started flowering and I am beginning to see it was worth the effort. Haley (the dog) dug up one of the 10 sunflowers, I managed to redig it but did not expect it too survive. I made an attempt at fencing them in to prevent future Haley trouble! I am glad to say little sunflower made it despite being smaller than the rest. A cheerful resilient plant and very easy to grow. This patch will multiply next year as this years seeds drop into the ground.

We have had great crops this year, a variety of different peppers are all ready for picking. This is our first year growing so many peppers. Everytime we bought peppers from the greengrocers last year we gradually saved the seeds of our favourites. We have grown them in a variety of places including a raised flower bed. We added mature cow fertiliser to just this bed in the spring to see how the peppers performed. Extremely good results so plan to add manure again next year. The only issue we had was annoying flies hovering over the pepper bed. Next year we shall choose a different area for the cow manure.

Our sweetcorn have had medium success. Early intervention from a digging dog perhaps affected the future outcome. The corn produced was fat and a good yellow. We decided to plant another late corn patch as we both love it cooked straight from the branch onto the BBQ. We keep the husk on to act like a steamer. Super delicious.

The courgettes were a great success but have realised they need plenty of space to spread out. We had one the size of a marrow which was great for a baked spicy meat stuffed marrow. We were wise to grow only 2 plants, we don’t eat a lot of it but it was something we wanted to grow.

Our only successful apple tree, looking very full of crunchy apples. The other tree did not produce any but looks still very alive. They are not quite ripe enough to pick yet, they would still be a little sour. Maybe another month before harvesting them. Super proud of this little tree.

A little colour in the sunflower garden, created to cover an unsightly corner. The butterfly landed by chance on the sunflower whilst I was looking through the viewfinder. I was very happy. Unusual to see anything but a black centred sunflower so was surprised to see this all over yellow beauty.

We decided to invest in a lawnmower, something petrol driven and not to heavy to handle. We searched everywhere, in the local towns, online, large hardware shops, on the roadside (twice) until we had done sufficient research to buy one. We final brought home this very manageable mower. Raphael our 15 year son excitedly tore himself away from his PS4 to have a “play” with the lawnmower! He said it was “super-easy”….. I am glad he said that because now he has a weekly job!

Wonderful watermelons emerged from the frame Eric had built in the spring. We originally planted 4 but lost one, perhaps just as well because they seem to take up a huge amount of space. Eric has been religiously watering them daily whilst it is so hot. There were lots of flowers opening but not developing any further. Finally we have 2 very healthy melons waiting to be eaten. Never having grown watermelons before we weren’t sure how to tell if they were ripe. I have since found out that you “tap to hear hollow” ….we shall follow this advice.

The Tomato Experiment

Eric watched a Youtube video giving ideas for recycling egg shells. He knew they were full of protein therefore good for plants, we eat lots of eggs generating lots of shells… so thought a little experiment was called for.

Picture 1: One seed in each shell, filled with all purpose potting compost.

Picture 2: Taken today a VERY healthy tomato patch but way too overcrowded and in desperate need of attention.

Picture 3: Eric takes the pruners to the bottom leaves and removes non fruit bearing branches. This allows all the goodness to flow where it is needed most. It also allows light and air to circulate more freely.

Picture 4: We have extended the support poles by adding some spare rubber tubing slotted onto the ends of the white poles. This creates more space going upwards and hopefully more growing stems. Eric spent a long time pruning then tying the stems up.

Up in the main vegetable plot we grew a large amount of tomatoes. Some we were given and some we grew from seed. We also bought from a roadside vendor. I think we had a bit of “lost in translation”, we asked for small tomato plants as in young not as in small tomatoes that we brought home!! We laughed when we saw that one of our beds was full of perfectly ripe miniature tomatoes. We also laughed when we discovered miniature pear shaped tomatoes and round red ones on the same stalk! What’s going on there!

We did manage to several beds of large tomatoes that we cropped and preserved in jars. We mainly use it to make sauces or pasta dishes that require tomatoes. A great staple to have in the country garden kitchen.

Paprika Peppers, Jalapeno Peppers, Wax Peppers (the yellow ones) and other Hungarian varieties. I spent an afternoon preserving the mountains of peppers I had cropped. I wish I had worn gloves, my fingers stung for hours afterwards. I know for next time!

From Bush to Wash to Pickle.

Another new activity for us, preserving our own produce. Research on the internet revealed just how easy it is to can and preserve, pickle and freeze. This jar of pickled hot peppers lives in the fridge and tastes very good with cheese or hams or as a side dish. We have found the longer it stays in the jar the less super spicy it becomes, just a regular hot spice! A good incentive to eat.

The freshly washed peppers on the chopping board are ready to be prepared for another pickling session. I shall choose a different recipe and later compare the two for the best taste and for future preserving.

The elderberries have ripened and are ready for picking if the birds don’t get to them first. I shall be making Elderberry Syrup.

After an exhausting day following me around Haley decides to chill on the grass to get her breath back ready for more mischief!

I have grown super tall sunflowers this year successfully in an old oil barrel. The pretty snails have a liking for the courgette leaves. They do not seem to cause as much damage as the giant slugs.

The last picture is an attempt at growing kiwi fruit. We visited Croatia last year and saw an amazing 30 year old kiwi vine adorning a huge wooden frame. We thought we would have a go growing from seed. Apparently I need a male and a female to be successful. I have 5 on the go but won’t know what sex they are until they flower…then sexing them begins.

I truly love gardening and nothing gives me more pleasure than watching, waiting and seeing Mother Nature do her yearly cycle. My garden is where I choose to spend the most time. I can have quiet time and reflection time and love planning what to do next outside. Gardens are extensions of our homes and act as another “room”. Hungarians are very proud of their gardens and produce some beautiful displays. We are aiming to do the same.

Next Month September Update My Hungarian Rural Garden

My Gardening

Join Me in My Ever Developing Hungarian Garden – July

July has arrived in Hungary along with soaring temperatures and thirsty plants. Watering is a twice a day affair otherwise the poor plants suffer from dehydration. We had talked about dripper system for the vegetable plot this year but it never materialised.

The wheelbarrow is a favourite spot for this bird…always on the look-out for our dog Haley!

At the front of our house we have giant sunflowers creating a beautiful display and an eager feeding ground for these friendly finches. Lifting the blinds in the morning this is what I see, a great way to start my day. I do believe these are greenfinches?

We have regular butterflies and a multitude of other insects visiting the garden. The cricket sat for ages on the garden chair and the butterfly lazily sunned itself whilst I took photos.

The first of our second generation peppers began to flower late June progressing onto larger specimens early July. These are of the spicy variety and when harvested will be preserved in jars. All our peppers were given a layer of cow manure at the beginning of the season, I’m hoping for great results.

When we moved to Hungary we inherited a well, fully functional if you have a pump, the water is way down. This is our third summer here and have encouraged the plants surrounding the well to grow randomly. This beautiful yellow plant is a blast of colour to brighten this corner. I have no idea of it’s name but it makes FABULOUS dried flower arrangements.

Inheriting a garden is always exciting, each year something else pops up that you had no idea was there. This year the “Well Garden” has acquired a young walnut tree that we did not plant but want to encourage it to grow, it’s doing very well at the moment. The tree at the front is a prolific flowering pink and white Hibiscus….it will be flowering very soon. Over the well is rampant forsythia, stunning flowers in the spring. It will need tidying up before the winter.

We had a very sturdy loft ladder made of very solid wood and wanted to incorporate it into the well garden somehow. Due to a “lost in translation moment” with our Hungarian gardener he took it upon himself to chop out the steps. Not what we wanted….oh dear! We rescued a few steps and will keep adding plants to fill the gaps. It will come to life next year…the gardener has been forgiven. 😀

“The Well Garden”

We live in sunflower country and most gardens have at least a few adorning their gardens, we are no exception. This spectacularly tall sunflower display is ALL self seeded from last year, travelling from the front of the house, I suspect the wind and the birds helped this process. Haley our dog sitting regally like she owned the place!!

Miss Haley Husky, in HER garden.💜

There are 2 sorts of cherries on the trees here in Hungary, sour and sweet. We prefer the sweet ones to eat straight off the tree or you can collect them and make jams if you have any remaining….we didn’t!

We have 2 sweetcorn patches, the first one the corn is already visible and should be ready for cropping probably next week. We planted another bed about 4 weeks later for continuous corn throughout the summer months. Our favourite way to eat them is straight from the plant and onto the BBQ! Delicious!

Not everything has been successful in our garden and we nearly lost our watermelons…or should I say they just did not grow, we were going to pull them out but suddenly the other day these yellow flowers appeared….could this be the start of a watermelon? I will keep you updated.


The tomatoes all over the garden are doing amazingly well, they guzzle water constantly and there are flowers everywhere. Won’t be long before we have a bumper crop. For the first time this year we experimented with crushed egg shells, adding them to the hole before planting the seedlings, to see if it improved the tomatoes growth and production. So far so good. It is supposed to add extra calcium where needed, I have heard mixed reactions about this method. Best that we try it first before making a judgement.


Our raised bed full of peppers is coming on very well and you can see in the buckets on the ground, potatoes. We tried to grow potatoes previously but they were all attacked by a beetle and we lost the lot. This year we are trying the recycling bucket method.

Other experiments we are trying this year. From seed, tomatoes raised in hollowed egg shells, then transferred to the ground….after crushing the shells gently around them before planting them out. The other tall plant is from seed, a pomegranate. I have already prepared the ground ready for planting and will go in the ground this evening.

This is a third year rose, bought in Hungary and thriving well. It had a bout of greenfly early on but now clear. Underneath the rose is our marigold bed. I planted 6 varieties of marigold in the hope of plenty of colour. We are getting there, the smaller ones have flowered now just waiting for the larger ones to explode, should be any day now.

I love petunias and was fortunate to have been given a few last year from a neighbour. She warned me they would self seed everywhere and have a second wave of flowering later in the year. She was right, I hope they do the same this year, they are so cheerful.

This is the front of the house, looking onto the road. As you see the sunflowers are healthy and strong but unfortunately for poor Haley block her important view of the street. It was a good look out for her passing doggie friends!


Much as I adore Haley, our Husky, she is a major nuisance in the garden. Digging is her game and she is good at it. We have areas in the garden she is “allowed to dig” which generally works OK. However on this occasion my cordoned off new sunflower patch got the “Haley Digging” treatment and she managed to kill one of my 10 new plants. In the first picture you will also notice another suspicious hole…she was guarding it so I would not fill it in! Naughty girl!

My lovely Hibiscus just about to burst into flower in the “Well Garden”


This is the bottom third of our garden, the buildings you see on the left is the neighbours house. We have planted 8 walnut trees which will eventually give us our “Walnut Corner” and a great screen with the neighbours.

There are numerous bare patches on the “lawn”…that’s what I call it but Eric refers to this area as the side garden! The bare patches are when the garden was a building site with piles of concrete, rubble and stones everywhere. We removed the rubble and prepared the patches for grass seed, that was 10 days ago.

Now the new grass is popping through and will hopefully give a good green covering in the coming weeks. I am always hopeful 😁

Our neighbours wall… a fascinating place for “dog sniffing”! The house has been empty for the last 3 years and this half finished extension is housing some sort of animal that has been driving Haley crazy! It could be foxes as we have seen them in the garden or rabbits, cats, lizards or even mice. She spends hours sniffing and watching, crazy girl!!

Sat on our verandah I looked up and this is what I saw…a vibrant blue sky with puff balls of cotton wool clouds. Just gorgeous!🧡

Now as the evening approaches the sun goes to sleep and the moon gently comes out ready to do the whole cycle again tomorrow. Every day nature has something new to offer us it’s wonderful to be able to appreciate it here in our adopted country of Hungary.

My Gardening

How to “Beat The Mosquito’s” and “Please Your Garden”

Living in Hungary has meant we experience 4 definite seasons every year. This is wonderful as we can plan our gardening around the climate for maximum production.

We are now in sunny hot July and daily temperatures are soaring into the 30’s (C). I LOVE hot sunny weather but along with the long balmy days comes the annoyance of mosquitos. The UK had very little mosquito activity so it was quite a shock to be bombarded with them every single day!

My gardening schedule had to change as I was getting bitten to death early evening in spite of the fact I was applying lashings of mosquito cream!

So with a little effort and rearranging my gardening tasks I managed to avoid mosquitoes altogether! I had identified that mosquitoes in Hungary were prevalent in the evening, (I know it is different in some countries depending upon the species) the time I did most of my gardening. I decided to change my essential gardening to early mornings. Early being before 7.00 am! After a little more research I realised that not only would I be avoiding the mosquitoes but I would be giving my garden a super boost… just what it needed!

By changing to morning gardening I have at last (I think) conquered the mosquito issue. Early morning gardening brings with it several other benefits to both me and my garden.

8 BRILLIANT reasons to do your gardening BEFORE 7.00 am

🍒If you are going to cut flowers from your garden, pick them first thing in the morning when the stems are full of early morning dew, this will in turn make them last longer.

🍒 If you are going to pick fruit or berries wait a little until the dew has dried and has been absorbed into the fruit. These cherries still have their morning dew.

🍒 Weeding becomes so much easier as the ground is soft and the rampant weeds are easily pulled from the ground.

🍒Watering your flower gardens and veggie plots first thing in the morning gives your plants a great kick start to begin their day. The first drink of the day is truly beneficial to both humans and plants.

🍒 If you are going to feed your plants a fertilizer, first thing in the morning is the best time, as they absorb the fertilizer far more efficiently.

🍒 Remember your feathered friends who you share your garden with. Fill up their birdbaths and bird tables regularly as you will surely benefit from returning birds with their beautiful curious ways.

🍒 I have found that I have far more energy in the morning even though I get up early at 5.00am when it gets light. I am not alone in my early morning gardening, neighbours are also out tending to their plots before the sun becomes too unbearably hot.

🍒 My final reason is of course the most important one – I am no longer contending with the pesky activities of the Hungarian mosquitto. A joyous reason indeed to do “Early Bird” gardening.

We have been here 3 years and have only just realised that a simple change in timings has made the world of difference both to me and my garden.
Me and My Boots!
My Gardening

My Developing May Garden in Hungary

Progress with Photos

Our Garden Last Year

Our poor veggie garden did not get much attention last year as Eric and I had various health issues meaning it became neglected and very overgrown. It looked a very sorry sight over the winter. As soon as the milder weather came in April I was determined to get things back in order and have a productive working vegetable garden once again. The weeds were about 6 ft high so we flattened them down ready to burn to clear space to make growing areas.

Time to Dig and Plant

Once the weeds had been burnt I could make a clear planting plan. The weather had been cold at night through April, too cold to put young seedlings into the ground. We had been scanning the weather forecast for days trying to calculate when it would be best to plant them out. Now, finally after masses of digging and the risk of cold temperatures at night gone, planting could begin.

We had lots of old bricks lying around the garden so I made a shallow wall to protect the cucumbers. Our dog, Haley is an expect digger so hopefully it will deter her from going there! We planted 2 sorts of cucumber….mini ones for pickling and preserving and large ones for salads. The aim is for them to make use of the fence to climb up.

We live in watermelon country and have bought HUGE melons in the past so thought we would give them a go this year. Eric made a frame from left over wood and then covered the frame with clear plastic. We shall watch the local farmers and wait to remove it when they do.

Spicy Paprika Peppers planted out in a raised bed

These are peppers, grown from seeds collected from our favourite Hungarian Paprika Pepper inside until they were big enough to plant out. They will be small red and spicy, planted in a raised flower bed to make it easy to water and eventually pick them.

The tomatoes have been given the Haley treatment…roped to prevent her running over the plot. Tomatoes grow well in Hungary and are very productive and bear lots of fruits. The unattractive poles (taken from an old swimming pool) are ideal, they are hollow and deep watering is achievable by putting the hose into the tubes! This year I have used crushed egg shells under each plant to help their calcium levels and to ward off Blossom End Rot.

One of our flower beds had been overtaken with mint and it was time to take action. I cleared as deeply as I could the invasive roots and put a few in a pot. We use mint regularly in salads so need an endless supply. I will not be planting it into a flowerbed this year as the potted version is doing fine. The lilac sprout was taken from an existing tree and is doing well in this pot. Once I have decided where its permanent home will be I shall plant it out.

I treated myself to a Black-Eyed Susan and hung it in the verandah, this is the view from inside, isn’t it stunning? The bees love it too.

We have a top garden that is full of blossom trees looking beautiful in the spring. The top garden is a future project, once we have sorted the lower gardens.

Wooden Leftovers

My clever husband decided to make a couple of window boxes from wood left over from our verandah. I had been asking him for ages for something to house my geraniums in and to add a bit of colour to our newly decorated home. I was extremely pleased with the results fitting on the windowsills perfectly. He also made a bird box for the resident bird population. We love to sit with our morning coffee and watch their activity.

The bird box made from leftover wood housed in the eaves of our well

We have fruit trees in our vegetable plot, almond, apple and cherry and just recently added some raspberry canes. I hope to add a plum tree at the end of this season.

I shall be updating the garden progress regularly and show you other parts of our massive garden. I hope you have enjoyed my start to the busy growing season…lots of work and weeding ahead.

Do you have a large garden, what do you use it for, I would be interested to know?

My Gardening

How to Recycle Cow Manure and Eggshells for a Healthy Garden!

Eggs are inexpensive and are an effective source of protein

But did you know eggshells are useful too?

Egg Shells

Eggshells are a brilliant way to add calcium to your soil and they decompose very quickly. Wash the eggshells and air dry them (couple of days) then crush finely and store in a jar. I shall be adding crumbled eggshells directly to the bottom of my tomato and pepper planting holes before I plant them out, they will appreciate the extra calcium. It will also help in healthy growth of the tomato plant and develop its resistance to diseases, especially blossom end rot which occurs when there is a lack of calcium.

We eat dozens of eggs and have plenty of shells

Mother birds need lots of calcium in their diets. You can help! Sterilise eggshells by baking on baking sheets for around 10 minutes at 120 degrees Celsius, so the shells are dry, but not brown on the inside. Crumble your eggshells well and place them outdoors (in a feeder or even just on the ground) this will attract the birds for a nutritious treat. You can also mix the eggshell crumbles with birdseed, suet, or mealworms in a bird feeder.

Cow Manure

A great way to fertilise your garden

Our village cow farmer was kind enough to let us have some rotted manure he had sitting in one of his fields. We have used it all over the garden, on flower beds, the veggie plot, the fruit trees and raised beds.

Vegetables that like lots of manure are potatoes and marrows/courgettes/pumpkins. It’s the root crops that you should avoid manuring altogether such as carrots, parsnips, radish or swede as it causes the root to ‘fork’. Also onions don’t need manuring either.

Cow manure is a nutrient-rich fertilizer and contains high levels of ammonia and potentially dangerous pathogens. For this reason, it’s usually recommended that it be aged or composted for at least 6 months prior to using it.

We fertilise our fruit trees in the spring to early summer but no later than July. We don’t want our fruit trees growing vigorously when they are supposed to be shutting down for winter!

I love to be able to recycle things and use them to our advantage. it makes sense. Just to add, we have a dehumidifier inside the house and save the water collected to water our indoor plants! Every recycle is a good recycle. Do you have any recycling hacks for the garden? I would love to hear from you if you do.

My Gardening

Why you should not hate your Dandelions

We live in the countryside, we have a huge garden, we are gardeners. Just this week in Hungary the sun has been kind and all sorts of plants and flowers are coming alive and bursting into colour. Our lawn (well area of grass!) is awash with bright yellow dandelions. They are the first cheerful signs of spring and living where we do accept they are part of the landscape.

Many gardeners frown upon this rampant plant and make great attempts to eradicate this supposedly troublesome weed. However, this ‘weed’ is a vital nectar source to many animals just coming out of winter hibernation looking for valuable food sources, in particular honeybees.

Dandelion’s common name comes from the leaves’ jagged appearance. The Normans called it dent de lion, or lion’s tooth. English speakers twisted the name into what we know today. 

Interestingly, dandelion flowers also give off ethylene gas at sunset, the same gas given off by ripening fruit. Dandelions are sometimes used in orchards to increase the rate of ripening.

Dandelions actually fertilise the grass, their wide spreading roots loosen hard packed soil and aerate the earth. Also a mass display of yellow bobbing dandelions actually is very pleasant to look at. When they seed and become puffballs children love telling the time with them using them as dandelion clocks or making secret wishes whilst blowing them from their stems.

Of course, you can also eat dandelions in a variety of ways but if you value your honey, please leave at least a few to spread and multiply in your garden, you will be doing the bees a huge favour.

My Gardening

Purple Dead Nettle – What Is It and How To Use It?

Also Known as ‘Self-Heal’, Red Dead-Nettle, Purple Archangel

Purple Dead Nettle (Lamium purpureum) is a very common plant, often referred to as a weed found mostly in Europe and Asia.

It is quite likely you have seen this pretty plant growing in the wild but unlikely to be able to identify it.

Purple Dead-Nettle is not only a wild edible green, but also a highly nutritious superfood. The leaves and stems are edible, with the purple tops having a slightly sweet taste. It has a mild, slightly grassy, pleasant floral flavour.

Purple Dead-Nettle you may be surprised to know is part of the mint family although it doesn’t have a minty taste. You can forage for it in the wild, in meadows, roadsides and edges of forests, or you may find it growing in a neglected part of your garden. It gets its name because the leaves look like the common stinging nettle but thankfully does not have the painful sting.

It’s delicate purple flowers will attract the bees to your garden and is one of the first flowers along with dandelions to pop up in the springtime. The pollen is red and is sometimes seen on the heads of bees.

Purple Dead-Nettle is very easy to grow from seed and thrives in full sun or partial shade. Collect the seeds to spread around your garden for next year. They prefer neutral to slightly alkaline soil, so if you live in an area with limestone these are the perfect conditions. We live in Hungary and the soil around us is heavy with lime, so ideal. As it grows it forms colourful clusters of purple blooms that cover the ground.

Harvest when the plants are still young by just taking the top leaves and the stalks because as the season progresses the stems become somewhat tougher. The plant is highly nutritious, having an abundance of vitamins particularly vitamin C, along with iron and fiber, while the oil in its seeds are packed with powerful antioxidants.

It has many culinary uses and can be added to stir-frys, salads, soups, or made into a nutritious tea or healthy smoothie.

This plant is also renowned for its medicinal benefits, said to be anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antifungal. It is also a diuretic, and an astringent. Drinking in a tea or added to a smoothie may be the simplest way to enjoy it’s benefits, although it may also have a laxative effect if used in large amounts. It’s also good for the kidneys and may help with seasonal allergies.

The leaves of the purple Dead-Nettle plant can be placed on wounds or cuts to stop bleeding, and its vitamin C content works to help boost the immune system and fight infection.

Such a wonderful wild little plant, who would have known it has so many beneficial uses.

My Gardening

Starting with Seeds

What a treat it is to grow your own food, the satisfaction is enormous.

As a beginner gardener I used to buy numerous packets of seeds, browsing through catalogues and gazing at the vast varieties available at the garden centres. Now a little more experienced I have come to realise you can grow lots of fruits and vegetables just buy collecting their seeds. Great if you buy a tasty variety and want to grow future crops.

We like spicy food in our family and Hungary is the perfect place to experiment with the wide variety of peppers available. Having bought some spicy paprika peppers I immediately started collecting their seeds. Hungary is famous for hot paprika. The paprika peppers are known as spice peppers. They are easy and very interesting to grow. In the earlier stages, these peppers are a dark green, but when ripe, they are an impressive red. Boldog Hungarian Spice pepper comes from a small but well known spice pepper district northeast of Budapest around the towns of Boldog and Cece. We live thirty minutes from this area. The fruits are 1-1/2 inches wide and about 7 inches long. Growers let them turn dark red and dry on the plant or pick them and thread them on a string. Then allow them to dry, villagers sometimes hang them around their houses making an interesting picture. They are then ready to grind into powder.  

So, having decided to collect the seeds, I washed and dried them out, laying them on a piece of kitchen towel for about a week. Once dried I planted one seed per pot with general purpose potting compost. Now three weeks later they are sitting on a sunny windowsill until the danger of frosts have passed. I shall then transplant them to their final position to grow and bloom.

As a final tip, once you have collected your seeds, package and label them so you are sure to know what you are growing in the future.