Category Archives: What’s happening now

The big tomatoey bang!

Tomatoes, squashes and crazy corn
All the colours of the rainbow have given me such a thrill in my vegetable kingdom. Tomatoes are just doing their last show and what a lovely season its been. My best tomatoes were in a pot by the front door. I planted up all different shapes and sizes and they looked good all together. The ones in the greenhouse looked permently scruffy and this is the second year that I have thought that I’m not going to bother with toms in the green house, I’m sticking with sweet peppers.

They roll about the kitchen and get squashed
They roll about the kitchen and get squashed

I’m also not doing those little currant ones next year because they roll about the kitchen and I’m forever treading on them. My beefstakes are the best and well worth the effort.

A muddle of tomatoes have been lovely this season
A muddle of tomatoes have been lovely this season
Nice and tidy with freshly barked paths
Nice and tidy my bark paths are such a good idea
Cougettes are still developing and the squashes are ready
Cougettes are still developing and the squashes are ready

Back at home and my little garden is starting to look all Japanesey.
I purchased another little baby acer because I can see that a larger one is looking a bit straggy and I dont think it will last the winter. I topped the whole scene off with a very gracefull white Japanese Anemone. I think all I need to complete the look is a Tsukubai water feature. But I wonder if all that will happen is the cat will be in it! (She loves drinking the filthiest water!)

japanesey
My japanese style garden

I think its also because I do like a bit of order in the garden. Its probably a control thing. I can’t control cats or people but I can at least control the garden. This brings me neatly onto the subject of the plant rack. See what I mean about order?

A refreshing dollop of elegant green and white. That is if its possible to dollop elegance!
A refreshing dollop of elegant green and white. That is if its possible to dollop elegance!

Now, quirky veg! A friend grew some gemstone maize….AMAIZING!

Amazing colours of Gem stone maize!
Amazing colours of Gem stone maize!

 

June 2016

June and at the plot its rain, rain rain and all the veggies are planted out, hooray….
…and then it rained. Then it got cold. Then it rained and more storms, and more cold. I thought nothing would survive this amount of rain and so cold that I even had the log burner on at home. I mean its JUNE ffs!
I fretted for my squash, cried for the courgettes and could stand it no longer. So I took a trip with a heavy heart, to the allotment to survey the damage. 😦 and guess what it’s all there! AND not dead!
plot juneJPG

Whats more some flowers were blooming away and just begged to be picked. Oh what a lovely sight.first posy
Cornflowers in three different colours, cosmos looking perfect despite the windy weather. But an incredible rhubarb flower was just asking to complete my first posy of the season. So pretty.

The first of many to come.
The first of many to come.

The first proper trug-load was filled with broad beans and broccoli, the flavour of the broccoli is amazing when you grow your own.

Plant sale
I was happy to donate some of my young plants to a charity plant sale. The proceeds are to help fund a young person on a trip to Africa to help build classrooms for schools. This will be an eye-opener for this young person as they’ll experience two weeks without wifi and see a world so different to ours. I hope it will be character building as well as fascinating.

Plants donated.
Plants donated.

Digging the paths out! Ouch!

The weeds are just as lush as the veg.
The weeds are just as lush as the veg.

Was it really wise to decide to do major lugging about when it has been raining so much. Silly me thought that I could get stuff done while it was cooler. But lugging sodden-with-rain sacks of bark is, in fact twice as hard. Even the chap at the garden center struggled to help me load the sacks into the car. Problem is that the paths at the allotment were getting knee high in weeds. The previous weeds suppressant was over 7 years old and never been covered in bark so it was only a matter of time before the weeds broke through. Still progress, though, and might take a break in the weather to finish off.

Bark paths do look very smart, just need to get the rest done.
Bark paths do look very smart, just need to get the rest done.

JULY 2016

It’s July and summer brought a heatwave then; rain & sun = lush!
We have crops! We have loads of leafy growth everywhere but when its hot its hard to get the energy to tender the garden.
But I have a jungle which is cool….

Agapanthas is about to burst into flower!
Agapanthus is about to burst into flower!

Up at the lottie

Purple Shiraz 'touts
Purple Shiraz ‘touts

Lots of crops are giving up their veggie delights. Mange tout Shiraz has been nice, though not that abundant. But easy to spot, always a bonus. Other peas have just disappeared altogether. but very please with rainbow chard that has self seeded from last year. Every evening I visit the plot for my dinner, little and often is the way I harvest.

Daily pickings
Daily pickings
Onions are asking to be taken home...
Onions are asking to be taken home…
Cosmos Xanthos, sweetcorn and poached egg plant is my yellow theme this year
Cosmos Xanthos, sweetcorn and poached egg-plant is my yellow theme this year
The succulent wreath is nearly two years old. She a bit delicate now and lives in the greenhouse
The succulent wreath is nearly two years old. Sh’s a bit delicate now and lives in the greenhouse

November 2015

Berries featured image

Mirrors, berries and a hitch-hiker snail

Isn’t November beautiful! Fabulous colours and amazing berries. I picked some red and yellow ones from a Rowan tree and spent a fun half-hour arranging them in vases. My pink cosmos had its last picking and now the cold has just got too much for them. They have been an absolute delight, and have pride of place on the dresser.

My never ending worship at the altar of cosmos.
My never ending worship at the altar of cosmos.
Rowan berries below my painting of a red pepper.
Rowan berries below my painting of a red pepper.
The mind of a crazy person. The cosmos looks the biz.
The mind of a crazy person. The cosmos looks the biz.

Reflecting glory
Top of my list this month was to finish painting a mirror and install it on the wall above the patio table and chairs. It’s painted in a colour to match the kitchen and so as you look through the French doors, it looks like the kitchen is extended. It looks even better than I had imagined. The mirror reflects the sunlight wall opposite and bounces the light into this otherwise shaded area.

Mirror brings life to a bare shady wall.
Mirror brings life to a bare shady wall.
Before.
Before.

It is also fun having a display of the season on the table. My pumpkins weren’t that good to carve but look positively stunning used as planters. The orange meant a home for my continuing successful supply of ophiopogon black grass.

A visit to a garden center procured some Blue Cushion sedum. These coupled with Aloe Vera and other grey succulents (that have names that are impossible to pronounce) all make a lovely autumnal display.

When they haven't made the grade, plant them up. Funky hair-dos and crazy plants will last all November long.
My pumpkins haven’t made the grade, but worry ye not, plant them up is the answer. Funky hair-dos and crazy plants will last all November long.

Plotting revenge

Goal post moved, yeah right!
Goal post moved, yeah right!

Up at the allotment it is easy to get distracted as the neighbouring plot holder’s son still continues to play football. This drives me crazy, as the ball has landed on my veggie beds several times. Whenever I complain, however politely, he and his wife are so rude. This time he thought it really clever to move the goalposts to the other side but same distance from my plot. What do I do now? The problem with privately run allotments is that in this case, there are no formal rules. The plot manager says he’ll talks to these people over the winter. I shall keep my ranting to Facebook.

Baby beans!
Baby beans!

Successes abound with my broad beans germinating! How delightful and so encouraging to see new life in late autumn. Leeks are harvesting, and occasionally I’ll bring home a hitch hiker-snail that is highly amusing for the cat. Broccoli is still yielding and the evidence of Brussels sprouts nestling in their hiding places is so pleasing to see.

We can see you, right at the top!
We can see you, right at the top!

Refreshing pots.
I needed to replace some plants on the rack be the front door and so pansies to match the purple door seemed proper. Plus the great thing about having a potting bench as its somewhere to put your entire garden center buys until I have a chance to plant them! Luxury.

Pansies in the porch.
Pansies in the porch.
Ones purchases. Arranged.
Ones purchases. Arranged.
Skirt and welly choice in perfect harmony.
Skirt and welly choice in perfect harmony.

Gill

OCTOBER 2015

ENVY, FOOLISHNESS AND TRIUMPHS

Oh cobblers!
Oh cobblers!

Why has it been extra hard this year at the allotment? Some of it has been my fault, I’ll grant you. Like daring to go on holiday without inspecting the sweet corn. Then discovering that they had rotted on their cobs. Damn! Then I had great hopes for my pumpkins, as previous years have been good. But no, three tiddly ones, and to rub it in the neighbours pumpkin sits there all fat and proud. Grrr!

So what can I do to console myself? Harvest my successes and arrange them dramatically on the potting bench. See now I’m happier.

Hours of fun arranging this lot
Hours of fun arranging this lot
Potting bench cum wood store is a useful space for your pride and joy.
Potting bench cum wood store is a useful space for your pride and joy.

I am pleased with the tomatoes, chilies, peppers, cucumbers, butternut squash and spinach. But feel rotten about the courgettes, parsnips that did not show, or carrots, or French beans, or potatoes, ugly cauliflowers, stringy mange tout and sweet peas that died a papery death.

I haven’t given up hope on the broccoli, or leeks, then onions were OK, but strawberries weren’t. It’s had its ups and downs all right. Not to mention kids vandalizing behavior, aaagh!

All the ingredients for a yummy sauce.
All the ingredients for a yummy sauce.

The glut of tomatoes have been a treasure as I’ve discovered that slow roasting them with a dash of balsamic vinegar and olive oil has resulted in splendid tomato sauce. And last but not least cosmos, you beauty! Weeks of neglect and you still carry on blooming. My lovely succulents, the wreath, all gorgeous.

Phew, there is hope after all. (Had me going just then)

Cosmos cupcake

Succulent wreath is thriving well.
Succulent wreath is thriving well.

Pumpkin plan
It can’t have escaped your notice that pretty soon we will all be carving pumpkins. But what shall I do with such sorry specimens? Hmm, I’ve been thinking and researching and have compiled a board on pintrest. And here they are, no carving but a planters instead.

What do you do when your pumpkins, that you spent all summer growing, don't make the grade? Plant them up and they'll last all though November!
What do you do when your pumpkins, that you spent all summer growing, don’t make the grade? Plant them up and they’ll last all though November!

Gill

OCTOBER 2015

ENVY, FOOLISHNESS AND TRIUMPHS

Oh cobblers!
Oh cobblers!

Why has it been extra hard this year at the allotment? Some of it has been my fault, I’ll grant you. Like daring to go on holiday without inspecting the sweet corn. Then discovering that they had rotted on their cobs. Damn! Then I had great hopes for my pumpkins, as previous years have been good. But no, three tiddly ones, and to rub it in the neighbours pumpkin sits there all fat and proud. Grrr!

So what can I do to console myself? Harvest my successes and arrange them dramatically on the potting bench. See now I’m happier.

Hours of fun arranging this lot
Hours of fun arranging this lot
Potting bench cum wood store is a useful space for your pride and joy.
Potting bench cum wood store is a useful space for your pride and joy.

I am pleased with the tomatoes, chilies, peppers, cucumbers, butternut squash and spinach. But feel rotten about the courgettes, parsnips that did not show, or carrots, or French beans, or potatoes, ugly cauliflowers, stringy mange tout and sweet peas that died a papery death.

I haven’t given up hope on the broccoli, or leeks, then onions were OK, but strawberries weren’t. It’s had its ups and downs all right. Not to mention kids vandalizing behavior, aaagh!

All the ingredients for a yummy sauce.
All the ingredients for a yummy sauce.

The glut of tomatoes have been a treasure as I’ve discovered that slow roasting them with a dash of balsamic vinegar and olive oil has resulted in splendid tomato sauce. And last but not least cosmos, you beauty! Weeks of neglect and you still carry on blooming. My lovely succulents, the wreath, all gorgeous.

Phew, there is hope after all. (Had me going just then)

Cosmos cupcake

Succulent wreath is thriving well.
Succulent wreath is thriving well.

Pumpkin plan
It can’t have escaped your notice that pretty soon we will all be carving pumpkins. But what shall I do with such sorry specimens? Hmm, I’ve been thinking and researching and have compiled a board on pintrest. And here they are, no carving but a planters instead.

What do you do when your pumpkins, that you spent all summer growing, don't make the grade? Plant them up and they'll last all though November!
What do you do when your pumpkins, that you spent all summer growing, don’t make the grade? Plant them up and they’ll last all though November!

Gill