Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Secrets of the Cosmos

Ssshhhh don't let anyone know, but a made a bit of a boob this year. I don't grow any ornamentals at the allotment but I've been experimenting at home.  This year I tried Cosmos for the first time. The seedlings were small and herb like (dill?) by the time I planted them out in pride of place at the front of the borders around the garden.  The lime green clump in the middle of the picture below is how they look today:

Cosmos To The Fore

This is after hacking back half of the clump by half it's height in order to give its neighbours (Calendula, Nigella, Nasturtiums) a fighting chance. To no avail. Checking the seed packet it does say height 120cm.These are a bit more than that even.

Another Cosmos Bed

As always I was a bit slow in getting started with the seed sowing in spring, so sadly one clump in a shadier patch have not even flowered yet!

Once they flower they do have their charm

But next year I will "adjust my planting plan accordingly".

Saturday, 22 October 2016

Hanging Around


A Week Ago
Some progress to report on the greenhouse ripening of outdoor tomatoes.  Sungold: Over a dozen ripened.  Stripey: two have started blushing Sam Marzano: all green.

There is another crop currently hanging around.

These are Canadian Wonder Bean pods.  With the weather turning cold and wet there is the distinct danger of them going mouldy outside so I've picked any mature pods and brought them indoors to hang off the kitchen airer  in these string bags which are ideal for the purpose. They should be ready for podding in a couple of weeks but I will leave them for a month to ensure the beans have dried out properly before podding them.

Together with the Onions and Garlic crops there's a lot of hanging around at this time of year!

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

A Little Bird Told Me...

Looking up today (prompted by the honking noises) there was a sure sign that winter is on the way:

Skein of Geese

And  then arriving at the allotment there was an unusual "guest" hotfooting it. 

Plucky Pheasant

Never seen one "in town" before

I'm told that the Augurs interpreted bird behaviour as a way of divining the future. I could do with one just now.

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Harvest Monday - Reports of Their Demise Have Bean Greatly Exaggerated

Surprised to find that although the cold nights have frazzled the outer courgette leaves the runner beans are still producing some new flowers and pods.  The Joan J raspberries continue to astound! (Today I've taken the nets off the fruit cage to allow the birds the last pickings.)

Monday, 17 October 2016

How Green Is My.... Greenhouse?

Yes I've given up on my outdoor tomatoes, now granted refuge from the elements indoors



Less than a week ago I picked the last of the runner beans and (nearly) the last of the raspberries:

September 2016 has been the warmest on record (globally) but the sweetcorn doesn't seem to have got the message:

Perfectly formed ,,, but immature, as you can see from the one I've picked and stripped. Maybe next year...  maybe not.

Thursday, 6 October 2016

How Long.... Can This Be Going On

It is October and the greenhouse tomatoes (grown rather late from seed) have started ripening ...

...and some are still flowering.

(There are over twenty pairs on some of the Sungold trusses)

There's even a chance that the outdoor San Mazarno might yet ripen.


Well maybe once they are harvested and brought into the warmth of the kitchen. Otherwise it will be green tomato chutney time.

I just can't believe how long they (and summer) are hanging on for.

Wednesday, 5 October 2016


Last June I sunk a plastic half barrel into the ground

By July the water had cleared and I added a waterlily.  (Foolhardy perhaps as it wasn't a dwarf waterlily)

The neighbourhood rabbit ate the first few leaves, but now the pond looks like this:

There is a balance between the 6 plants (including the floating oxygenator)  which I suspect will be harder to maintain in future years. Still all would be forgiven if the lily were to produce a flower next year!