Wednesday, 27 May 2020

Allotment Tour 27/5/20

 Here is the current state of play in my warts and all circuit of the plot:

Rhubarb is at one end (together with a globe artichoke).  The bare patch before the blueberry pen and strawberries is my aspiring asparagus patch.

...beyond which is the potato patch...

...then peas and beans (with their scrap heap supports) ...

...climbing beans and cucurbits (currently finding their feet under netting). The cages are protecting celeriac. ...

Beyond that is currently a sight for sore eyes - soon to house sweetcorn and my brassica patch.

That takes you from end to end on one side.  Heading back along the other side in the reverse direction you start with the fruit cage.  This is three bays (Berries/Raspberries/Strawberries)...

...but the last (former strawberry bay) now has been given over to new salad sowings...

We are big on carrots - but so is the carrot root fly so they have to be covered .

Bringing up the rear are the alliums.  Onions to the left, garlic and elephant garlic to the right.

That gets you back to the shed!

Thank you for visiting my site!

Monday, 18 May 2020


Due to our not being out and about we missed this year's big event on our local pond.  These cygnets must be a week old.  Nine is an impressive clutch!

Just to give an idea of context here's a wider view.

Saturday, 16 May 2020

What's Growin On?

If you want to hear me uming and awing my way through an interview, here's your opportunity:

The following item about Butterfly Ways is inspirational.  I think they are known as Pathways for Pollinators here in the UK.  This was very much the thinking behind the patch of grass next to the school which we sowed up with a wildflower meadow mix last autumn.

Here's how it looked yesterday:

Compared to how it looked last September!

And here is a picture from the day it was sown:

There is rather too much grass in the mix for my liking, given the effort involved in removing the course grass in the first place.  I guess the fringe shows what the original grass was like, and there are flowers appearing in amongst the lime green new grass.

In case you are wondering about the lack of close ups, although there is a public path alongside access has become a little more complicated with the school gate being locked

Friday, 15 May 2020

Let's Go!

Beans awaiting release!

The weatherman advises that the risk of frost is past!  It's time to release those cramped plants from their night time confinement in the greenhouse. 20 cucurbits went off to the school garden today. More to the allotment over the weekend. Time to sow  the sweetcorn.  Time to reconfigure the greenhouse shelves for tomatoes and peppers and cucumber.  Also the last impediment to direct sowing has been removed. 

Cucurbits for the Allotment 

Dwarf French Beans and Italian Climbers (Barlotti)

Peas and leeks at the ready

Brassica seedlings 

A selection of flower seedlings itching to be released!

 The song should be "Happy Days Are Here Again" but I have gone for something more contemporary:

Tuesday, 5 May 2020

Plants on Lockdown

Peppers, tomatoes, courgettes, cucumbers and squash.

The greenhouse plants are growing on ...

More tomatoes, peppers, squash

...and I would dearly like to move them on...

Flowers seedlings, basil and celeriac (top right)

..but this weekend we are threatened with the possibility of a frost....

Flower seedlings and veg too I am having to improvise with the overspill...

Mostly Hardy perennials 

... and bring some indoors for the night.

Flowers Lobelia, Cerastium, Lobelia, Tagetes

Once the seedlings move on I will have room to set out the tomatoes peppers and cucumbers in the vacated space.

At least I held off sowing the sweetcorn until now!

Monday, 4 May 2020

Asparagus on Hold

Guelph Millenium

It's that DeDaaah moment: my own asparagus.  But this is not a tale of unbridled triumphalism. Oh no.  I've been through too much for that.  The long and the short is not to believe those merchants of false hope when they tell you that modern varieties of asparagus can be planted out in the autumn (fall).   One year I tried it.  Three rows - three varieties - two year old hands.  I poured my heart and soul,  together with copious amounts of well rotted farmyard manure, into preparing a bed for them. It was a complete now show.

Guelph Eclipse

Any sensible person would have admitted defeat and adopted another strategy.  But not I.  I went and bought another three the following year (from a different source). 5 or six per row.  That was two years ago.

Purple variety. Pacific?

Last year I detected one plant per row.  Ever so carefully I weeded around them as if they were babies surrounded gnashing lions.  Would they survive a second winter on the plot?  As the first three pictures attest, Yes they would!  For another year I am not cutting any but encouraging them to grow stronger.

Guelph Millenium with label

Also last year I sowed asparagus from seed  (Connovers Collosal) and overwintered outdoors in the shade of our house.  It was not collosal (yet) but it has produced tiny tiny shoots this spring.  So now I have something to fill the rest of the rows with their solitary specimens. Here's how the bed looked just before planting.

One day I will get to taste home grown asparagus. If I hold on long enough!

And by the way: Spring is the time to plant out asparagus in Scotland.

Wednesday, 29 April 2020

Sourdough a Go-Go

As an interlude from hectic gardening we have been honing our sourdough skills:
Step 3
To do full credit to the two bags of strong white bread flour gifted  by our daughter we dusted off and refloured our banneton.

Step 1
 Then comes the risky bit where you tip it out onto a baking tray, trying to avoid it becoming a big flat pancake!  All went well.

Step 2
 Sourdough a Go-Go