Flowers in Bloom.

Hello again my gardening friends. Here is just a short little update on what is growing Mid July.. As I tackle this new block editor and experiment for a short while. I am not spending much time on my computer these last few weeks. As I escape the outer world to travel to my inner world. I hope you enjoy the photos, as I send my well wishes to you all. Have a wonderful rest of July… And Stay Blessed.

The Dahlia’s, are now in bloom, and the sweet peas are just magnificent, just as I had imagined them into being when I first planted them. I am using the block template of adding the photos…. I came across it by accident as I clicked here and there and so experimented with it… The group of photo styles comes under Collage, and you have several options to choose from. If you click the images it brings them larger and the background now merges with the picture image…. Cool…..

Tomatoes.

The tomatoes are now ripening

And we are enjoying Summer salads with Lemon Cucumbers, courgettes, spring onions, Lettuce and radish, all from the plot to plate.

Chelsea Buns

After visiting Robbie’s Blog last month, and she shared a lovely recipe of her Chelsea Buns, I thought I would give them a go. Here they are and as you can see they turned out ok.. In fact they tasted so good I have since made them again. If you visit Robbie’s Inspiration’s Blog, you will find some amazing fondant sculptures and beautiful stories too. Thank you Robbie ūüėä

The Garden Pond

We have a small garden pond with several Shubunkins a type of Gold fish… The fountain broke during lock-down, and we have only just replaced it.. Here you can see the Water Lilies now starting to bloom…

Well that is all for now… As I head on out to soak up some Vitamin D. Sunshine.

Take care of yourselves.. and remember ………..

‚ÄúTo be nobody but yourself in a world that‚Äôs doing its best to make you somebody else, is to fight the hardest battle you are ever going to fight. Never stop fighting.‚ÄĚ

~ E. E. Cummings (1894-1962), poet, essayist, and playwright

Keeping Weed Free

Purple sprouting broccoliAllotment

Click photo’s to enlarge them.

I love this time of year when we begin to harvest the crops. And covering our Brassica family up to stop pests from Spring with nets has certainly reduced the influx of caterpillars and white fly.

Broccoli and Cauliflowers

Broccoli and Cauliflowers

We are also happy with the way our Allotment Greenhouse is ripening our tomatoes and they are further forward than our greenhouse tomatoes at home.

We uncovered the Chard from the nets and I set too to weed between them. This veggie is so versatile. we enjoy the young leaves in Salads, but its wonderful steamed like spinach

Rainbow Chard

Rainbow Chard

Peas

Peas

The Pea rows are now in flower and producing pods, But to be honest this is not our best year for peas, the small covered¬† cloche¬† to the right is another Pea row. Again these have not germinated well. It appears many of us got our peas from the allotment association and many of us have had the same problem of poor germination. I had to re-set the row you see growing as it began life as two rows of 3 a breast.. But so many didn’t grow I transferred into one long row.¬†¬† I will be¬† uncovering weeding and seeing how these have done this week.

 

New rows of Beets and carrots, You can also see how the sweetcorn is growing and you may just make out the thin blades of Leeks .

New rows of Beets and carrots, You can also see how the sweetcorn is growing and you may just make out the thin blades of Leeks . The plants in the foreground are  Celeriac . In the background are the potatoes  and manure heap under the blue tarpaulin 

Keeping the above weed free is a full-time job. no sooner have you finished one part of the allotment than another is ready for clearing.  This is what I have been up to most days of this week. And my back now knows about it.

Turnips

Turnips

The blue tarpaulin you can see at the top of the large picture above on our plot is the left over manure from the trailer load we had delivered last year.  We were amazed at how much was still left over.

My Hubby decided to move it as we had several empty compost bins.. He filled seven and still there was some left over. Each Bin contains 8 barrow loads of Muck, He moved around 60 barrow loads over a two-day period.

Some of you have been asking for an idea of how large the allotments are and how big our plots are..

I hope in the next post to have taken a few pictures to give a better understanding of our Allotments Association . And how because most of us have not got fences, how difficult it is to stop those wishing to take what you have grown.

Until next Time

Happy Gardening !

~Sue~

 

 

Great Growing Weather

Well we have gone from Cold to Warm and Wet in a matter of weeks. As the UK is hit by rains, flash floods and thunderstorms almost none stop for over a week now.

But the weather has also been humid too, so although my flowers in my home garden have taken a bit of a bashing, the allotment plot is thriving.. Plus we have only had to water the green house.. So a bonus on not carrying cans of water.

I can not believe how fast June is speeding away, as on Tuesday of next week it will be Summer Solstice on the 21st.  Half way through the year, where did those last 6 months go?

Here is my updates in picture format and everything is coming along as they say in leaps and bounds..

Potato crop

The Potatoes are thriving with all the rain we have had.

Veggies, Sweetcorn

Bottom left corner is the parsnips, then two rows of turnips, and two rows of beetroot. The square of Sweetcorn are growing, I also planted a couple of Sunflowers amongst them

Tiny Leeks

You can barely see them, But here are the leeks, we planted them at intervals. The Three black pots you can see in the ground are courgettes.. We were protecting them from slugs until they get going.

Tiny Leeks

You can barely see them, But here are the leeks, we planted them at intervals. The Three black pots you can see in the ground are courgettes.. We were protecting them from slugs until they get going.

Peas

Here you see my rows of peas, I have now netted them with wire and string to help them grow upward. You will see lots of plastic bottles on ends of sticks.. Its our allotment rules cover canes to avoid poked eyes.. You can soon not see a stick when focusing on a weed when you bend down.. These white poles are metal, so are also sharp on the ends..

Dahlia's

What a difference a week makes, I can not believe how these have grown in a week.. I also took out all of the weeds around them last week, just look how the weeds have grown in a couple of days

Strawberry bed

We made a lovely little frame for the netting to go over the strawberries.. Most have now set, so to keep birds from them they are now netted.

Fruit Bushes

Here is the Fruit section, the one I tackled last time with the fork in the ground.. You can now see how I weeded out near the flag stones, and how my Hubby has put netting over the Blueberry bushes now the flowers are set.

The space at the back of the sheds

This was redug out again, and we have planted butternut squashes in there. We put bottles into the ground when it was dry to allow water to soak into the roots and not get mildew on the leaves.. Since we did that, we have had rain none stop nearly for a week.. We left the Nasturtiums in from seed set last year. You can see the Old rickerty shed is still standing.. Soon to be demolished when we are on top of everything else.

Mr Friendly Toad

This lovely Mr Toad is most welcome on our plot.. He is sat on top of the net above our lettuce’s He never moved an inch either when my hubby moved the net to pick one. He will eat the slugs and pests and he looks to be thriving..

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend and

Happy Gardening 

~Sue~

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s June but with Temperatures of December.

I set too and weeded out all of the grass that had grown.

I set too and weeded out all of the grass that had grown  among the raspberries.

Hello my fellow gardener’s, well it is June already, although someone forgot to tell Mother Nature, as the Temperature here in our part of the UK was 2 deg’s lower than on Christmas Day on June the 1st.

But it has not stopped the work going on in the Allotment Plot. Click onto photo’s to enlarge.

I have been weeding none stop every morning all week, while Hubby has dug the piece  behind the shed, preparing it for butternut squash. We also put up a net around our redcurrents, and a lock was put in to stop the greenhouse door being opened.. Sadly we still have a thief who is helping themselves to various things, A fellow allotment holder a few plots away from us had his Green house heater stolen, ( while it was lit ) and they helped themselves to some slab stones. If they really want things a lock will not stop them but it makes things a bit more difficult to steal. 

There has been lots of rain towards the end of May so its been good for the garden, meaning we have not had to carry buckets of water. The Brassica’s have all really grown.

The strawberry plants this year are doing much better than last year.. We dug up last years bed and repositioned it, and used the runners off of last years plants for the new plants.. They are coming into flower now. As are the Loganberries and the Raspberries.

 

 

The sweetcorn now is in.

The sweetcorn now is in.

Above you see the sweetcorn is now planted, we were a bit worried when the temperatures dropped, they have turned a little yellow since taking this photo but they are growing.. We have since added in front of it carrots  of various colours. and some leeks

I weeded out the Turnips and the beetroot. to the right is parsnips, I weeded those out today as now I can see them to weed between.

I weeded out the Turnips and the beetroot. to the right is parsnips, I weeded those out today as now I can see them to weed between.

It has been a busy week with lots of aches, but I have slept like a baby.. Its been good to get back on the plot and get it looking more ship shape.

Have a wonderful weekend  and

Happy Gardening!

~Sue~

 

Green Tomato Chutney

I now have 3 trays such as this ripening in the greenhouse. These tomatoes were grown outdoors among the veggies, and as its going colder would not finish ripening without help .. Looks like chutney is on the menu :-)

I now have 3 trays such as this ripening in the greenhouse. These tomatoes were grown outdoors among the veggies, and as its going colder would not finish ripening without help .. Looks like chutney is on the menu ūüôā

I don’t know about any of you gardener’s out there but the Tomatoes have taken a while to ripen here in the UK at least.. Due to it not being a very warm Summer. The tomatoes which grew in the ground in the allotments were gathered up and I used some to make chutney with¬†

An Ideal job on a rainy day, to spend it in the kitchen .

So I thought I would share a very simple recipe with you all. 

Tomato Chutney ingredients

The ingredients you will need all chopped and prepared

You will need. 

3lb-1-5kg of Green Firm Tomatoes- ( do not use damaged or soft ones ) 

1lb-450g of Cooking Apples 

1lb-450g Red Onions, peeled and chopped

1 head of celery chopped. ( discard the small leaves or save for soups or salads ) 

1 green jalape√Īo chilly pepper, de-seeded and chopped

2-3 large cloves of garlic peeled and chopped

1 and Half pounds -700g of Demerara Sugar 

1 teaspoon of coriander seeds, lightly pounded

1 quarter of a pint- 150ml of water

1pint-600ml of Malt Vinegar 

4 tablespoons of Balsamic Vinegar

11 ounces-300g Raisins. 

Method

Rinse and chop the tomatoes, put into a preserving pan. Peel and core the apples, chop them and add to the pan along with the chopped red onions and garlic. 

Trim the celery, discarding leaves, and add to the pan with the chopped chilli ( I didn’t have any¬†green jalape√Īo chilly pepper, so I omitted it. But I did have some chilli flakes so I added these to the coriander seeds which should be placed in a small muslin bag tied tight with string, which is then secured to the pan handle. )¬†

Stir in the Sugar, add the water, place over a gentle heat and cook until the tomatoes and apples have collapsed. The recipe said for about 30 minutes it depends I guess on how the heat is… I cooked for 40 minutes before they softened.. ( Remember to Stir at regular intervals to stop it sticking)

Tie the Coriander in muslin to the pan handle

Tie the Coriander in muslin to the pan handle

After the 30 minutes or so then add both lots of vinegars and the raisins.. return to the boil, remembering to stir, and reduce heat again and simmer for 35 to 40 minutes until the chutney consistency is reached. ¬†(Don’t forget to stir during this simmer time, I left mine a little longer between stirring and just got to it in time as the raisins started to stick, another couple of minutes and they would have burned! ) .

Almost done see from the sides of the pan how its reduced.

Almost done!. see from the sides of the pan how its reduced 

Cool slightly and discard the coriander seeds. Then pot into sterilised Jars and label as normal..

All finished and these will make a lovely stocking filler for Christmas along with any Jam you have made

All finished and these will make a lovely stocking filler for Christmas along with any Jam you have made

Enjoy! 

Happy Cooking! 

 

Clearing and Creating

As promised I will tell you what I have been up to this will take the form of Two posts over the next couple of days,  and I will let the pictures tell their own story. 

The flag stones were dug up from near the shed and moved to form a base for greenhouse

The flag stones were dug up from near the shed and moved to form the base.

We were lucky enough to buy a second hand greenhouse recently, it had a few panes of glass missing.. but it was a great bargain not to be missed.

Both Hubby and I erected the frame.. The sides are up!

Both Hubby and I erected the frame.. The sides are up!

Roof now on and some panes of glass are in on the roof

Roof now on and some panes of glass are in on the roof

Hooks placed between flag stones to help secure frame

Hooks placed between flag stones to help secure frame

I now have 3 trays such as this ripening in the greenhouse. These tomatoes were grown outdoors among the veggies, and as its going colder would not finish ripening without help .. Looks like chutney is on the menu :-)

I now have 3 trays such as this ripening in the greenhouse. These tomatoes were grown outdoors among the veggies, and as its going colder would not finish ripening without help .. Looks like chutney is on the menu ūüôā

The Greenhouse complete with glass and sheets of hard plastic which hubby cut to size to fill in the panes which were missing. Tomatoes are ripening in trays at the bottom. These were just grown in the allotment and there will be lots for Chutney I think :-)

The Greenhouse complete the roof window in, with glass and sheets of hard plastic which hubby cut to size to fill in the 5 panes which were missing. Also we added a water barrel.. Tomatoes are ripening in trays at the bottom. These were just grown in the allotment and there will be lots for Chutney I think ūüôā ¬†You can see Hubby put a fence panel up behind the greenhouse.. This is because the ¬†shared path has an almost 1 and a Half foot drop onto our allotment side and if you were to slip!!? So Health and Safety first!..¬†

Long view of the allotments looking back on my hoeing weeds all morning.. The greenhouse can now be seen a third of the way down on the right .

Long view of the allotments looking back on my hoeing weeds all morning.. The greenhouse can now be seen a third of the way down on the right .

The Dwarf beans the seeds are drying out for next years planting on these that are left over

The Dwarf beans the seeds are drying out for next years planting on these that are left over Also Red Cabbage

The allotments are looking bare, in the forground are my wallflowers which are for my home garden. I just hoed through this.. Isn't it weed free :-)

The allotments are looking bare, in the¬†foreground¬†are my wallflowers which are for my home garden. I just hoed through¬†this.. Isn’t it weed free! ¬†ūüôā

 

The last of sweetpeas I saved a lot of the seeds, before dismantling and composting

The last of sweetpeas I saved a lot of the seeds, before dismantling and composting

 

Happy Gardening to you All 

Have a wonderful Week 

~Sue~ 

Harvesting in Pictures ~August update

Most of the time I forget to take my Camera with me to the allotments, but August has been full of harvesting.. Dwarf beans have been in abundance, and we have frozen loads.. ¬†We didn’t set so many Kidney beans as last year we were overrun with them.. But the Black-fly got to a lot of the new young beans early on so that made less of a crop.. Having said that, we have still managed to give several carry bags full away as well as eat and freeze plenty.¬†

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Dwarf Beans have been in abundance this year and this is only one picking… We have frozen many of these for our Winter veggies

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Ready for the freezer.. The tomatoes you see were given us by another allotment holder .. I gave her a bunch of Gladioli’s and Dahlia’s… We often exchange like this ,, Its good to share

Tomatoes have not ripened as well this year.. our fellow allotment friend has a poly-tunnel and so the heat in there has meant theirs have ripened well before ours in the green house  in our home  back garden . But we did a swap.. I gave her some flowers and she gave me some of her lovely tomatoes. I also gave some beans to another allotment holder and he said help myself to some of his plums as his were dropping off his tree they were so ripe. 

Tomatoes just starting to ripen, its been cooler this year earlier on and so they are now just catching up

Tomatoes just starting to ripen, its been cooler this year earlier on and so they are now just catching up

¬† Hubby took off the leaves to help the tomatoes ripen more. ¬†And we had our first cucumber too.. Sorry that’s now eaten, so no picture, ūüôā¬†

Tomatoes and cucumber plant

Tomatoes and cucumber plant

Courgettes have been plentiful, the peas not as good as last year, But we have had some lovely Cabbage ( Golden Acre Primo ) Very sweet and tender. 

The Big success this year is our carrots, in successive years the carrot fly always seemed to win, and so this year we changed our seeds..  and tried (The Autumn King ) and planted later than usual to try to avoid the carrot fly.. We also refrained from weeding along side and in the carrot row.. Hubby pulled up a handful to see how they were doing the other day and we were happy with the results 

Carrots are looking good no wire worm from the carrot fly either

Carrots are looking good no wire worm from the carrot fly either

In the picture below you will see as you compare the picture above the clearing out that was done.. I took the old Broccoli stalks up and the peas, I left some peas in their pods to dry out for planting next year.  Under the green netting is the rest of the early planted chard.. I planted more in the plot and that is now around 6inches high I have been using the small leaves in salads,  We still have loads of beetroot too.  The sweetcorn is about a week away from being ready. 

Clearing out and weeding

Clearing out and weeding

Dahlia's Mixed

These were some of the flowers I exchanged for some Tomatoes

Gladioli Blooms

And my Hearth is still being filled with these wonderful blooms.

Happy Gardening 

~Sue~