Another New Garden Season~ January Update

The lane we walk once inside the Allotment gates down to our plot.  One the left you can see the water cisterns which are at intervals along the lane.

Well Christmas has come and gone, and already we are halfway through January. And even though the picture below shows early morning frost, this image was taken on the 20th December of last year, as we were up early collecting our sprouts for the Christmas Dinner.. We have had loads of rain and everywhere is quite soggy. 

In the Autumn Hubby moved both of our Apple trees..  While we got some apples off of one tree, the other was covered in scab.. A good site to find out how to care for your apples, how to plant, store and treat diseases is here. https://www.gardenersworld.com/plants/essential-apple-care-guide  As we do not like to use any type of pesticides or chemicals on any of our produce.. We just take pot luck and find alternative treatments for problems..   Ten tips on Homemade Organic Pesticides can be found at this site, The Global Healing Centre or you can listen to the short two minute video telling you how to mix them on the link.   

Our neighbouring allotments plums which over hung where the apple trees were also diseased.. So we took the decision and replanted our apple trees to their new position, pruning them back hard.. It means we may not get much fruit this coming year.. But it will give the roots a chance to grow and hopefully they will like it better where they now have been planted..

Apple Trees.. A Cooker and a lovely sweet rosy eating apple… I confess I forgot what varieties they were..

The Kidney beans are now pulled up.. We still have plenty of sprouts and about a row of parsnips left.. I will be sad when these are finished I have enjoyed them roasted several times a week.. 

Our Manure arrived on Saturday, a huge tractor trailer load full.. The heap is bigger than me. Today is the first decent day to get some of it moved.. And we have hardly made a dent in it. 

( if you hover your mouse over the below photo’s you will see the captions )

You can see I am wearing one of my knitted hats and my snood/scarf in the photo, a closer look at another one I knitted for a Christmas present is below

Hand Knitted Beret.

Remember the tuba’s of the Dahlia’s drying in the greenhouse, well here they are stored nicely in the shed. 

Dahlia Tubas in straw.

Well that is all from the Plot this month.. I hope you all have a wonderful 2020 and have a great growing season. 

Happy Gardening

Until Next Time

Have a Wonderful Christmas!🎄

I hope those of you in the UK are not all bogged down in mud in your gardens, as record rainfall continually seems to be sweeping our country.. 

Thankfully our Allotment is on sandy soil so it drains away quiet well..

Have you got your Brussels Sprouts all in ready for Christmas Day? Ours are a small variety and I forget the name of them this year, they are tiny but compact and very tasty.. 

There has not been a great lot to report this last month as I have been taking a blogging break, except to say the Parsnips are also delicious.. 

So I will see you all in the New Year..

  Have a wonderful Christmas Holiday all of you

and a wonderful 2020 and beyond.. 

 

October Already

Hello again, well October has arrived and with it many places have had flooded roads and rivers are running high to overflowing here in the UK,  as for the last few days its done nothing but rain, rain, rain day and night.. 

Click on Photos to Enlarge . 

Cleared out the sweet corn and general tidy up The sprouts are now clearly visible standing to attention

 But thankfully before the rain set in last week, we had a wonderful week of sunny warm weather. Which my hubby and I took advantage of as we got stuck into more chores of clearing on the plot.. The sweetcorn came out and we cleared a space ready for the delivery of  manure which we order later this month.  You can see by the picture below just how the lettuce is growing and we have picked quite a few now, and the swedes are also filling out as are the carrots growing which will be weeded out once they get much bigger.

Lettuce on left, Swedes, and carrots, leeks, January Kings Cabbage and Sprouts far right

 We also reaped in our Butternut Squash and have stored around 24 largish Squash so we are very happy with our harvest of these as you see below. 

Butternut Sqaush

I also cleared out the borders on the front garden of the summer flowers which had gone past there best and also took down the hanging baskets and replenished the wall containers with winter pansies and cyclamens..  Which I forgot to take photos of.. Maybe next time..  I planted lots of chrysanthemums in various colours as well as dwarf daffodil bulbs. My intention is to fill the front border with more perennials next year so as to help with lower maintenance of Summer and Autumn planting..  

But there is still lots of colour in the  back garden and these fuchsias were made into standards by my husband are now three years old taken from one plant as cuttings. They have now been moved into the greenhouse as we have a pending forecast of frost for Wednesday..  

Rainbow light from hanging crystal

Since my  husband cleared and cleaned the pond in the spring its done really well, the fish are happy and the waterlily he cut back hard, and its produced many more flowers this year.  I think in total this year we have had nine or ten  blooms in total, where as in other years we have only had a couple. 

Water Lily in our pond.

You may remember a few months back I began knitting an Aran sweater, It got shelved in July when I went on holiday and upon our return we then started decorating our home and then had to catch up with the neglected plot, so this now knitting project has been completed. And I am very happy with its fit.

My hand knitted Aran sweater .

Have you any projects unfinished? Or have you about to start some..  I am being urged by my inner prompting to start painting again now the garden chores  have been caught up with.  So I will leave you with a gallery of some of the flowers still in bloom and the Dahlias are still in wonderful flower until the first frost hits them on the plot. 

 Until Next Time

  Take Care and Enjoy All you Create

Be it in the garden or in arts and crafts. 

💚 ENJOY! 💚

 

 

September Harvesting

September evenings are now drawing in quickly, much quicker than I remember in my childhood days, but then again the Summer holidays from school seemed to last and last when we were children, and now it seems within a blink of an eye  they are gone, as children break up for the Summer and now already they are back at school again.

So while the temperatures brought an unexpected Late August heat wave on a holiday weekend here in the UK, its now dipped back to normal with a clear chill in the air first thing in the morning.

So before the rain set it Hubby and I got to work in harvesting the potatoes, along with  the ripe sweetcorn cobs, and clearing out the litter of spent brassica leaves and weeds.

Click onto any photo to enlarge.

Just two rows of potatoes dug up here.

So while Hubby got digging the main crop of potatoes up, Picasso, I got busy picking sweetcorn and also pulling up the spent dwarf beans, collecting the pods for next years seed.

While Hubby dug I sorted into sizes and any damaged with the fork will be used first.

 

 

 

Gathering dwarf bean seeds, the rows covered in weed ..

 

 

 

There were also the Dwarf Beans which had finished to pull up and collect seed pods  for saving next years seeds. The rows had got covered in weeds and so this area of the plot needed a good weeding and clearing out.

It’s very satisfying when  its all cleared and raked, I also went under the Brussels sprouts clearing out decaying leaves.

Cleared area after pulling up the dwarf bean rows

Ladybird bug feasting on the aphids and white fly

Look closely for the ladybugs on the  left photo, making a meal of eating the aphids.These little creatures are a gardeners friend, although the invasive species of the Harlequin Bug are now wiping out our UK Ladybird bug..

 

Sweetcorn ready to go into freezer.

Our sweetcorn has done exceptionally well this year, with the heat and often heavy rainfall which would fall in the night. On the left here you see 40 cobs ready for the freezer. There  were cobs still ripening ready to be harvested. Quite a lot, but when we went to collect today it seems our thief had got there first leaving only six small ones..

We are having problems with produce being stolen again on the plot.. We had onions go, and the odd cabbage, broad beans we knew were ripe also went.  You do not mind the odd thing missing but when they take a  lot.. or a whole row.. It can be quite soul destroying when you put so much time and effort into your plot to grow your own veggies..  We have thought of putting our Motion camera on the plot, but as this was a gift we do not want this stolen, as we get a lot of pleasure watching the hedgehogs roam on our garden during the night via watching the play back.

Hedgehog out earlier in the Summer on our patio

I have no problems sharing, we always plant more than we need and give family and neighbours that which we cannot store.

I would gladly give produce away rather than someone think its there right to take it..  Though I am under no illusions people have no qualms with taking what is not theirs..  I just hope they enjoyed what they have taken.. They obviously must need it more than we do.. So we keep planting more than we need .. And are thankful we can do so.

So until next time.

Take care.. and be thankful for what you have, for there are always those less fortunate than ourselves..

Through the Sweetcorn view of plot

Happy Gardening!

Sue

 

 

August Update~ On the Plot.

August has been a very good month, lots of warm Sunshine, hot days, and short sharp heavy bursts of rain.. Though in the beginning of August we did have three days of solid rain..

This has been good for our growing crops, but also ideal conditions for our main enemy~ The Weeds!.. whose relentless battle goes on and on..

Click on the photos to Enlarge:

Even when you have weeded, set seeds, the battle is constant. Click photos to enlarge.

Now I have no problem with weeds, they are all beautiful in their own right, but some are just so invasive and spring up like a carpet, choking and taking nutrients from the crops. The plots are full of them

now re-weeded you can now see the lettuce, swedes, the carrots are too tiny to weed out too close.

 

 

 

 

 

We had several weeks of redecorating our home, so the plot was neglected apart from watering in the heatwave every morning.

This beautiful weather ideal for our Sweetcorn which has grown to the size of me now, and it has some lovely huge cobs just about ready for harvest.

The sweetcorn has loved the heat wave and we have some huge cobs ripening

We have enjoyed strawberries right up into the middle of July, when this next picture was taken. While the early Raspberry canes are now finished, our late raspberries are just beginning to ripen and I have already had three such punnets off, with lots left to ripen.

While this photo was taken in July, These raspberries were the early ones, we are now getting raspberries from our Autumn late crop

We have had some lovely tasty new first early potatoes these were called Foremost  we planted three rows of earlies and six rows of the main crop, which are Picasso Below you see hubby  who yesterday weeded out the rows as the tops had died down, though he is not digging them out yet until the end of Sept, as everything seems to be about a month in front of itself this year, probably due to the mild Spring.

Hubby weeded out the potatoes now the tops have died down, We have 6 rows of main crop and still two rows of early potatoes to dig up.

Above you can see the onions drying out in our home greenhouse, in the middle on the bottom shelf are tulip bulbs from our home garden, I dug up and dried out ready for replanting in the Autumn. On the right these are shallots  which can either be used for pickles or I like to add in stews. 

My Dahlia’s and Gladioli’s have been lovely again this year and they are still  producing lots of bloom

 Inside the Allotment green house we have yellow tomatoes ripening and we have fallen in love with these Crystal  Lemon Cucumbers  

Well that is what is happening on the Plot this month, I will leave you with some busy lizzie plants on our patio.

Until next time

Busy Lizzie’s in one of our patio pots

Happy Gardening!

What a difference Eight Weeks Makes!

Its been a while I know since I posted an update. And what you see here is all to the hard work of my hubby.  After I set too in Spring and over did things. So I have kept to lighter duties on the gardening front. If you hover your mouse pointer over each image it will tell you what is planted. 

So while  Hubby has been busy planting and keeping the weeds down, I completed my knitting projects and also finished a painting which seems ages ago now that now hangs on our granddaughters bedroom wall when she comes to stay.

Eagle and chicks

Short sleeve top

This Short-sleeve top on the right  was completed, and no sooner was it finished than I was itching to start another as I came across some more bargain wool

This short sleeve top I did to add as a short top to the cardigan I knitted.

The colours are the same, its just my camera and the lighting that makes them look different.

I then set about wanting to knit a summer light jumper which I was hoping to take on holiday, but I didn’t finish that in time, I completed it when we came back  home

Summer Jumper,

The colour of this is a turquoise but again the light and my camera do not do it justice.

The back of the jumper pattern in close up here

The Pattern on the back on the jumper in close up

 

 

 

 

 

Now I am working upon a thicker Aran Wool Sweater. I have already done the back and working on the front 

Aran Sweater

The Home garden has been where I have been working, and getting my Begonias which have been stored over winter into pots. Lifting tulips out of the tubs and daffodils. While filling the hanging baskets and wall hangers with flowers for Summer..

Here is what the tubs of Tulips looked like back in April

Tulips

Happy Gardening and Creating!

Until Next Time. 

 

February Update: What’s going on in the Plot.

These first early months of the year can be very unpredictable weather wise, and I know compared with other parts of the world we here in the UK have got off lightly so far with clement weather, albeit a few cold and frosty morning.

Click images to enlarge:

As the plot looked this week walking down it to the sheds

But we never count our chickens, before they have hatched as the saying goes, and well remember last years icy blast from the East that hit us in March.. It is easy to get carried away with some mild sunny days and think to start planting, but keep an eye out for those weather forecasts. 

Spring cabbage and plenty of sprouts we keep harvesting in the background

So while hubby has been keeping the garden hoed over and making sure the muck has been well dug in, 

In the greenhouse on the allotment plot the day I took this photo with the sun shining it was 14C aprox 57F outside, and inside the Greenhouse it was 26C.. nearly 80F

Onion and shallot sets in the greenhouse

Hubby unlocking the sheds you can see the raspberry bushes and blueberry bushes all pruned.

Inside we still have butternut squash, and the apples are making lots of apple pies still, We pick through them every once in a while and throw out any which have gone bad.. But you can see we still have plenty to keep us going, 

Butternut Squash and apples in the trays, In the buckets on the floor are the Dahlia tubas

Fruit Cake and Apple and Raspberry Pie

 We are still harvesting Carrots, Parsnips and Swedes too, along with Leeks. making some delicious warming winter stews. . 

We saved a few of the broad-bean seeds and these are them growing in a small cold frame on the plot. next to them were wallflower seeds I planted in the autumn they will be ready to plant out for next year.

Broad beans

On the home front, our bulbs I planted in several tubs of Tulips and daffodils are coming through, these are sheltered at the side of the house right now, but come Spring will go to the front of the house.. Primroses are out in one tub too. 

Tulips and Daffs

Bulbs in tubs

Other projects I have been doing have been more knitting, I got a lot of bargain priced wool, So set about knitting a bobble hat for my granddaughter.. Here she is modelling it 

And I had enough blue wool I wanted to use up before starting on my new wool, so I decided to start knitting a short-sleeved top to go under the cardigan  I knitted a while ago to make a twin set.  This is as far as that has progressed to date. I loved the pattern so much and enjoyed creating it on the hat.. I thought to add it to the centre of what was a plain patterned top, So I worked out the stitches for the centre etc, 

Knitted Top

Those who are new to following here, this was the cardigan it will match.

This is the finished result of my knitting.. It took me around 3 weeks from start to finish..

Well dear friends, that is my February Update.. I hope you are all keeping well, and that the weather isn’t too harsh where ever you are.. 

Take care until Next time. 

Apples to Pumpkins..

This is just a little update in picture format on how the plot is looking at the moment.. Today a Bank Holiday weekend here in the UK.. and typical bank holiday weather… But we so need the rain… So I am not grumbling.. 

So we harvested our Apples, just a couple on this tree to be seen here along with my hubby and granddaughter who are just walking to see how her pumpkin is growing she planted from seed.  Click onto the images to enlarge. 

Granddad and Granddaughter investigating how the Pumpkin is growing.

Growing nicely

Back in the sheds safely stored are the picked cooking apples and eating apples.. 

 

Apples picked and stored

Tomatoes and cucumbers in the allotment greenhouse.

Tomatoes and cucumbers have been in abundance, So much so I have made several lots of tomato soup from them.. Recipe on the recipe page . And the yellow variety have also made some lovely soup. 

My husband took the nets off of the Brassica family, cabbages and sprouts. Despite the nets the cabbage white butterfly managed to get in and lay eggs so there were leaves which were being feasted upon by caterpillars  along with tons of white fly.. The dry heat and humidity under the nets I am sure added to excellent breeding conditions.. So Hubby set too to strip a lot of the infected leaves off… This is the result 

Cabbages and Brussels sprouts

The sweetcorn have about another week to go before it’s really ripe.. The juice out of the corn when pressed by your thumb needs to be milky not clear..  They haven’t done too badly filling out, but then they have had lots of tender loving care with daily watering.. 

We enjoy our stews come those colder days and parsnips are added along with shallots.. But we love roasted parsnip.. And will have plenty to keep us going. 

Parsnips

The Dahlias this year have not been as good… They have soon died in the heat and their stems have not been as long this year.. But I still managed to pick three bunches.. One for a neighbour, one I gave to another allotmenteer and one for myself..

Bunches of Dahlias picked

On the home garden the begonias have been loving the heat.. And our giant ones on the front of our home have grown massive this year.. Especially the tall one with the Yellow Sunshine head.. 

Out of this World My own little Sun Flower.. 

Well I think that is about all for this week.. 

Happy Gardening.. 

August Update on the Plot

Hello friends,

Here is a little update for you on how the allotment plot has been doing in August. The month of August has been hotter than normal here in the UK, and although we have had just a couple of weekends with rain, the watering has still had to be done most mornings to keep the crops from wilting.

So taking you from the top of the plot as we walk down to the sheds. You can see the Dahlias now in bloom  though this year even though they have been watered, are not as large and their blooms soon die.

( If you click onto the photos you should be able to enlarge them.. only I am conserving on space here on my garden blog with the many photos.)

View from the top of the plot looking down to the bottom sheds and greenhouse

I think I mentioned before we had taken advantage of the dry weather to paint our home fences, so as the painting bug got to us, we both completed painting the allotment sheds while the wood was dry.. 

Both sheds repainted, Hubby unlocking the sheds as we arrived.

Kidney Beans half way down the plot as I walked down the plot.

While there are many kidney beans growing, the dry hot weather has made them very stringy.. So they have been very disappointing.  Even the young beans have been affected by the heat and dry. But you win some and you lose some. To make up for the Kidney beans the Dwarf beans have been prolific and very tasty, and we have harvested lots of those and been able to freeze some for storage.  

Sweetcorn

Here you see the leeks in the foreground, sweetcorn to the top and dwarf beans to the right of the picture

This year we tried a different variety of dwarf beans which was called The Purple-Queen. 

The Purple-Queen variety have been a good harvest.

The broad-beans we have had some off, and were looking forward to the rest, when  someone helped themselves to half our crop, I am sure they must have needed them.. And hope they enjoyed them as much as we did.. It’s hard to think other who hold an allotment would come to steal.. But it happens every year, We also had a large ripe cabbage taken from under the nets this week…  So we harvested our apple tree, as they were just about ready.. I forgot to take photos of them..

The plots are mainly open plan and there has to be over 200 plots on the huge expanse of land.. It has two main gates with locks which those of us paying rent for hold keys.. How ever there are also hedges and houses both sides of the fences.. We see people take plots on never to maintain or grow anything on them.. Yet they have the key.. SO its anyone’s guess at who steals.. We have sheds broken into each year also.. So we just have to accept it as part and parcel of what goes off in the world.. 

I know if anything major hit our world food supplies, our plots would be stripped in no time, and nothing you can do.. So while its annoying others take advantage of your hard-work, we always grow more than we need and give plenty away.. You just have to look on stolen crops as giving to the needy.. And hope they don’t get too greedy.. 

Shallots benefited from the hot weather and we also had a good crop of these

Lettuce I can now see as I weeded through them.

The Blueberries I have been picking most mornings as they ripen and not only making pies with them but having them for breakfast with yogurt. Yummy.

Blackberries too have been in abundance, these we have grown from very young shoots. But Blackberries if you are not careful take over, so you have to keep them cut back and pull out new shoots which will root themselves quickly into the ground.

The home garden has also suffered from the lack of rain.. I have been watering and also using washing up water on shrubs etc to help save on using water. Here is a slide show of some plants. 

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And my little hedgehog family have exciting news too, one of my hedgehogs obviously likes his new hedgehog home. He has been sleeping in the hedgehog box in the day.. and only today I have footage of him carrying leaves back and forth about twelve times to his box to make it cosy for Autumn and when the time comes to hibernate.  He or she.. has been collecting the bamboo leaves to line the inside. I put a little hay in their too. So I am very pleased he enjoys our garden enough to feel safe to hibernate.. Fingers crossed!..  Below you will see the box and him going in and out over the last few weeks.  Some of the dates were not correct as I had to reset the dates. 

Hope you enjoyed  and wishing everyone abundant harvests. 

Happy Gardening! 

 

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June Update on the Plot.

Have any of you noticed how fast this year is flying? Already half way through the year. 

Well our Trip to Scotland at the beginning of May was wonderful, and I hope to find time to post about that on this blog in the near future.. But we have been busy busy on the plot. and just enjoying relaxing over the holiday weekends..

We came back to a garden that had bloomed as the good weather was perfect growing weather not only for the crops but the weeds never stop growing and at twice the pace of crops 😀

So here is the plot update in picture format and some of our home garden to. ( note if you click onto the photos you will I hope get a larger view. )

While I had hoed outside of the four rows of peas, the inside weeds were taking over, When you consider those stakes are my waist height, It was back breaking work..

This is the four rows of peas which are now weeded

I carried on an weeded the Shallots 

Remember the Dahlias that we dug up last autumn to store over winter.. Well unfortunately we lost half of them due to the very cold weather despite them being wrapped up in the shed. Some of the tubers had gone rotten.. We saved these.

Hubby dug deep holes put some muck beneath and here you see them starting to sprout.. Again since taking this photo they are really growing at speed now and have much more foliage on them.

These were Lupins self sets from last year, I let them grow and they are happy  between where we put the Dahlias. You can just see a Dahlia shooting to the bottom right hand corner of the photo. 

The younger rows of peas now growing under the net, I weeded out those today,
The spring cabbage you see next to them. Some of them went to seed so that is why you see the misses..
Then you see sweet corn and dwarf beans, and the steaks with plastic cut bottles are where the butternut squash is. The bottles to help direct water to the roots. Apologies this is a little blurred 

This is an older photo giving you the length of the plot, Here you see that same Lupin before it was in flower. And this is where the potatoes were planted. 

Here you see the Potatoes rows see how they have grown from the picture above this one. You can see the Lupins now too.  What you may not see are the leeks, that were planted in the earth. They are only like tiny blades of grass at the moment so they do not show up well on the photo. 

The Kidney Beans are now in, these were started off in the Greenhouse and planted out after the threat of frost after we returned from holiday 

With all the good weather and with our constant watering, It looks like there will be plenty of Strawberries this year looking at the amount of flowers.. The bees have been busy working away.

The broad beans are in flower and have some nice young pods on them.. So looking forward to them.

Remember the square raised netted bed of carrots in an earlier post? Well hubby got in and weeded through these,, rather his back than mine. as it was worse than the peas in the top photo. 

The tomatoes are now in the allotment greenhouse we have more in our home garden greenhouse too.
We grew these from saved seeds of tomatoes last year.
If you want to save seeds to grow.. Just squeeze them out onto some kitchen paper and allow them to dry out completely then store in envelopes somewhere dry to plant next season.

Parsnips and Beetroot with peas on left, brassica’s on the right

And I will leave you with what is blooming in the home garden. Until next time..

Happy Gardening.