a winter gratin

Amid the wintry desolation I was happily surprised yesterday to find this array of vegetables, L to R: cabbage, chioggia & golden beetroot, parsnip, kholrabi and celeriac.


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And thanks to my great big Global cleaver, together with the cavalier approach to peeling that it enables, was able quite quickly to transform the muddy roots into a tasty gratin.


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let them eat kale!


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red and ready

The ancient wheelbarrow had become nearly impossible to use as the tyre had somehow accumulated heavy debris inside which was making it very difficult to manoeuvre, impossible to reverse and characterised by a disconcertinly loud clunking noise! By adroit use of an angle grinder and ingenuity, I now have a posh new wheel which bounces it along beautifully! It almost makes a pleasure of humping large volumes of compost around.


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One side of the plot is now ready for its winter compost mulch … garlic is planted and brassicas netted against pigeons.
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summer’s last hurrah


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tomato themed lunch

Feeling rather pleased with my first focaccia with Sungold tomatoes, even though it was a right old fiddle to make! It was delicious alongside tomato soup, all ingredients freshly picked today – a good way to use up rather a lot of produce quickly.


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blue dream of sky

“I thank you god for this most amazing day, for the leaping greenly spirits of trees, and for the blue dream of sky and for everything which is natural, which is infinite, which is yes.” – e.e. cummings



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We won the best plot 2019 🙂


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Munchkin pumpkins and Crown Prince squash.


Note my very first aubergine! I’m rather pleased to have grown it successfully 🙂


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up and over

Onion harvest has started; Rose de Roscoff and shallots are now drying while in the background Mammoth onions are living up to their name and continue to grow. I’m rather proud of the Rossa di Tropea, grown from seed and now getting quite big – a long way from Calabria, but they don’t know that!


Thai basil and lemon verbena combine to make a heavenly & welcoming scent by the entrance arch where yellow beans and little climbing pumpkins ‘Munchkin’ are now taking over from the declining sweet peas.


And the squshes are going bonkers!


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furry visitors

So glad the bees are arriving… they have not been much in evidence until now.


And a pretty new visitor enjoying the scent where the nepeta had just been cut back.


Daily harvest, with an early tomato, Noire de Crimée; not a beauty, but wonderfully tasty.IMG_6305.JPG



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blackcurrant pie

Here’s what happened to those blackcurrants! Very short pastry. Delicious, if not elegant.


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up with the lark

At the huerto at 6 this morning; chilly but happy-making. Berry picking and watering, accompanied by birdsong.


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with warmth, abundance

Today’s first picking of potatoes (second earlies), garlic dried in the greenhouse now ready for use – and delightful baby broad beans, so tender they are even delicious raw.


The recent warmth has prompted massive growth – all around, the plot thickens 🙂
Various squash here (kuri, munchkin, crookneck, crown prince and zappho).


And here are golden chard, beetroot scarletta, dwarf french beans cupidon and purple queen, then outdoor tomatoes attended by very vigorous tagetes and then roses beyond…


This is a cool corner, with rose James Galway against the shed and teardrop peas from the Basque country, “Guisante Lágrima“, which are finally taking off – just about managing to keep the massive nettles behind the deer fence at bay.



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today’s flowers



And a quick view of a corner of the garden at home (can you have too many roses?…)


The bird (buzzard?) was serendipity.

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june harvest


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golden chard


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Sunday best

Next week all the allotment sites in Farnham will be visited by the town council judges, so I’ve been busy making sure the huerto is looking her best. It’s rather like being reluctantly but compulsorily entered into a beautiful baby competition; in love with your own idiosyncratic wayward darling, yet recognising that others better match the judging criteria. Wanting one’s own at least to be wearing her prettiest frock – and to be clean and smiley! So here we are:




The brightly coloured Tibetan prayer flags are traditionally used to promote peace, loving kindness and compassion; blown by the wind to the world (including I hope to the local pigeon population, encouraging them to find alternative sources of food to my carefully tended peas!).

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busy, busy, busy


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plot 10 over the years – and a happy find

I came across this photo taken on the first day I acquired Plot 10, in April 2007. Amazing to contrast it with how it is now; a lot of my blood, sweat and tears shed during that time!


… here is the view now, photographed from the same spot:


And here is the “shabby chic” garden seat (French??) I was delighted to uncover in an unlikely corner of the wonderful Stamford antique centre, and destined now to live under my quince tree 🙂


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