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!
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.
Here’s what happened to those blackcurrants! Very short pastry. Delicious, if not elegant.
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.
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 🙂
There’s nothing like a bit of sunshine to spark a frenzy of spring cleaning/clearing. This weekend I finally managed to finish the new structure, doing away with the last of the horizontal grass paths. Just a bit more work to be done, spreading compost on top and the plot will be ready to start planting. Other exertions included cleaning the greenhouse and tidying out the shed; the “before” photos below show just how crowded it was – now happily restored, at least temporarily, to cleanliness and order. (Special thanks to Clara, whose Mother’s Day help was very much appreciated by her mummy!)
“… makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.” Fed up with perpetual cold wind and rain, I’ve just ordered (yet another!) David Austin rose, a new variety with the wonderful name Eustacia Vye. She is destined for the rather crowded rose/flower bed where I trust she will establish her space and be happy. I certainly will!
Meanwhile, to remind ourselves that warm days will come again, here’s a moment of hope realised last summer when the divine R. Boscobel first flowered:
It’s hard going, but worth it; I’m now consolidating the second row of individual raised beds into larger areas, working around the fruit cage and flower bed which remain enclosed. The advantages are more space for planting and quite a lot less grass to mow in the summer. The removal of the old rotting wooden sides will also make it harder for slugs and snails to hide 🙂
I’m disobeying the rules of ‘no-dig’, lifting the turf, removing perennial weeds and stones. The ground beneath the paths is heavy compacted clay, full of flint stones, so all this clearing work will create a good foundation for future no-dig cultivation. I am bagging all the weedy turf which will eventually break down into nice loam.
And I’m pleased to have now aligned the flower/herb beds where the width of the outer path permits. Much smarter (for now at least) than the higgledy squiggles of yore.
The snowdrops transplanted from my mother’s garden are thriving at the foot of the fruit trees along the path leading from the five-bar gate to the 12 ‘secret’ plots beyond. The bare root gage I planted last year to replace the stricken Victoria plum tree seems to have taken, attended by its own little clump of snowdrops.
The past two days have been busy clearing and mulching the allotment. The dear man who has the adjacent plot to mine is bearing the sadness of losing his wife and comes to find some solace in nature. We work alongside each other in quiet endeavour. Tender times.
A cheery newly harvested cabbage to add to the christmas dinner table tomorrow…
With all best wishes for a happy festive break and a fruitful year to come in 2019…
Posted in Allotment