Sunday, July 16, 2006


As said before it has arrived with a vengeance, especially in the walk in greenhouse , there are 4 varieties in there and the Sungold and Gardeners Delight have taken a beating. I have stripped the leaves from them to try and slow but not sure if it will make much difference.

What makes me feel more uneasy is that it has got into the stems of the plants:

I have removed one plant totally and am tempted to do the same to the other Sungold soon.

Funny though, the outdoor tomatoes are not faring so badly and the spray seems to be working…..famous last words!!!

On the potato front things are not as bad as I thought. The Ratte are a right off but the second earlies have formed good tuber and the foliage, though slightly effected for blight, is dying back as normal. I will strip the foliage this week and leave the spuds in the ground for a couple of weeks.

The Arran Victory though is showing signs of infection but it is not getting any worse at the moment:

Trouble is, this is a late maturing variety so I really need it to get a few more weeks under it’s belt before I remove the foliage, bit of a gamble!!!

But it is not all doom and gloom, the sweet corn is busy flowering away and there are plenty of silks and cobs!

I have the smallest Aubergine……

And I am sure this was not there last night when I looked!!!

I fear we are about to sink under a wave of various courgettes.

Beetroot are great at the moment, very sweet and lovely baked in the oven and drizzled with walnut oil when still warm:

First Earlies are still going on very well and will feed us for a few weeks yet, this is Foremost:

I have Mimi ready now as well.

Carrots, my daughter is now happy as we have plenty, she more than content to munch on a raw carrot which is excellent:

And we are now picking black currents, filled this bowl this morning but needed another, will have to pop back later:

And despite the blight I am picking toms.


And the first Ferline, not huge but ready and perfect!

So, not all good news and not all bad news either, typical gardening really then!


Sunday, July 09, 2006

Back to the Plot

After the excesses of Hampton Court it was back to my little plot…or plots!

It was funny old weekend, Saturday was not too bad but Sunday dawned cool damp and very windy! We need the rain but not the wind.

At first it was not a great deal of rain Sunday early morning and I managed to get to the plot to try a couple of new video’s taken with the Handy Cam rather than my still digital. The quality is a bit better but the sound is awful as it was so windy and I even managed to call the Rhubarb a cucumber! Some dodgy camera work too…….end result deserves the mark of “Could do better!”

Any way, these are the links to the two scenes, you have to copy the link to your address bar in your web browser and it should work:

Plot One¤t=Plot1July.flv

Plot Two¤t=Plot2July.flv

Having said how bad the wind is most things seems to be doing well and we are enjoying the harvest, but there is plenty to come!

Courgettes, well we will always have plenty!

Calabrese….not just yet!

The outdoor main crop toms are just starting to colour, the weather conditions though mean a spray against blight is on the cards in the next day or two:

If at all worried I recommend monitoring the blight situation from Bight Watch, a free web site run for commercial growers. Obviously blight effects both spuds and toms.

You have to register but it is free and could save your crop!

Today also allowed me to put up more secure netting for the Black Kale, Autumn King Cabbage and some White Excel Cauliflower. I am using blue piping this year to support the netting and I am very pleased with how it does the job and the ease of use:

And we are now picking rudbeckia to go with the pinks, freesias, dahlias and sweet peas!

I would like a bit more rain and bit less wind for the next week. Though I am sowing the next back of lettuce and beetroot to try and spread the seasons a little!


Thursday, July 06, 2006

A day out at Hampton Court Flower Show

I decided to treat my self to a day at the Hampton Court, with out kids! So the day started with an early run up the M23/M25 to be at Hampton Court for 9am. The gates did not open until 10am but I wanted to be in as soon as it opened to get the best of the day. In fact I ended up being the first in the queue for the show which made a huge difference for the first 45 mins.

But, before I went into the show I had a mooch around Hampton Court Palace gardens. The building is stunning and the gardens are very well put together. I did not realise they also have the worlds largest vine, it lives in a glass house and was smothered in grapes. The bed outside the house is kept clear of all vegetation and is well mulched with manure as the roots of the vine extend well past the house. They had a good crop of mushrooms on the bed as well.

So, the gates opened and I dived in……and headed to the floral marques to start with the avoid the crowds.

Now seeing as this is a website about allotments I thought I better include a few pics of veg, and where better to start than in the Floral Marquee and the king of Vegetable Displays, Medwyn William.:

I do not know how he grows so much stuff to be all ready at one time and it was a shame he was not there as he has recently broken his leg. His wife though was very happy to talk.

But this was not the only stand with a touch of veggies:

Ken Muir had a stand doing a good trade in frozen straw berry plants:

And Chillies put on a good show, some of the plants where 6 years plus old and still cropping, made me laugh though that some plants were being sold for £10 plus! !

Not sure who this was but they had loads of veg on show:

Indeed the veggie theme carried on outside in the show gardens:

And in the Daily Mail Garden, not strictly outdoors but very impressive:

In fact this was a lovely country cottage built under cover:

But back to the floral marquee,

Sweet Peas to die for:

(Next years seeds are sorted)

Ferns by a famous company, seen them on TV, Fernattics?

Loved these carnivorous plants:

And as for colour……

And then I come on to show gardens, I struggle here a bit as I find these hard to translate into the real word. The sand mounds in one seemed very odd to me but I could not get close for a picture…

But I did enjoy some of them and I hope to pinch the odd idea here and there:

I loved this water garden:

All in all it was a great day out, the weather behaved in that it was not too hot and it only rained for about 40 minutes.

Getting there at the outset allowed me time to wander with out being too crowded.

The highlights for me were the floral marquees, the heritage hall and the small independent nursery stands and the chance to talk to the exhibitors. I did buy a few things but not too much:

But what I did buy was very cheap compared to locally and far better quality and unique.

And I can but dream about a real greenhouse one day…….

All in all a very good day out very much enjoyed by myself.