Last and first

Last potato and onionI had to buy some potatoes yesterday for the first time since early last summer as I’ve just one large Desiree left.  That along with the largest of the dozen onions that I’ve also got left are shown here on a ten inch dinner plate to give you some idea of their size.

First rhubarbYesterday I also picked the first few rhubarb stems, which were about a foot long and finger thick.  For anyone who’s having problems if theirs is flowering have a look at Caro’s interesting post that she did on Friday.

Inside a red tulipI don’t grow tulips every year but when I do it’s in containers so I’m not sure how a couple of red ones have appeared out on the plot among the daffodils. I always find the inside of these flowers rather fascinating.

Honey bees drinking from the dustbin lid pondI’ve been enjoying watching various wildlife recently.  They included four mallard ducks formation flying very low over the allotments, one of the largest bumble bees I think that I’ve ever seen, a pair of crows sky dancing for several minutes and honey bees drinking from the dustbin lid pond.   The white bits you can see in the pond are bread crumbs from stale bread that crows have dunked to soften.

Have a good week!

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Sunshine and a smile

It’s been another good week with plenty of sunshine, and it’s also been unseasonably warm the past couple of days.

On the plot I’ve been sowing flower and vegetable seeds, including a short row each of  beetroot Ruby Queen and lettuce Mixed.

Yesterday there were lots of ladybirds on the blackthorn, which is now losing it’s blossom and starting to show leaves.

Ladybird on the blackthorn

Sunflowers, tall single

 

A week ago at home I sowed various seeds including these six sunflowers Tall Single which appeared in a couple of days, and are now at least 2″ high with the second set of leaves just visible.

In complete contrast the coleus Fairway are minute green pinheads.

Watering can bookmarkBack in February I sent Liz, who does her guest Tree Following posts here, some flower seeds including pot marigolds Flighty’s Favourites. As a thank you she kindly sent me a card along with this watering can bookmark which made me smile.

Happy gardening, and have a good weekend!

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On the plot every day…

Apart from yesterday which was cool, wet and windy I was on the plot every day last week.  As always when I get there I have a look round to see that it’s all okay then top up the two ponds. One morning I gave the shed, pallet patio and compost bin a coat of Woodland Green wood preserver. Potato foliage appearingSince planting out the first early potatoes and onion sets and sowing some broad beans nearly three weeks ago I’d also been looking for signs of growth last week but to no avail up to Friday.

This morning however it was a different story, much to my relief, with potato foliage ( as shown), onions and broad beans just appearing.

I started sowing flower seeds today including sweet peas, pot marigolds and love-in-a-mist.  With the week ahead looking dry and warm I’ll be sowing lots more including sunflowers, nasturtiums and California poppies.  I’ll also be planting the dahlias and gladioli.

The white narcissi Petrel are now flowering – Narcissi 'Toto' Peacock butterflyI was just about to leave this morning when this Peacock butterfly fluttered past me and settled on the ground by the path edge.

Happy gardening, and have a good week!

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Tree Following, April 2015 – A brief update

Liz's Stewartia early April '15Given the anything but springlike weather for much of March both in Kentucky, USA and here in London, UK it’s not really surprising that neither Liz’s Stewartia or a fig tree that I’m following have visibly changed very much since last month so we’ve decided not to do separate posts just a brief update.

Liz sent me this picture a couple of days ago saying that at last new buds are just starting to appear on her Stewartia, and that she was relieved that it had survived the winter.

One of the trees that I was thinking about following this year is a plum (?) of some kind which is less than a hundred feet away from my plot.  It’s now in blossom, and as you can see looks lovely.

Easter blossom

See Lucy’s Tree Following post for details of what it’s all about , and this post for other tree followers posts for this month.

Happy tree following, and have a good weekend!

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Sunday solitude

I know that it’s Easter Sunday but I was slightly surprised to find that I was the only person on the allotments this morning, especially given the time of year and that it was quite reasonable weather.

Stone featureI really just pottered doing some hoeing and weeding. I also removed the Rose Campion (Lychnis coronaria) from the stone feature as it was looking very ragged. I’m now pondering what to grow in it’s place.

Over wintered California PoppiesI was pleased to see that a few of the annual California Poppies (Eschscholzia californica) have over wintered and are showing signs of new growth. I’ll be sowing more later this month including the variety Alba which has creamy-white flowers.

The narcissi Toto that I planted in a container are starting to flower while the other, all-white, variety Petrel are still furled up.

Narcissi Toto

The highlight of my morning was seeing a blue tit fly onto and then, all too quickly,  off the dog rose.  It’s been a long time since I last saw one of these delightful, always busy, little birds on the plot.

Have a good week!

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It looks like being…

a rather typical Easter weather-wise with rain tomorrow then dry, dull and slightly warmer. Thankfully the wind, which was gusting at over 40+ miles per hour for much of Tuesday has abated. When I looked round the allotments yesterday I was relieved to see that my plot was okay, and surprised to that see all the daffodils were still upright. Taller daffodilsI’ve not done much this week apart from planting out the Kestrel second early potatoes. Looking round it’s pleasing to see all the new growth such as the comfrey and raspberries. Comfry reappearing  New raspberry leavesSadly the recent wet and windy weather has meant that much of the blossom to be seen out and about has already gone but during the week I noticed this eye-catching pink and white flowering skimmia japonica. Pink and white flowering skimmiaHappy gardening and have a good Easter weekend!

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Scented and sumptuous summer delights…

such as strawberries, sweet peas, sweet corn and sunflowers herald the letter S in today’s post in the occasional Plot A to Z series.

First strawberriesSummer really begins with strawberries, which are many peoples favourite soft fruit.  I prefer raspberries, but have to say that a few sliced up and added to any bland breakfast cereal certainly gets the day off to a good start.

Sweet peasSweet peas are surely a must grow flower for any garden or plot thanks to their wide range of colours (all except yellow) and, more important, heavenly scent.  They are one of the few flowers that I grow to cut and bring home where, even with with my poor sense of smell, I can enjoy their scent.

The last sweet corn cobOf all the edibles that I grow on the plot I think that sweet corn is the one that I really look forward to picking and eating. There really is nothing better than enjoying a cooked cob smothered in butter and sprinkled with black pepper.

Sunflower 'Giant Single'Sunflowers with their sunshine faces are such smiley flowers.  There is a bewildering choice of varieties of varying colours. There are tall ones and knee-high ones,  some with large single flowers and others with numerous flower heads. They are, not surprisingly,  another of my favourites so grow some every year.

Flighty's 'sentry box' shed

 

Lastly I mustn’t forget my small, sentry-box shed which is rather different to the more usual ones found on allotments.

I’m sitting here writing this on a dreary, wet spring Sunday morning dreaming of such scented and sumptuous summer delights.

Have a good week!

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Edited Tuesday, 7th April to thank Glo (Porcelain Rose) for this Flighty’s Scent-sational Award for this post…

Flighty's Scent-sational Award

 

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