I was pleased…

to look round the plot earlier in the sunshine as I’d only been there during once last week.  Early yesterday morning it snowed but quickly turned to sleet then rain so I was expecting to it to be worse than it was, although it’s much too soggy to do anything.

On Thursday I was told that the horticultural society order for seed potatoes was being delayed a week or two, and that some of the varieties ordered aren’t available so alternatives have had to be chosen.  Thankfully my favourite variety Charlotte wasn’t one, and the other ones we have substituted are all acceptable.  I didn’t think that the potatoes I grew last year would last as long as they have but I’ll be using the last two today.

The week ahead looks unsettled with some more heavy rain but two days should see temperatures above 10 C/50 F which is welcome.

This sunflower picture was taken last August.

Take care, and have a good week!

Posted in Flighty's plot | 4 Comments

I’ve grown both…

Chicory (Cichorium intybus) and Corn Cockle (Agrostemma githago) in the past but not for some years so I’m going to again this year.   Both are lovely wild wild flowers, which as well as being attractive to pollinators are also good for cutting.

Chicory grows to around 4ft/1.2m and has lovely clear blue flowers in the summer.

I’ll be growing the white variety Ocean Pearl of the Corn Cockle, which is shorter and has silky flowers with some dark speckling.

I’ll be sowing the seeds in the spring, direct around the log pile and pond area.

I’ve not been to the plot since Saturday as it’s been mostly damp and dull, but I’m hoping to have a look round tomorrow.

Take care, and have a good weekend!

Posted in Flighty's plot | 22 Comments

It remained cold,…

and mostly dull, all last week so I only briefly visited the plot a couple of times.  This is what it looked like yesterday morning before it brightened up.

The strawberries still have plenty of green leaves which is unusual as by now they’ve generally changed colour and died back.

One or two of the crocuses have been trying to flower like this Snow Bunting.

I’ve now got all the flower and vegetable seeds I want for this year but won’t be starting any sowing for at least a couple of months.  That just leaves the onion sets and seed potatoes, which I’ll be getting from the horticultural society as usual.

It looks like being slightly milder next week so I may get to do some plotting, providing there’s not too much rain.

Take care, and have a good week!

Posted in Flighty's plot | 20 Comments

Tree following, January 2021

Both Liz and myself are tree following again this year and look forward to doing regular monthly posts, between the 7th and 14th,  on the progress of our trees.  Our thanks to Pat, The Squirrelbasket, for continuing to host it, and if you want to see what it’s all about, and perhaps join in, please have a look at this Tree following post.

Liz – This year I’ve chosen the Seven-son flower tree (Heptacodium miconioides) I have in my back garden here in Lexington, Kentucky.  A native of China, this small tree is now over twenty feet high and  provides all-season interest.  When I bought it back in 1996 the nurseryman told me that I’d be one of the very few people here to have one of these trees.

   

These two pictures were taken on Wednesday, 30th December and show the whole tree and the attractive bark which is peeling off last season’s branches revealing the lighter coloured wood underneath.

Mike – On my walks through the nearby Newton West Park I always stop and admire this wonderful looking fan-shaped Hornbeam (Carpinus betulus) which I’m going to follow this year.

This picture was taken on Christmas Day, 25th December.  I know little about these trees, and found this Woodland Trust webpage really informative and interesting.

Take care, and have a good weekend!

Posted in Flighty's plot, Tree following | Tagged | 28 Comments

It’s still cold…

and my first visit to the plot this year didn’t get off to the best of starts yesterday morning as I’d forgotten to take the main gate and shed padlock keys with me.  Thankfully it’s only a few minutes walk back home, and I probably needed the exercise of a second round trip.  I generally check, and double-check, that I’ve put them in my pocket before leaving home but must have been day-dreaming.

I was surprised to see at least thirty noisy, squawking gulls flying round at low level  above the main gates. There are usually only a handful, with lots more across the road on the Newton West Park playing fields.

Not surprisingly the plot is looking bare and bleak, but I was pleased to this lone pot marigold.

It looks like continuing cold, damp and dull throughout next week so I doubt if I’ll be there again more than a couple of times.

 

Take care, and have a good week!

Posted in Flighty's plot | 22 Comments

It’s been cold…

this week with hard overnight frosts and daytime temperatures feeling around 0C/32 F.  One morning I got to the allotments to find that the main gate padlock was frozen so I couldn’t get in to have a quick look round.  Thankfully I did yesterday then came home through Newton Park  where I looked at the numerous ducks on the ponds.  Most were Mallards, and I also noticed a rather smart looking black one.

I didn’t linger but will go back when it’s warmer and less slippery underfoot for a better look.

 

I have fond, if now rather faded, memories of the Snapdragons (Antirrhinum majus) mum always grew in her garden.  They’re a flower I’ve not grown before but will next year as I’ve bought a packet of the dwarf ( 6″/15 cm) variety Kimosy Formula Mixed which has various flower colours including orange, pink, scarlet and white.  I’ll also be trying some in a pot on the windowsill at home.

Take care, and see you next year!

Posted in Flighty's plot | 20 Comments

Nine magpies

I hope that everyone had a good Christmas, mine was very quiet and relaxing, which suited me.

A couple days beforehand I was on the plot when Fran, my plot neighbour, arrived for a quick chat and to give me this slice of cake.  It’s delicious, and I can certainly taste the Swiss Brandy she’d added  to it.

On Christmas Eve I walked through the Ecology Park then back through the allotment site where I noticed nine magpies on one of the hawthorn trees, which apparently speak of love that will be coming to call on me or a return of love to my life.  Magpie symbolic meanings take on a bright note in the East, where the Chinese regard the magpie a good luck symbol, joy, marital bliss, sexual happiness and long lasting fortune.

Christmas Day was another chilly but sunny day so I walked through the other park on the way to the plot. Yesterday was damp and dull so I stayed home, and last night there was heavy rain and high winds.  Thankfully this morning it’s calm and sunny, and I took a quick look round a very soggy plot to see that all was okay.

Take care, and have a good week!

Posted in Flighty's plot | 20 Comments

Heading towards Christmas

The horticultural society’s Christmas party should have been held at the trading shed this morning but was inevitably cancelled.

I’ll be mostly spending a quiet Christmas armchair gardening and/or sofa flying. I have a pile of good books to read, and plenty of tea and biscuits.   If the weather is okay then I’ll take a stroll through the allotments, ecology park and park as I usually do at this time of year.

So far only two of the cards I’ve received have robins on them, although as you see one has no less than 24 singing robins.

Take care, and have a safe Christmas!

Posted in Flighty's plot | 26 Comments

I’m delighted…

to see that Fleuroselect has designated 2021 as the so I’ll be growing lots of my pot marigolds Flighty’s favourites in celebration.

These started out as some which were given to me along with a packet of the popular variety Art Shades Mixed.  Every year since then I’ve saved my own seeds and often added a packet of a named variety, which in recent years have included Playtime Mix and Snow Princess.  Next year I’ll be adding a packet of the new variety Canteloupe which have shades of creamy-yellows and pinky apricots.

I wholeheartedly agree with Chiltern Seeds description for their Mixture of All Varieties which says – brings back fun into gardening, this is a jolly mixture to brighten gardens, lives and outlooks.  Wonderful!

 

 

The photo above left was taken in April and the one on the right in November, which shows what a long season these lovely flowers have.

Please note that I should be doing a post on Sunday as usual, after which the next post probably won’t be until the following Sunday.

Take care, and have a good weekend!

 

Posted in Flighty's plot | 26 Comments

Yesterday morning…

I received the 2021 Chiltern Seeds Catalogue and Veg Book, which is earlier than previous years when they usually arrived between Christmas and New Year.

Browsing through them yesterday afternoon I wasn’t surprised to find a few items that I’ll probably order, despite thinking that I’ve already got all the seeds I want for next year.

A sunflower that caught my eye is the rosy-red fading to pink helianthus annuus Ms Mars, not only for the petal colour but also its 3 ft/1 m height.  It won’t overshadow the nearly as tall Musicbox which I’ll be growing again.

I wasn’t going to grow any tomato plants on the window sill at home again as I’ve had little success in the past.  However I see that the dwarf variety Red Robin is listed, which only grows to 1 ft/30 cm and can be grown in a 5″/12 cm pot, so I’m tempted to try once more.

It’s another damp and dull day here so after lunch I’ll be armchair gardening continuing to browse these wonderful catalogues.

Take care, and have a good week!

Posted in Flighty's plot | 16 Comments