Autumn colour on the plot…

is being provided by some of the annual flowers, notably the cosmos and pot marigolds.

two-cosmos-purityThe cosmos – white Purity, red Velouette and pink ones (variety unknown) – have done really well this year.

two-cosmos-velouette

zingy-orange-and-almost-whte-pot-marigoldsThe second flush of pot marigolds have been smaller but still include the full range of colour combinations and variations ranging from zingy orange to creamy white.

almost-white-pot-marigolds

This coming week, which looks like being breezy but mostly dry, I’ll be planting the rest of the bulbs having now finally decided where they’re going and I may even cut the grass paths one last time for this year.

Have a good week!

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It’s been good plotting…

lady-christl-first-early-potatoesweather this week so I lifted the first early potatoes Lady Christl that I planted in July. They’re mostly small with the ones in the middle of the picture being egg-sized.  I only used a hand-fork so I may find a few more when I dig the area over. All told I’m well pleased and will grow them again next year.

tomatoes-various

 

The various tomatoes that I’ve had in a tray on the window still the past couple of weeks are now ripening faster than I can use them.  As I’ve previously mentioned given the poor start they had back in June I’m amazed at just how many I’ve  ended up with.  The ones remaining on the plants are starting to be affected by blight so I will bring home any that are okay to ripen.

 

tiny-tim-tomato-plant

 

 

The tomato Tiny Tim is still producing flowers and fruit, which are no bigger than a finger tip. This has been the best one yet that I’ve grown on the window sill, and I will grow one or two again next year.

 

 

 

borlotti-beans

 

The French climbing and runner beans have just about finished but I’ll wait for the Borlotti to dry before removing them, along with any of the others,  to shell and use. These were all slow to germinate and grow but ended up doing surprisingly well.

I’ve lifted  a few more beetroot Boltardy and that’s about it as far as vegetables are concerned for this year, which hasn’t been as bad a year as it looked like it was going to be back in the early summer.

 

Happy gardening , and have a good weekend!

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A sure sign of autumn

Thursday morning was sunny and warm but by mid-afternoon it had gone really dark with rumbling thunder and spasmodic lightning followed by hail and torrential rain. The service road outside was like a flowing river with water almost up to the top of the kerb-edge. Then there was a power cut for three hours.

Friday was damp and dull with a further power cut from before lunch-time through to well into the afternoon. I’m told that much of the allotment site was waterlogged, which wasn’t surprising.  Yesterday wasn’t much better, and looking round the plot this morning it’s clear just how much rain there’d been.

The forecast for the coming week looks like being dry but mostly dull so I hope to do some welcome plotting.

A sure sign of autumn are these bright red dogwood rose hips.

dogwood-rose-hips

Have a good week!

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I’ve only been plottering,…

that is plot pottering, for an hour or so in the mornings the past couple of days as it’s been sunny and very warm with temperatures reaching nearly 30C/85F by mid-afternoon.

This is another pink-rose cosmos with a single stem nearly six feet high and a handful of flowers at the top.  Judging by the height, flower size and darker shade surrounding the boss of yellow stamens I’m pretty sure that’s it’s a self-seeded cosmos bipinnatus Gloria that I grew last year.

cosmos-gloria

A few California poppies (eschscholzia californica) have germinated and grown over the past few months and are now flowering.

california-poppies

Sadly it looks like this is one of the last of this years rose Pretty Lady blooms, which has been flowering almost continuously since mid-May.

rose-pretty-lady

It looks like being sunny and very warm again today but thankfully tomorrow should be cooler, but rather wet.

Happy gardening, and have a good weekend!

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Tree Following, September 2016 – Liz’s serviceberry

Here in Lexington, Kentucky through August and early September the temperature has been around 90F/32C, and there’s been no rain for several weeks.

As a result my serviceberry has suffered and dropped over half of it’s leaves. Some nearby trees such as the silver maple, pin oaks and Kousa dogwood have all fared better.

lizs-serviceberry-sep16-2

lizs-serviceberry-sep16-3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

lizs-serviceberry-sep16-1

 

This picture shows a monarch butterfly on a zinnia under the serviceberry.  Sightings of these have been the cause of much excitement in recent weeks, and it’s been encouraging to see them along with swallowtails, and other insects, on flowers in the public gardens that I help take care of.

 

Thanks to Mike for letting me guest post here and to Pat, The Squirrelbasket,  for hosting Tree Following.

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Parakeets!

I often see, and hear, ring-necked parakeets flying over the allotments, occasionally on them and once a couple chomping on my sunflowers.

On Wednesday morning I was amazed to see at least ten on plot neighbour Fran’s sunflowers that I showed here a couple of weeks ago.

parakeets-on-frans-sunflowers

Eight can be seen in the picture above, and here are a couple of closer pictures.

one-parakeet-on-a-tall-sunflower   two-parakeets-on-a-tall-sunflower

ragged-sunflower-headI stood and watched them for quite some time before moving over to my plot.  Whilst there I saw one bird chomping away on my tall single sunflower. This is what it looked like afterwards.

 

I appreciate that these birds can be pests, especially when flocks strip fruit trees, but they’re amazing to see like this.

As far as plotting goes I did very little last week, and my few visits tended to be mostly just pondering and pottering.  It was damp and dull all day yesterday but today and all next week looks like being dry, sunny and warm.

Have a good week!

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Tree Following, September 2016 – an English oak

tree-following-sept16-1Following on from last month I see that the acorns have grown to about 1″/25mm, and are still in their cupules.  As they’re on stalks, unlike the leaves, that confirms this is an English oak (Quercus robur), which is the most common tree species in the UK.

Apparently acorns are not produced until the tree is 40 years old, which I was surprised to read.

Oak trees are important for wildlife as they support more insects and lichens than any other native trees.

 

Thanks to Pat, The Squirrelbasket, for hosting Tree Following on her blog, and do have a look at this comprehensive post to see what it’s all about.

Have a good weekend!

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