Into October

Over the past couple of days I’ve pulled up the last French climbing and runner beans along with the tomato plants, chopped them up then added to the compost heap.  I found enough beans for a few more meals, and some which I’ll dry to save the seeds.  I cleaned the bamboo canes and them put away by the shed. Both areas have been weeded and roughly forked over.


Further to my recent post about what to grow in the stone feature I’ve decided to try another red valerian (Centranthus ruber), (photo right).

I’ll let you know how it does.



The sunflowers have done really well this year and are still flowering as these photos, taken yesterday, show.

The photo on the left shows four flowers all growing off a long secondary stem.   I’ve already collected, sorted and saved some seeds from the first flowers on this plant.

Have a good week, and take care!

I went scrumping

The three communal woodchip bays at the allotments are mostly empty at present so I’ve started digging out and sieving compost from what’s left around the edges.  I’ll do one barrow load most times when I’m there, and have done two this week. The compost is fine and contains plenty of small red worms.  I’ve done this the past few years and providing that there are no deliveries of fresh woodchip I should do well this year.  I use the blue plastic tray as a sieve and borrow a wheelbarrow from a plot neighbour.  It’s good exercise and on cooler mornings keeps me warm.

One of the nearby plots, which hasn’t been worked for the past couple of years, has several dwarf apple trees of various varieties.  This year I remembered to have a look at them and found that there still plenty of good looking apples.   I picked a few of two varieties, one being small dark red fruit and the other slightly larger and mostly bright red.  Both are deliciously crisp, juicy and sweet.  Picking them the other day I thought back to when I went scrumping a very long time ago.

Have a good weekend, and take care!

Mostly plot pottering

I tidied up, then weeded through, the raspberry patch during the week.  They’re a mix of various summer and autumn varieties which didn’t do well this year and I’ve wondering what to do, if anything.  Some need moving, like this one which has appeared on the adjacent path.

I may well cut most, if not all, of the stems back to ground level then add plenty of compost, and hope that they do better next year.

I spent both mornings this weekend mostly plot pottering and enjoying the flowers like these pot marigolds Flighty’s favourites which are in front of the compost bin.


Have a good week, and take care!

It was almost eerie…

on the plot Monday morning as at times it was completely silent for a while rather than just a fleeting moment or two.  There’s generally always the background noise of traffic on the adjacent busy main road, aircraft overhead on their way to/from Heathrow and nearby RAF Northolt,  tube trains rattling along not far away, and general human noise around the flats and houses which border the site.  I like peace and quiet so I didn’t mind but a couple of plot neighbours found it rather unsettling, one not realising that it was due to the Queen’s funeral.

I don’t grow cornflowers (Centaurea cyanus) every year but did this year as I really like the sparkling blue, lavender, maroon, pink, red, rose and white flowers, but I wish that the foliage was a bit more interesting.  As with all the annual flowers I grew they suffered at times with the drought and heat but are still flowering.  As usual I grew the dwarf variety Polka Dot which is around 12 in/30 cm tall.  I’ve been collecting seeds to sow next year, and also hope that they’ll self-seed.

  Have a good weekend, and take care!

It’s been ideal…

plotting weather this weekend so I’ve rough-cut all round the edges of the grass paths.  I use the hand shears so I can leave the clover, daisies and dandelions.  Hopefully that’s the last time I’ll have to do it this year.

Sadly I’ve lost the red flowering aster I had in the stone feature, which is roughly in the centre of the plot.   There were a few days when the stone was almost too hot to touch so I  guess the plant got cooked.  I’ve had various plants in it over the years but few have done really well.  I’ll leave it empty over the winter and have a think about what to try next.

The dogwood/cornus leaves are turning red before dropping, and after they have I’ll collect them to add to the compost heap.

It needs a good prune which I’ll probably do late winter or early spring.


Have a good week, and take care!

I’ve done very little

My new white china dish mini pond didn’t last long as I accidently dropped it earlier in the week so I’m using the plastic plant pot saucer again.



I’ve done very little, if any, dead heading of the annual flowers – candytuft, cornflowers, cosmos, pot marigolds and sunflowers – this year leaving them to self-seed apart from the seeds I’ve collected.  Since the rain last week seedlings of all these have appeared on the flower patches.

The poached egg plants I generally just leave to self seed and a carpet of seedlings have appeared.  I wonder how will survive over the winter to grow and flower.



I think that this has been the only sunflower with a light coloured centre to appear this year.  Not that I mind as I prefer the ones with a dark centre.


Have a good weekend, and take care!

Last week’s weather…

was rather unsettled with plenty of rain, which was heavy at times, so there were a couple of days when I stayed at home.  It’s started to make the ground easier to dig, and lots of flower seedlings have appeared.

I mentioned earlier in the year that I forgot to sow any nasturtium seeds in what would have been a different area away from the strawberries, however this self-seeded one  appeared which I left to grow and flower.  It’s a shame that it has orange flowers as that’s my least favourite nasturtium colour.


Sadly I lost nearly all the primroses in the hot weather but this white one next to the pond  survived, has new leaf growth and is about to flower.


The few runner bean plants (variety unknown) I was given back in late May have finally come good and I picked the first few runners during the week, with more to come.

One downside of last weeks’s rain is that it caused a lot of the tomatoes to split their skins, which is a problem I’ve not had before.


This coming week looks like being mostly dry with temperatures around 20 C/high 60’s F which will suit me.

Have a good week, and take care!

Tree following, September 2022

Liz – The Golden Spirit smoke tree in my front garden here in Lexington, Kentucky has now lost the chartreuse leaf colour of spring but not yet started to turn to autumn shades.  There are still a few puffs of smoke remaining, and the leaves have a rather attractive leaf formation especially with the early morning dew still showing.

Mike – Cooler weather and some recent rain  have  meant that the sweet chestnut in the local park is now showing few signs of leaves dropping as it was starting to do last month.

Looking up into the tree canopy I noticed this branch has been scratched by something.  The damage is noticeable as it’s at least a couple of feet long and looks to have been done recently.

Not surprisingly it appears that both the leaves and clusters of fruit are smaller then usual this year.


Thanks to Pat, The Squirrelbasket, for hosting tree following, and if you want to see what it’s all about, and perhaps join in, please have a look at this tree following post.

Have a good weekend, and take care!

Leisurely plotting

Cooler temperatures and some rain over the past week or so have clearly been enjoyed by the plot flowers – cosmos, pot marigolds and sunflowers – which are now all flowering again, providing a welcome sight as we head into autumn.

A close look at one of the knee-high sunflowers shows five flowers partly hidden by the leaves as they’re all growing a short way down the stem. These are in addition to the four flowers which had previously flowered around the top, and there at least another two buds showing.

The only plants now left on the three vegetable patches are the climbing beans and the tomatoes.  The rest of these areas have been cleared, roughly turned over and will now be left apart from hoeing off any weeds which appear.

Over the next couple of months I’ll be mostly leisurely plotting before starting to wind down as we head towards winter.

Have a good week, and take care!

Summer into autumn

For the past couple of weeks or so I’ve been rough forking over the area where I grew potatoes this year.  I found plenty, and thankfully didn’t spear too many of them.  I’ll be doing the same with the other two vegetable patches over the coming weeks.  I’m doing it so that when it rains it will soak into the ground and not run off, even it it’s torrential.

I’m now bringing home some ripe tomatoes most days.  The first few red Alicante, which I’ve not grown before,  had surprisingly tough skins which I think was due to the hot weather.  I hope that they’re not all like it as it’ll be a bit of a faff having to skin them.

Thankfully the yellow Golden Sunrise, my favourite variety, have been okay so far.


I thought that I’d lost the perennial cornflower (Centaurea montana) during the really hot weather but I’m pleased to see that new growth has started to appear over the past week.


The sedum/ice plant really catches the eye at the moment now that the flowers are turning from pink to  red.


Have a good weekend, and take care!

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