Old and new


I’m always pleased when the rhubarb starts appearing again as it is now doing.  I cover mine with a couple of inches of compost and wood chippings in the autumn to keep the ground a bit warmer over the winter.  In recent weeks I kept finding that some animal, probably a fox, had been digging where it is.   I’m not that fussed about rhubarb but eat it either just stewed with a sprinkling of demerara sugar or in a crumble.




On Sunday I saw plot neighbour Fran who asked if I wanted some sedum plants that she no longer wanted.  I said yes and dug them up and transplanted them on Monday. As they were only small I grouped them together so that they’ll hopefully form a nice big clump.  In return I gave her some cosmos and climbing French bean seeds.


Daffodils, Mar'16 - 4



Here’s another daffodil picture taken from a less familiar angle.


Happy gardening, and have a good weekend!

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I’ll be plotting most mornings

Despite some heavy rain earlier in the week I’ve been able to fork over the vegetable patches to turn the spread compost into the ground.

The plot vegetable areasNot surprisingly the plot is still looking mostly brown and bare but the clump of what I call proper daffodils are providing some much welcome colour.  Looking back at recent posts I see that I’ve not shown any pictures of them here.


These traditional daffodils are one of my favourite flowers.

Daffodils, Mar'16 - 6I hope that the Met Office weather forecast is accurate for the coming week as it’s notable for showing no rain.  That will be most welcome as it will give the still soggy ground a chance to dry out a bit, and needless to say I’ll be plotting most mornings.

Happy gardening, and have a good week!

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Tree Following, March 2016 – Young oak tree

Oak tree Mar'16 - 1I haven’t seen any difference in the young oak tree since last month except that the leaves still on it are now even more crinkled.

This picture was taken last Sunday.

I’m not sure which variety of oak it is but I hope to identify it once new leaves appear. I presume that it’s either an English or Sessile oak.

Nic Hamilton used to regularly photograph a mature oak tree and show the pictures on his London (Daily) Nature Photo blog between 2007 and 2013. He took nearly 30 photos, always from the same spot (?), along with lots of other tree photos all of which can be seen on this Browse Archive webpage.

Have a look at this comprehensive post over on Pat’s, The Squirrelbasket, blog to see what tree following is all about.

Have a good weekend!

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Tree Following, March 2016 – Liz’s Serviceberry

The Serviceberry is a member of the Rose family (Rosaceae), and I wanted to find out why it’s called Amelanchier in North America.

According to the Missouri Botanical Garden webpage Amelanchier derives from a French provincial tree of the same genus, Amelanchier ovalis. Then there is the European tree Sorbus domestica or True Service tree.  All of which I find confusing.

I took these pictures of my tree in Lexington, Kentucky on a sunny day just over a week ago.  The first one is looking up through the branches to a cloudless sky, and the second one shows buds forming at the branch ends.

Liz's Serviceberry, Mar'16 - 1  Liz's Serviceberry, Mar'16 - 2

Below left shows lichen growing on it, which I hope isn’t a sign of trouble. On the right are species crocus growing at the foot of the tree, a sure sign that spring is on the way.

Liz's Serviceberry, Mar'16 - 3   Liz's Serviceberry, Mar'16 - 4

My thanks to Mike for letting me guest post. Please have a look at Pat/Squirrelbasket’s comprehensive post for details of what tree following is all about.

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Over half the vegetables…

that I’m intending to grow this year have been given the RHS Award of Garden Merit. These are plants are that are judged to be excellent for home garden use,  of good constitution, reasonably resistant to pests and diseases and relatively easy to grow.   They include runner bean St.George, cucumber Marketmore, onion Sturion,  potato Charlotte and sweet corn Sundance.   I’ve also grown all previously and generally done well with them, which is another reason to stick with tried favourites.

Apart from a gentle forking and raking over the vegetable patches are now all ready once ground conditions are okay and weather conditions permitting.  It’s been cold and wet recently but looking at the forecast it looks like being dry and warmer later in the week. Hopefully that heralds a general change into spring and I can make a start planting and sowing towards the end of the month with a row of broad bean Karmazyn seeds, followed by the onion sets Red Baron and Sturon then the first early potatoes Red Duke of York.

Last, and largest, onion and potatoI’ve only got a handful of onions and potatoes left in store to use and always save the largest to last. They’re seen here on a ten inch dinner plate to give an indication of size. Having to buy these for a few months is not something I look forward to.

Have a good week!

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The log pile and pond

As I mentioned during December I wanted to rebuild the log pile and tidy up the surrounding area, including the washing up bowl pond.

White fungusI tackled the log pile on Sunday morning when I removed all the existing logs then rebuilt it using mostly new ones that I’d collected over recent months.

Dark fungusIt was interesting to see the extent that some old ones had decomposed.  There were plenty of creepy-crawlies such as centipedes and woodlice, as well as some fascinating looking fungi as shown in the pictures.

On Monday I made a few minor changes then turned my attention to the pond and surrounding area.  I left the two teasels which are about a foot or so in front of the pond and there’s plenty of rosebay willowherb starting to re-appear.  I may well also grow one of the sunflowers Mongolian Giant in this area.

Click on the link above if you want to see a picture of what it looked like before I started, and this is what it looks like now.

Rebuilt log pile and pond

It’ll look better in the summer when the grass and plants have grown to partially cover and shield them.

March, and spring, has typically started off with a mix of cold, wet and windy weather so I’m thankful there were a couple good days when I could do this.

Have a good weekend!

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The compost bin…

and heap has to be one of the most important areas of any allotment or garden.  Mine comprises four pallets between the shed and the blackberry bush.  The one alongside the path is removable for easy access. I put most things on the heap, don’t turn it and empty once a year round about now.

Thursday morning was cold and sunny, which was ideal, so I borrowed a neighbour’s wheelbarrow and got started.

Compost heap Feb'16  First barrowfull of compost Feb'16

Empty compost bin Feb'16I picked out the white bindweed roots, along with any other wanted bits, as I filled the barrow. This year I got about ten full three cubic feet loads which I put out on the vegetable patches.   Once empty I forked the ground in the bin over, added any un-composted material, put the pallet back and tidied up.


All in all a good morning’s plotting and thankfully not too strenuous.   On Friday morning I raked the piles of compost out over the ground ready to dig in at my leisure over the coming weeks.  Keeping me company on both days were a pair of robins.

Have a good week!

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