Tree Following, July 2016 – Liz’s serviceberry

Liz's Serviceberry, Jul'16 - 1

These pictures were taken during  last week and unlike last month there’s not a berry to be seen as the birds ate them all over the course of a couple of days.  I had seen them ripening, turning from bright red to purple then nearly black as they matured. The taste apparently changes from rather insipid to delectably sweet.   I had intended trying a few since I know that people swear by them for making jam and pies.



Liz's Serviceberry, Jul'16 - 2Since early June the temperature here in Lexington, Kentucky has been around 90F/32C with periods of well over a week without any rain.   Despite that the serviceberry is a dependable and attractive tree providing some welcome dappled shade.


Thanks to Mike for letting me guest post, and to Pat for hosting Tree Following over on The Squirrelbasket blog.  Do have a look at her comprehensive post to see what it’s all about.

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Sunflowers 2016

I’ll be growing sunflowers…  was the first post I did this year and this is how they’ve fared so far.

Just one Mongolian Giant survived the slugs and weather, but at a rather paltry five feet with no sign of a flower bud yet has proved rather disappointing.  I probably won’t be trying to grow any tall singles next year.

Sunflowers 'Valentine'


The Valentine ones haven’t fared much better with just a couple surviving and flowering. They should be around five feet high with five inch flowers but are just two feet with two inch flowers.  I like the lemon- yellow colour with a contrasting dark centre.




Dwarf sunflower 'Musicbox', golden yellow

I started ten dwarf Musicbox  off at home of which nine germinated and were planted out in a group.  I resorted to scattering organic slug pellets around these and despite some initial damage they all did well, and being just knee high they don’t have to be staked. I’ve been very impressed with the number of flower heads, some plants having into double figures.  I’ll certainly be growing this variety again next year.


Three dwarf sunflowers 'Musicbox'

The Big Sunflower ProjectAs I mentioned in that first post I’ve been posting pictures to The Big Sunflower Project‘s Facebook page and will continue to do so this year, and again next year.


Have a good week!

Posted in A good cause, Flighty's plot | 32 Comments

Catching up

I’ve spent the past four mornings plotting mostly catching up with the dead-heading, grass cutting, hoeing, pruning and weeding that needed doing.

Genista and hawthorn

This morning I cut down the genista and dying fire-blighted hawthorn leaving little more than the stumps to deal with.  Apart from a handful of thicker branches and trunk I burnt everything else.

I will tidy the area up at my leisure and think about what I’m going to do here.


This is what it looks like now.


Justs the stumps leftOn Monday I planted some first early potatoes Lady Christl that I had been given over at the horticultural society trading shed a couple of weeks ago.  Fingers crossed they’ll be ready to lift in early October. I’ll be happy if I only get a meal’s worth from each plant.

I’ll probably buy some beetroot, carrot and dwarf French bean seeds on Sunday and sow them early next week.

Happy gardening, and have a good weekend!

Posted in Flighty's plot | 24 Comments

I wasn’t at all surprised…

to read that June was the wettest on record. Not only that but it was also the second dullest as well.  Following on from the rainiest April it made the period from April to June the wettest recorded in the UK.  There have been days when it’s felt autumnal.

Blackberry flowers and beeI only went to the plot a couple of times last week.  On Tuesday I chopped the comfrey down and added it to the compost heap. That meant that I could see and pick plenty of hidden raspberries.

The blackberry bush, by the compost bin, is full of flowers and was buzzing with bees.


Four 'Flighty's favourites 'pot marigolds


It’s been my worst year yet, certainly as far as growing vegetables is concerned.

What has cheered me up has been the pot marigolds Flighty’s favourites, which I’ve mostly managed to keep on the flower patch this year.

There is the usual mix of varieties and colours.



Plot pot marigolds

The forecast for the coming week is dry but mainly cloudy and cool so I hope to get some plotting done most days.

Have a good week!

Posted in Flighty's plot | 24 Comments

A bucket of #Britishflowers

I’ve discarded the post that I was going to do today.  What with the sad state of the plot, and the political situation,  I’m still feeling rather unsettled and felt that it was too gloomy.

On Monday evening over on Twitter at the end of the regular #Britishflowers hour Gill, @thepatientmole, did a tweet to me which said…Thank you Mike, @sofaflyer, for your company. I leave you with a bucket of #Britishflowers x

A bucket of #Britishflowers

That certainly made me smile and lifted my spirits.

Have a good weekend!

Posted in Lawn lounging | 22 Comments

I’ve mostly mooched

I voted to remain in the EU in Thursday’s referendum but wasn’t surprised that the result was to leave.   I feel that our present parliamentary, political and voting systems are all no longer fit for purpose but I can’t see any of them changing in the near future.  Sadly I also have little respect for, or trust in, many politicians.

There was more rain on Thursday so when I looked round the allotments on Friday morning it was to see that the ground on my plot was like chocolate blancmange which didn’t help the sinking feeling I had.  I picked some more raspberries and took a few photos then came home, since when I’ve mostly mooched.

The Versatile Blogger awardI should have mentioned before now that nearly a month ago I was kindly nominated by Sharon on her Allotment Life blog for the Versatile Blogger award.  I will do a post about this sometime, hopefully sooner rather than later.

Have a good week!

Posted in Flighty's plot, Lawn loungers | 28 Comments

Water everywhere

Monday it rained for much of the day but Tuesday was okay so I spent a while deadheading the rose Pretty Lady.

Pretty Lady roses

I then picked some raspberries and strawberries.

Raspberries   Strawberries

Newton Park WestYesterday was dull and drizzly until well into the afternoon, then overnight there was a lot of heavy rain.  Earlier this morning I went and voted in today’s referendum.  Once I’d done so I crossed the road and headed across the Newton Park West open space, which as you can see was rather watery.

It was the same on the allotment site which was as bad as I’ve ever seen it with standing water everywhere including plots which have never suffered before.  Compared to some mine wasn’t too badly affected, but certainly the worst yet, and this was the grass path at the bottom of the plot.

Waterlogged plot - 3   The bottom path

There’s more heavy showers and rain forecast for late this afternoon and evening which will only make matters worse.   At this rate I’ll be lucky to harvest even a few edible vegetables this year.

Have a good weekend!

Posted in Flighty's plot | 28 Comments