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.


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!

Posted in Flighty's plot | 32 Comments

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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It’s now autumn…

which is a time of year that I like, and on cue a robin appeared on Friday being the first one that I’ve seen in a while.

Beetroot 'Boltardy'


I sowed some beetroot, carrot and dwarf French bean seeds in early July of which only the first germinated and grew.  The two short rows have done well and I lifted these these, larger than a golf ball, ones during the week. They’re the popular variety Boltardy.


Potatoes 'Lady Christl'


I also planted out some first early potatoes Lady Christl which I’m not expecting to lift until October but checking through the plants on Friday I found these three just under the surface.  The one at the bottom right is about the size of a large egg.



Tomatoes 'Golden Sunrise'



I sorted out the tomato plants and was surprised at how much fruit there was on the them. To give them a chance of ripening I’ve stripped out some of the branches and leaves to expose them to the sun.  These are some good size Golden Sunrise.



The pink cosmos that I mentioned and showed a month ago is still flowering profusely. Yesterday I found that a branch had  broken off so I cut the flowers for home.

Pink cosmos

There was some welcome rain yesterday evening, and the week ahead looks like being dry and sunny with temperatures reaching 25C/77F  by mid-week.

Have a good week!

Posted in Flighty's plot | 34 Comments

It’s been mostly dry and sunny…

this week so I’ve been making the most of it.  A couple of days I spent well over an hour dead-heading and pruning the pot marigolds which are still flowering and have plenty of buds showing as can be seen in this picture.

Two Flighty's favourites pot marigolds

Surprisingly the nasturtiums have revived having grown and flowered again.

Red nasturtium  Yellow nasturtium

As there’s been virtually no rain I watered all round this morning rather than just the climbing beans and tomatoes.  I then cut the comfrey and added it to the compost heap. That’s the second time I’ve done it this year and hope to do so again before the winter as it does grow back quickly.

On Sunday I should be collecting the crocus and narcissi that I recently ordered so next week I’ll be digging up the existing ones, which are going to a good home,  and getting the ground ready to plant out all these new ones.

Happy gardening, and have a good weekend!

Posted in Flighty's plot | 20 Comments

Sunday smiles

This morning is breezy and dull with some showers due after lunch, which is typical for an August Bank Holiday Sunday.  Just before I reached the allotment gates this morning I met Milo, a nine week old brindled collie/staffie cross puppy.  He lives in the flats that overlook the site so I’m sure I’ll be meeting, and making a fuss of, him again.

All I did was pick some blackberries, climbing beans and tomatoes as well as do some watering.   There’s still been hardly any significant rain here, and not much forecast so the ground remains cracked and dry.

TomatoesI’m really surprised that I’ve been picking as many tomatoes as I have given the poor start they had in soggy ground.  I’ve also been taking off what I’m sure are blighted leaves over the past couple of weeks.   This picture shows two Golden Sunrise,  an Outdoor Girl flanked by two Gardener’s Delight and the last four Tiny Tim off the window sill plant.

Yesterday Caro over on her Urban Veg Patch blog did this really informative post about tomatoes which is well worth reading.


Cosmos 'Purity'All the cosmos are still flowering profusely.

Cosmos 'Velouette'


Here’s another excellent Guardian picture article – Great British allotments –  which is worth looking at.

Have a good week!

Posted in Flighty's plot | 30 Comments

Further to Sunday’s post…

I got the new desktop PC on Tuesday so spent the afternoon and evening setting it up and getting used to Windows 10.  I was relieved to find that I had no problems and just a few minor niggles that I’ve since resolved.



It’s been warm the past couple of days, reaching 30C/80F yesterday, so I’ve been going to the plot early and mostly pottered for a couple of hours.

The hydrangea is looking okay but it’s really in the wrong place so I’ll be moving it next spring to where I hope it will do better and flower, which it hasn’t done so far.



Ice plant


The ice plant (sedum spectabile) is doing well and I’m looking forward to it flowering soon, and attracting  some butterflies. This is another plant that needs moving, which I’ll also do in the spring.




I have to say that I’m a touch envious of plot neighbour Fran’s tall single sunflowers, one of which is over ten feet high.

Fran's tall single sunflowers

Happy gardening, and have a good weekend!

Posted in Flighty's plot | 26 Comments

For the past few months…

I’d been pondering getting a replacement desktop PC as mine has become increasingly niggling to use, is getting ever noisier and runs the no longer supported Windows XP.

I should be collecting a brand new, reasonably cheap, one tomorrow which will be the first one that’s not been second-hand. Using Windows 10 will be a quantum leap but I’m hoping that it won’t be too problematic bearing in mind the experiences some people have had.  All being well I hope to be plot posting as usual on Thursday.

As well as getting that I’d also decided to get a laptop and after long deliberation I recently acquired an Acer Chromebook 13.  It’s the first non desktop PC that I’ve used so it’s taken a while to get used to the touchpad rather than a mouse, and it’s totally silent which is rather pleasing.  I  have a Google account which made setting it up a doddle. There are some limitations which I was aware of  before buying.

Have a good week!

Posted in Lawn lounging | 32 Comments