Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Four hours before the deluge got me!

I spent far too much time up the allotment today – four hours – and I am still suffering from the effects of yesterday’s digging.

It was a surprise not to see a deluge when I got up – which was forecast – so a quick breakfast, kitted up, and a dash up the lottie before black clouds turn into torrential rain.

Let the girls out and collected their eggs and parked wheel barrow on the edge of their meadow, as they would be free-ranging - and in a rush to do so! The went on the hunt for any black berries that I missed yesterday. Again, the tunnel through my hedge then out into the field – and lo behold I found some more.

I also picked lots of bunches of elderberries too – will be looking up a recipe for them too.

Back to the barrow and this is what greeted me.

330ft to play in and they dig out a big deep bowl in the plant border and snuggle down.

I trundled off and left them to it – too much to do before the rains come to stand and stare!

My mission today was to clear the weeds and finished crops from a raised bed, and repair or remodel it, and then sow some more crops for salads.

I didn’t get chance to take a finished photo, as the rain almost caught me out a few hours later and I had to make a dash for home.

It was somewhat satisfying being on hands and knees pulling out weeds and discovering germinated seedlings – you can’t do that with a rotorvator can you?

I left the rows of spinach and chard intact – as we and the chooks and my family eat it. They are good crops for the winter and seem to survive right through and are edible all the time too.

There are some carrot seedlings coming up – a bit late – but you never know. Last year a late sowing produced lovely early carrots in the spring. I sowed some more beetroot – for a leaf crop, Webbs Wonderful lettuce, an Oriental leaf mixture, more spinach to harvest the small leaves as they grow for salads rather than the big leaves from the summer plants, and another sowing of cultivated rocket, again for small leaf pickings.

The rocket I pulled up, served us well, and I have saved some seed stalks to dry to use next year.

It took me a while to re-jig the raised bed, a bit Heath Robinson looking, but it will keep the birds and rabbits off, and that is good enough for me.

When I win the lottery, I will get a man in make really posh raised beds and have a rabbit proof fence that goes down three feet to keep the little blighters out, bless their furry little bob tails.

Harvested today – Cherokee climbing beans, and flat French climbing beans, yellow Haricots for drying, the blackberries, elderberries, two autumn raspberries which I ate, runner beans for lunch, spinach, chard, and two eggs.

Not a bad haul huh?

A phone call from Pat and the black clouds heavy with rain about to fall on me any second, meant a hasty retreat – calling the girls – who for once were on a go slow an not the slightest bit interested that a cloudburst was imminent. I had to go back and shake a plastic ice cream tub with their fruit cores in to get them running helter skelter for shelter in their run.

Then I did the same, stopping only to snap this flash of bright red on the way.

And the asparagus

And one last look over my shoulder at my giant rudbeckia - which flower their hearts out all summer long until the first frosts - without any dead heading by me.

I think that I will propagate them next year and have a whole row of them along the fence.

You can see them from wherever you are in the field - a big bold bright sunshine yellow - gladdens your heart on a miserable day.


  1. As usual, your pictures are beautiful! Please don't take this as criticism because it certainly isn't meant to be. I'm having fun with all the strange words you use that are so unfimiliar to a southern USA girl! I envy you all the berries you are picking. We can't seem to get wild or cultivated ones here. Just a handful or two this summer.

  2. Hello Dot - I have lots of visitors from all over the world and regular comments from those over the pond with you.

    I too need to look up some 'English' words that you use - so never anything that is said is a taken to heart.

    For example - courgettes here are called zuchini in Australia.

    Thank you for your kind comments - I hope you enjoy a peek at an ordinary lady, living in a rural area in a little bit of England, living her daily life - albeit might be a bit boring at times!

  3. Diana in NYC7:04 pm

    Hello! I have never seen Rudbeckia so large -- they are gorgeous. Your photos with the new camera are brilliant. Really enjoying the cute pictures of your allottment "helpers." We have been enjoying our small harvest of tomatoes these past few weeks, but I see you have so many more still on the vine than we do. Best wishes for your Fall harvest.
    Regards, Diana

  4. gosh AL, those rudbeckia are monsterous! mine are only about 1ft tall, if that. They are lovely.

  5. Thanks Leonie - it is the particular variety - I can do some seed saving if you would like some?

  6. I love the rudbeckia too, can I go on the list for some saved seed pretty please?

    The pic of the girls was funny, I couldn't make out all 3 at first!They are so entertaining!

    I feel a little embarrassed that you have pics of my handiwork (not that much LOL!) I must admit, they do look good, glad you like them.They are washable and best ironed when just a little damp, especially the calico/hens one.
    Ihave a pinny mysister made for me when I was over 5st heavier than now and it's really too big for me but I love wearing it.

    your new camera is the 'bees knees', lovely crisp pics.

  7. Thanks Sandie - just think, you 'handiwork' as you put it, is being looked at by hundreds of people all around the world. I am thrilled to bits, thank you so much. Just getting together a parcel for you now.

    Yes of course you may have some seeds and of anything else that catches you eye too.

    I couldn't make out the pile of chooks either - they are so funny, they were just one writhing feather fluffing bundle! one of top of each other!

    More of your handiwork on today's blog


Thank you for visiting and leaving a comment - it is very much appreciated. Your comment will appear after moderation.