Friday, October 30, 2009

Last of the summer flowers

The faded hydrangea head still manages to look glamorous in her autumn colours.
A bit like me?

I love the seed heads in the garden at this time of year

Wedding White

A late poppy making a show befoe the bad weather sets in

The big brother poppy seed head - lovely when they turn brown for flower arranging

The bumble bee making the most of a late nectar bar

I have to dig up the geraniums and move them before the frost

Daisy and Gozzie having a rummage for worms

Last of the sunflowers

Lobelia - fading fast

Daring, in your face, dahlias - keep flowering their hearts out until the frost

Scrabble on her favourite perch catching some sun

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Hours this year.Me:132 He: 122

It was a gloriously sunny and dry day today - not ideal working conditions for me - but covered from head to toe, and any bits that weren't had sunblock on them - I had a fantastic time!

This week I remembered to do some warming up exercises and ham string stretches, so that I could tackle this/

The last few rows of potatoes

These were the actual ones I was tackling.  The 'stuff' on the top are dried grass cuttings, so underneath was lovely and dry - that's the good news - the bad news was that miles had been having a nibble underneath the spuds

It definitely wasn't rabbits - because the top hadn't been disturbed and there were not rabbit 'currants'.  I first suspected rats - but there are no rat runs and  again, all the protective grass cuttings were undisturbed and the damage was underneath - so it can only be moles - the little blighters.   We did get some really big jacket potato sized spuds - so the ones they had a nibble at, we were able to bring home and rescue at least half of each potato.

I was thrilled with my main crop though. Really pleased - no holes - no blight - just some nibbles on some from the moles!  We had some for lunch - oven baked wedges - and they were gorgeous.

The soil is looking really good - thanks to all the manure I put on it before the potatoes were planted.  It's a great relief to get them up before the weather changes.  Now 'all' I have to do is some tidying up.

I might get the rotorvator out and go over this patch - but may not.   There are only a few annual weeds left and the frost will kill them - and I will need to do it in the spring anyway.  The plots all around me have weeds waist high - so these little annuals aren't a problem - it's just me, being fussy!

I was worn out at this point - and just took time out to make the most of the beautiful sky.
So I stood on the spot and turned, and took some photos to show you the view

Look at that sky - not my brassica patch, that's next on my list!

My 'neighbours' plot - a bit full of weeds

Turning around a bit more - oh dear all those Dock weeds in seed.  If the wind blows again I will be digging up the seedlings on my plot next year!

Further up their plot to the pig farm buildings.
All quiet at the moment as no pigs are in residence.

Time for me to stop daydreaming and help get the car packed up ready for home.
The fruit bushes need a prune - and I might take some cuttings.

Smile Pat  - I am just about to clear up - honestly!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Hours this year.Me:130 He: 120

We have started getting frosts - so we thought it better we high tailed it up to the allotment to do some harvesting whilst we can.

The sunflowers are at the end of their life

But they have been stunning and I will certainly grow this variety again.

You can see where the frost has killed off the leaves of the pumpkins - so we have just managed to harvest them in time.

They are quite a rare variety which I have tried out for the first time this year.   I only had four seeds in the packet, and three of them germinated.   They have been left to fend for themselves throughout the drought, and have still produced a nice crop

They are called Blue Hubbard - and I can't wait to taste them.  The others are a small green variety - sadly I lost all the details of the varieties when I lost my website - but again - a really good crop from a couple of plants.

We intended just to gather the squashes and pumpkins as it was raining and cold and windy - but as usual we got side tracked.  Here is some of my Russian Kale - under netting to keep the pesky pigeons off it - this is for winter use, so not being picked yet.

I did harvest three Hispi cabbages, and left a few in for later.  The caterpillars have had a bit of a feed on the outside leaves - but they have left the hearts for us to eat.  The bantams will have all the outer leaves which they love - so nothing goes to waste here!

I love the colours and texture of the mini sweetcorn now that it has finished, and the frost has coloured it.  It makes a wonderful sound in the wind - and sways beautifully.  Can you tell that I am easily distracted?

I had a lovely surprise in these beds - I discovered some little courgettes.  The rains of late seem to have brought on a flush of growth just before the frosts.  So its free food!

It wasn't intentional, as I am choked up with a cold still, but the fresh air and being up the allotment made me feel great - so we dug up another couple of rows of potatoes.

Well Patrick dug up half a row on the left - the last of the second earlies, and I dug up the row on the right, of the first of the main crop.  He did some weeding on his row - I decided the weeding on mine could wait.

It was pretty dark for mid day wasn't it.

A bit better over there though

Whilst Patrick was putting the tools away and loading up the car, I continued to harvest.

Just a few parsnips and carrots. And more free food, a dried pea must have self sown from the early summer and I had a plant with mange tout on it.  The ground was like concrete all summer, so I wasn't able to thin out the carrots and parsnips, so was pleasantly surprised at the size of them.

Over the fence - one of my neighbours plot.

I feel pretty pleased with my plot and what I have achieved despite my health setbacks.

This is over the fence at the bottom of my plot - the part that used to be mine but I gave  up.

At one time I did feel a bit sad that it had gone to 'pot' after all the hard work I put into it over the years, but it doesn't bother me now.  I am happy with the remainder of my original plot and it has taken a lot of pressure off me trying to keep a quarter of an acre in tip top condition.

Reluctantly I had to pack up and go home - empty tummies, and aching backs!

Back home - just time to unload our car before the rain started up again

But first I had to take out the tomato plants from the lean-to.  Put back the staging, and pile on the pumpkins.

I can't wait to start cooking them

The bonus crop of a late flush of runner beans and more baby courgettes - I am going to have a great cook up over the weekend.

Some more tomatoes to ripen off.

Oh I had such a wonderful time today - out in the fresh air - feeling so alive and happy - Perfect!

It's good to be back blogging about the allotment again.

The resurrection begins

It is rather ironic that I moved from here to  a hosted website as Blogger at the time was in its infancy and kept crashing and losing stuff.

Who would have thought that years later the company hosting my website - Webmania - would crash and not have any back up.

So I have decided to resurrect this old blog - but can't resurrect all my hundreds of posts from the website they are all lost.

But positive thinking is called for - so I will start all over again here - from this week!