Thursday, 19 July 2018


9th July 2018
Bee on one of the ornamental onions.
(Buff tailed bumble bee?)
Other bloggers don't seem to need to do this - pop up every so often to prove they exist. Nor do they have to explain that their laptops and their cameras are forever going off to be mended. But this is me. Laptop back. Camera soon to go for the focus mechanism to be sorted.

Other bloggers don't seem to have been phased by the changes in EU laws about privacy protection which coincided with changes in how people show their IDs when leaving comments either. 

Been coming in to land on Sicilian Garlic. (Ornamental.)
This photograph was taken on 11th June 2018

But I got completely overwhelmed by it all - especially when 'Blogger' decided to test whether we are humans or not by presenting a complicated quiz about which tiny pictures had images of cars in. I didn't ask for it and got very cross when suddenly it was there. It seems to have gone again . . . so I'll stop being cross and worried and post in celebration of my allotment.

Despite losing some early on to what I thought was a badger but which other allotmenteers say would have been a fox, the ornamental garlics have been wonderful. They have covered a long flowering period and are still going strong. Many are now producing brilliant seeds heads after spectacular flowers. But I can't say my proper vegetable crops are an outstanding success. My culinary onions look like ordinary supermarket ones and there are very few of them. The time and effort taken is barely worth the result.. Growing from seed instead of sets would have been better.

Green Magnolia Pea - 2nd June 2018.
After the first (like this) went straggly, I started again by planting directly in the ground.
These later plants are doing much better.
The idea is that they produce masses of tendrils which can be eaten in salads.
The flowers are beautiful.
The peas I started off early didn't thrive. Those I planted in the ground have done better but the soil is poor and keeping up with watering when we have had about two months without rain has been a bit of a challenge. Next year the weather will be different so lessons learned this year won't necessarily apply then but at the moment I'm thinking direct sowing will be the way to go.

My radishes are brilliant but I can't show you because I've not photographed them yet and as I gave today's bundle to a neighbour on my way home I can't photograph them now.

Alicante (?) tomatoes in greenhouse.
19th July 2018
I'm putting the question mark because seed descriptions on the internet
don't compare with what I think I'm growing. I'll have to find the seed packet.
The tomatoes are ok though - and heading towards plenty. I'm growing three varieties. Alicante which I grew from seed (in the photograph) Moneymaker (also from seed and planned for open ground but still in pots) and an unknown kind given me by another allotmenteer. (We don't have a language in common so asking what variety they are didn't work.) They look good and strong and a tomato is a tomato so it doesn't matter and I'm simply grateful to him and am glad for having two greenhouses too. The Allicante should be grown with very few but very long streamers but as I guess that would mean too many would ripen at once, I'm letting them do their own thing - apart from a bit of sideshooting. I'm growing them for food, not to impress. (And am also in a muddle - I thought the packet described small tomatoes but the internet says medium. I'll look out the packet. But whatever kind they are I'll enjoy them.)

The extra half allotment I took on in addition to my first full one is brilliant. Not only did I inherit  a huge strawberry bed and two greenhouses, established flowers came with it too. Maybe someone can tell me what these deep pink flowers are?

Beyond them you can see . . . is it a ragwort 'bush'? I watered it assiduously from early on and when I asked the previous allotment holder what it is she said 'A weed'. I watered it anyway . . . and bees and butterflies love it - and so do I. Here's a Cinnabar moth caterpillar sunning itself. If this plant is a ragwort I suppose I'll need to cut the flowers off before they make seeds. In the meantime - it's sunshine on stems - and makes up for the dandelion season being past.

Here's another bush I don't know what it is. I can't say it's very much to my taste visually but when the flowers first opened the scent was heavenly. Again, it's a pretty-insect-attractor. Here's a butterfly.  Is it a Small Tortoiseshell? (Masses of bees on it too.)

I wouldn't have chosen to grow a hydrangea but since I inherited one - I'm quite pleased with how it's turned out.

29th June 2018

I'll finish with strawberries. They are all eaten now and I'm waiting to collect their runners so I can start a new bed for next year's crop. Oh joy it was to have unlimited strawberries for nearly a month! These were some of the early ones.

A lot of catch-up. Hope it's not overload!