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!



David Gascoigne said...

Despite your frustrations, your garden looks beautiful and productive. Enjoy it and its bounty.

Lucy Corrander Now in Halifax! said...

Thanks David. I certainly enjoy it . . . and haven't shown photos of the large areas not yet cultivated! Whether I'm up to date with my work there or horribly behind hand it's become fundamental to my happiness now I live in a thoroughly urban area.

Sue Garrett said...

The pink flower is a phlox and the white flowered bush could be a hebe. We always sow peas direct and have found the results much better than when growing and planting out. We sow the seeds very generously not this sowing seeds at given intervals.

liz said...

I too, was going to say the pink flower looks like phlox. When I was a child I growing up in England, the only tomatoes from Gardens seemed to be greenhouse ones. There has been hybridizing success to have them grow outdoors.
You seem to have had trials in one plot and great success in the acquired one. Those strawberries look yummy. Onward!

Imperfect and Tense said...

Yep, the white flower is a Hebe. The suspected Ragwort looks more like a cultivated variety of Senecio, rather than the wild version, which would still explain the presence of the Cinnabar Moth caterpillar. Glad you're enjoying the fruits (and vegetables) of your labours.

Lucy Corrander Now in Halifax! said...

Hello Sue. Have now looked up Phlox and Hebe and they certainly look right as an ID - so thank you.
That's interesting about planting the peas all at once rather than intervals. I've got peas in two places (well, three if you count the total failure section) and it would be much easier to plant (and weed) them in bulk. It's a helpful thought too in relation to planning how to lay things out for next year. So far it's pretty random and related to what ground is most easily clearable etc.

Lucy Corrander Now in Halifax! said...

Hello Liz. Yes. Phlox it seems.
While I was in Dorset, I grew tomatoes outside and they were fine. But in theory it's much warmer - indeed hotter - on the south coast. This year, it's sweltering in Yorkshire and sometimes hotter than in Dorset - despite having two bouts of snow earlier on (the second killing off the hibernating geraniums I'd put in one of the greenhouses).

Lucy Corrander Now in Halifax! said...

Hello Imperfect and Tense (brilliant name!).
I'm very pleased to read your explanation about the ragwort. I love the wild kind but had to pull it out when I arrived on the allotment last year, consoling myself that it would inevitably pop up again - which it didn't! Instead I have masses and masses of mare's tails / horse tails.

John "By Stargoose And Hanglands" said...

A fine selection of produce from your allotment. I've grown Alicante tomatoes for some years and they've always produced plenty of fruit despite the fact that I usually forget to remove the side-shoots after brief initial enthusiasm. They are medium-sized though. If you're looking for smaller fruits then you might try Gardener's Delight, they grow well out-of-doors the only problem I've had is that I can't resist popping them straight into my mouth so not so many make it to the kitchen.

Lucy Corrander Now in Halifax! said...

Hello John. Gardener's Delight is my favourite variety of tomato - in part for the very reason you mention - that one can stand there eating them. Tomatoes always taste best in the sunshine. And the flavour is brilliant. I had trouble germinating them though and landed up with only one plant so I didn't mention it. I later found that putting pots in trays on the electric airer with a sheet over the whole contraption produced resulted in good germination . . . Too late for this year but a lesson for next.

Candi said...

So proud that I managed to identify the Phlox! It must be due to my love of old fashioned garden flowers and learning all their names when I was a child. I'm still surprised sometimes that my children showed such little interest in the natural world.

And it's looking especially beautiful here, with your gorgeous photos lit up by the summer sun.

I hope the new allotment continues to thrive x

Hollis said...

Weed or not, the ragwort/senecio is beautiful -- I agree with "sunshine on stems" :)

Lucy Corrander Now in Halifax! said...

Hello Hollis. I'm glad I now have a name for this lovely plant. When people ask me what it is I can say 'Senecio' instead of 'a rather large and bushy ragwort'. Ragwort has to be pulled out on the allotment. It's a bit like grasses. There are some lovely grasses there. I made the mistake of commenting how beautiful they are to another allotment holder (a surprising variety of flowers from quite early in the summer, and continuing} - and had to cut them down. I do understand that people growing vegetables don't want seeds from other people's 'weeds' wafting around their own plots but I'm finding it hard to adjust from wild countryside to cultivation. My allotment feels like my own little bit of countryside - but that's not what they are for.
(Actually, with grass seeds, most of them are so heavy they simply drop to the ground in a summer where there is little wind. In some places they have fallen quite thickly - a solid mass of pale yellow. But this will be my problem - which is not a problem because grass pulls up / hoes up very easily when it's small. It's only when it gets its roots in that it can becomes awkward.

Lucy Corrander Now in Halifax! said...

Hello Candi. The phlox was already on the plot when I took it over. I'd like some more 'old' flowers - like Golden Rod and tall Michaelmas Daisies.

Phil Slade said...

Yes, the comments problems have been problematical to me too. And it's still not fixed to my liking having to open in my blog "design" before they appear in my designated email.

It looks like you have some sort of buddleia that is different to the usual pink and purple one. But it is clearly good for insects. I think it is ragwort, not popular with horse owners (poisonous) but Cuckoos like the Cinnabars that feed on it. No other bird eats Cinnabars. Isn't the natural world with all of its peculiarities fascinating?

Lucy Corrander Now in Halifax! said...

Hello Phil. No horses on my allotment so I'll keep watering my ragwort bush!

I don't think the white flower is buddleia because the bush is about four foot high and round; neither tall nor straggly (which is how I think of Buddleia).

Unfortunately, no cuckoos either!

Marleen said...

There is a lot of variety in your garden, Lucy. Lovely flowers and photos.

Countryside Tales said...

It’s all looking grand and experimenting is part of the joy of gardening I think. Learning what to try for next year, adapting to the weather conditions etc. Lovely to see the small tort- so few of them around these days. I’ve seen two all summer. You’re doing a super job x

Lucy Corrander Now in Halifax! said...

Hello Marleen. Being at the beginning of my allotmenting life I have quite a few things but not a lot of them. (I should have planted more peas and onions!) Lots of ground for one person to cultivate so I hope by next year it will be a bit like a mini farm. (Dreams!) I'm pleased you like the photos.

Lucy Corrander Now in Halifax! said...

Hello Countryside Tales. I've seen small tortoishells in the nearby countryside too. (And ringlets.)

bill burke said...

What a beautiful garden you have. All the food and flowers look fantastic. Enjoy!

Diana Studer said...

No patch of garden at home any more?
A bit tantalising to have to yank out wildflowers because they are weeds.

Lucy Corrander Now in Halifax! said...

Hello Bill. What there is, I am glad for - but so far only a very little is done. It will be fun creating more beauty (and more food!)

Lucy Corrander Now in Halifax! said...

Hello Diana. Living in urban Yorkshire is very different from coastal Dorset and few people in our area have gardens. There's a small space at the front of the house for dustbins and a few plants in pots, but this is a traditional back-to-back so it adjoins houses on the other three sides - no space for a garden.
Indeed, to have that little space for flower pots is fortunate. In one town I looked at before moving here many of the houses didn't even have that. Proximity and lack of space can make for cheerfulness though. There were washing lines across the back lanes and even washing pinned across the fronts of houses.
In part this is because of the topography and in part because of the way the population massively increased at the end of the nineteenth century when there was a big expansion in the cloth industry. The hills are steep and although there is a lot of countryside around, not much is level enough to build on - so people were crammed into towns and the houses were crammed against each other.
I'm very happy here but when the house was built I wouldn't have been - the noise and pollution would have been unbearable.
The deeds to the house (which is actually quite spacious compared to many in the area, perhaps because it was originally intended for more people) stipulate there should be no steam engine in it! I have yet to find out what kind of steam engine would have been envisaged and where it could have been put!

Birgitta said...

Lovely flowers and photos!

Rosie said...

Blogger was a nuisance for a while wasn't it? Seems okay now, I'll keep my fingers crossed. We grew some Sicilian Lemon Garlic this year and I've been fascinated with it in all its stages. Your allotement produce and flowers look wonderful:)

Squirrelbasket said...

Great to see what you have been up to.
I'm so impressed by how healthy all your plants are - and so attractive to insects, obviously!
Have you had some rain in Halifax? Total drought here in South Wales for weeks and all the plants are dying if not watered every day.
I love the cinnabar moth caterpillar - I haven't seen one of those for years.
Pea shoots in salads were a "thing" a few years ago - you could even buy bags of them in M&S. Coincidentally these tasty tendrilly things were also the garnish on every dish at a lunch I had in a posh hotel yesterday - enjoy...
All the best :)

Caro said...

I'm a bit late in commenting but it's been lovely to catch up with your allotment and news. I rarely get any comments on my blog now, I wonder if it's to do with Blogger changes - who knows?? The white flower is definitely a Hebe - there used to be an enormous pink Hebe in the gardens here but the 'maintenance' gardeners chopped it down by mistake. Such a shame as it was always covered in a variety of bees in the summer. You are lucky to have an extra half an allotment - any plots are hard to come by here in London, huge waiting lists and plots being wasted by people who don't have time to look after them properly. Halifax sounds rather lovely; but I have a soft spot for Yorkshire anyway.

Lucy Corrander Now in Halifax! said...

Thank you Birgitta.

Lucy Corrander Now in Halifax! said...

Hello Rosie. I took lots of seeds from one kind of ornamental garlic but am not sure I've caught more than one of the Sicilian kind. The stems became so brittle they were falling off. I've put them in a tray in the sunshine and will shake them every so often to see if any more fall out.

Lucy Corrander Now in Halifax! said...

Hello Squirrelbasket. I have needed to do a lot of watering, have not managed to do enough so some things have struggled or even died. (The 'ordinary' peas went that way.) And the tendrils for eating have been fine in flavour but a bit tough in texture. Have to use them a bit like chewing gum.

Lucy Corrander Now in Halifax! said...

Hello Caro. One of the continuing problems with Blogger is that it no longer automatically sends copies of comments to you by email. I now tick the box which says to recieve follow-up comments but it means leaving a comment yourself first.
Good allotments were hard to come by where I lived before. A ten year waiting list for one. I can't believe my luck with this. I came across it by looking at green places in the area on google earth when deciding whether to move here. I then 'walked' up and down outside it on street view and thought it looked so good there would be no place for me. But there was! And it's brilliant. The site even has a loo!

Pat Tillett said...

Wow! One gorgeous photo after another. You don't have to prove your existence. I know you are out there and when you do post, it is always worth the wait. It seems that I'm only only on line a fraction of what I once was. Do what you want to do!