Monday, June 1

Our Green and Pleasant Land is Turning Yellow

Still no rain, so we are spending more time than we would like watering those plants that we have managed to plant out in the parched earth. The grass paths are changing from a spring green to a late summer yellow. 

The cold frame, that we moved the previous week, was upended by strong winds so it didn't exactly protect the newly planted dahlias alongside it.
Fortunately the dahlias escaped with little damage and  have now bounced back.
Martyn, has managed to cultivate a few more beds. These were mainly ones that had been still covered with weed control fabric so the soil still possessed a modicum of moisture. I have a feeling that some beds will remain unpopulated this year.
The crates of potatoes were moved out of the garden greenhouse. I've never seen potato tops as tall. To give you some idea I asked, Martyn to stand by them.
Martyn, is six feet tall so I'm guessing the potato tops are about five feet tall.
The carrots, that were growing in the shadow of the potatoes, must be breathing a sigh of relief!

One of the potato varieties - Casablanca - was flowering so we decided to tip out the crate in the hope that the growth wasn't all above 'ground' and that there were some tubers to harvest.
We  were quite pleased with what we found. Only two seed potatoes had been planted from which we harvested 1.3 kg (2.9 lb). We're hoping that the crate  containing International Kidney had done as well. 
Strawberry plants, that are still living in our garden cold frames, provided us with our first strawberry harvest of the year. 

In fact all last week's harvesting came from the garden rather than the allotment. The lettuce - All Year Round - was grown in a pot in the garden greenhouse and the radish were sown between the carrots in the crates. The radishes are Multi-coloured Breakfast, although all the ones picked last week were the usual red.
We did manage to plant the rest of the broad beans, although we watered the area, in which they were to be planted, twice before planting which delayed things a little.  
The plants looked very sorry for themselves after being planted but seem to have cheered up. Just more to add to our watering regime. We're just hoping that we don't end up with water restrictions. I have a feeling that this season plants are going to struggle. I have even heard that it's possible that we may have a frost in June! Just what's going on?
Ruby was quite exhausted after carrying out a plot inspection and helping with the watering.

This week I am linking to harvest Monday hosted on 

Dave's blog Our Happy Acres

You don't have to have your own blog in order to join in conversations. It may seem that everyone who comments knows one another but bloggers always welcome new commenters, after all that is how we all started. 

Wednesday, May 27

A host of hostas

 Copyright: Original post from Our Plot at Green Lane Allotments author S Garrett

Monday, May 25

Every type of weather but rain!

We were intending to spend more time at the allotment last week but once again the weather kept us indoors. This time it was strong winds that made working on the plot an unattractive proposition.

We did, however manage a couple of afternoons at the beginning of the week. After having emptied a couple of our compost bays, Martyn finished renovating the front of the bays using some old fence panels that our plot neighbour, Jan had acquired for us.
We also moved and recovered the old coldframe - which is more like a mini greenhouse. This will house some tomato plants later. We're hoping that it is still in place after being subject to the gales.
To one side, the sheltered side of the coldframe we have planted out the dahlias that had overwintered in the garage. The question is will the coldframe have offered them some protection or flattened them?
We have continued to carry out routine jobs such as tidying, weeding and cutting grass but we are having to devote far too much time watering the parched earth. The warm days and then the strong winds have not helped and we still haven't had any rain. 
Whilst we were kept away from the allotment we did manage to work in the garden greenhouse, sowing seeds, pricking out seedlings and potting young plants on. Some plants will soon need planting out so we desperately need some rain to moisten the soil.

Our greenhouse activity is listed here - just scroll down to the appropriate week

With the greenhouse filling up, young brassica plants have been moved outside to hardened off. These have been covered with netting and fortunately are in a sheltered area of the garden.
As for this week's harvest - if we can call it a harvest - we have continued to pick lettuce leaves as we need them and have also picked our first strawberry - just one but it's a start. I didn't manage a photo as, Martyn had already cut it in two ready to share.

I really don't think this modest picking qualifies me for inclusion to Dave's harvest Monday post but you can see how much better others have done here at Dave's blog Our Happy Acres

One other things we managed to do was to put together a video tour of our plot - if you are interested you can view it here.

Wednesday, May 20

It's starting to look rosy in the garden

Etoile d’Hollande

Lady of Shalott
Lady of Shalott

Golden Showers

Monday, May 18

Here's hoping that we've seen the last of Jack Frost

The predicted visit from Jack Frost came last week vindicating our decision to protect some of the tender plants on the allotment.

The potato shoots that oblivious to the dangers and were pushing up through the earth survived and the shoots waited until the frost had moved on before reemerging. The photo below shows how some of the shoots were attacked earlier when Mr. Frost turned up a day before he was due and caught us napping. The later shoots appreciated the added protection.
Meanwhile the potatoes planted in crates in the garden greenhouse are enjoying a much more cossetted lifestyle.
Many of the strawberry plants are full of flower and so were also given some protection.
Again you can see how the earlier frosty caught some of the flowers and blackened the centres meaning those flowers won't produce fruit. Our belated protection, however managed to save most of the flowers from frost damage.
Hopefully the risk of frost has now passed so, I removed the fleece and enviromesh that were providing protection and was happy to note that many of the plants were producing fruits. It will soon be time for the next lot of protection namely netting to protect from the birds.
We are still being kept busy tidying areas of the plot that are in need of attention and as we still haven't had any rain lots of watering is necessary. It seems that not too long ago I was bemoaning the fact that the plot was soggy and muddy but in a relatively short period we now have parched dusty earth. Watering the plot can be really time consuming as if just one other person is using water at the same time the water pressure is really poor. Unfortunately for us we are at the end furthest from where the water enters  the site.
Martyn, spent time emptying one of our compost bays. We have several bays some of which we use for composting weeds  but this bay is purely for vegetable waste and grass clipping. After riddling the compost using the side of an old bird cage as a sieve, the resulting compost was distributed around the plot. It is soon used up. I'm amazed how some people seem to be able to produce enough compost for all their gardening needs - we can't.
We are continuing sowing seeds, pricking out seedlings and growing plants on in the garden greenhouse and soon it will be all systems go planting on the plot. We always sow seeds relatively late compared to many other gardeners, but we know that we can't risk planting most things outside until mid May.
Dahlia tubers that had been potted up have now moved outside to harden off and free up some greenhouse space. Most of those stored are now growing. We were going to buy some additional tubers this year but under the circumstances this will probably not happen.
We harvested very little last week - May is always the month of sparse pickings for us. We pick leaves off lettuce plants growing in the greenhouse as we need them and they rarely get a mention as no sooner are they picked than they are eaten.
Of course where would a May time harvest be without a few sticks of rhubarb?

This week I am linking to harvest Monday hosted on 

Dave's blog Our Happy Acres

You don't have to have your own blog in order to join in conversations. It may seem that everyone who comments knows one another but bloggers always welcome new commenters, after all that is how we all started. 

Friday, May 15


Last year I bought lots of tulips, one of which was a variety called Candy Club. Other than the picture on the packet there was no indication of its colouring, so I expected creamy white flowers with tiny pink streaks.
To start with that's just what I got and then the white darkened to a primrose yellow with only thin stripes of white remaining.
Gradually the yellow faded into a more creamy colour and the petals were tinged with pink.
Then the pale pink became a deeper pink with the base of the flower becoming a deeper yellow.
Having looked up the variety on the internet this is exactly how the variety develops.
It's been fascinating to watch especially as it wasn't something that I was expecting to happen but I can't help thinking the packaging undersold the variety.

Another transformation this week is that Ruby had her first 'proper' grooming session, all carried out under social distancing rules. It was a bit like a magical act. A furry bundle went into the pet carrier...
 and a sleek puppy came out.