Wednesday, August 31

Plot amphibians

Monday, August 29

What's bright yellow and plum shaped?

Each time we visit the plot my first task is to pick over the peas and when we arrive back home my first job is to shell them. It's been a good year for peas. Maybe the fact that we haven't had a prolonged run of hot days has suited them. Pea growing hasn't been all plain sailing though. One batch of seeds germinated patchily and only in small patches at that. I resowed the bare patches but they didn't germinate either. I suspect some small creature found them and made a meal of them. The earliest sown peas had to battle through weevil damage when cooler than average weather meant the plants grew very slowly. The plants that I am harvesting from at the moment have the beginning of mildew so I hope they survive until all the pods are picked.

Like last year we used up the remaining pea seeds in a late sowing. Last year this wasn't a success but as all gardeners know no two years are the same and this year we may be lucky. If not we have lost nothing and produced some green manure.
23 August

The All Gold autumn raspberries are producing more fruit now. The one failing of this variety is that the berries spoil quickly if they are not picked when they first ripen. Does anyone else find this or is it just out plants? Next year this bed is due for complete renovation so like Joan J that received this treatment this year we are likely to have only a few fruits next season.

As is probably the case for many other gardeners we are being inundated with climbing French and runner beans. The variety of yellow beans - Coronna d'Oro has produced a much better crop than the variety grown last year - Sungold - which didn't live up to the name it shares with its prolific tomato namesake.
25 August
Our plot visit on Thursday ended almost as soon as it started as we were rained off and so I only managed a sparse harvest. 

Martyn was trying to set up an area where we could leave the onions and shallots under some cover to help them dry off but the rain put paid to that and the said vegetables were rained on yet again. His goal eventually was achieved on Sunday. We are hoping that they recover from the soakings they have suffered.
To keep the rain off we have had to use polythene and so this will be removed whenever we are at the plot to let air in.
28 August 
We are now  harvesting a steady stream of tomatoes from outside on the plot and both greenhouses.
One variety of tomato is a puzzle. We knew when the tomatoes on what should have been Gardeners' Delight started to swell, that something was amiss. Gardeners' Delight should be a small, red and round tomato. As the fruit began to swell it was apparent that they were plum shaped. Now they have started to ripen we find that they are bright yellow. We've no idea what variety they actually are but they are certainly not Gardeners' Delight.
The blueberry and Japanese wineberry harvest has now just about come to an end but both have produced fruit over quite a long period. The four blueberry bushes were sold as a collection which would extend the fruiting period but the wineberry has done it all by itself. You may also spot a couple of Malwina strawberries that I found when I was tidying up the plants. The two greengages were picked as they had started to split and would quickly attract the attention of wasps. They are more or less the only fruit that the two greengage trees have produced this year.

Finally we dug our first carrots of the season.
They had greenish shoulders where they had peeked out of the soil but this didn't prevent them from being very tasty.

Today I am linking to Harvest Monday over at Dave's blog  Our Happy Acres

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

Sunday, August 28

Scampston Walled garden and Parkland Trails

We have been meaning to visit Scampston Hall Gardens for a while and on Friday actually made it and what's more the weather was kind to us.

There is plenty to see at Scampston. We started our tour with a wander around the walled gardens.

Plantsman's walk

Within the walls of the garden are various garden rooms enclosed by a series of clipped yew hedges.

Perennial meadow and conservatory

The central area is the Perennial Meadow which is dominated by the newly renovated conservatory and a central fountain.

Perennial meadow

The beds are planted with butterflies and bees in mind and although the perennial season is drawing to a close there was still plenty to see. A feature of the walled garden is that plants are either individually labelled or a planting plan is posted nearby.

The conservatory houses a display of pelargoniums and also various exhibitions including a replica head gardener's office where all the artefacts are numbered and listed.
Can you guess what this is?
other garden rooms include a cut flower and a vegetable garden.

Cut Flower Garden

Vegetable Garden

After lunch in the restaurant we explore the hall gardens and parkland trails.

I am just including a short sample of the photos that we took here.

Rock garden and hall

Rock garden

The grounds were designed by Lancelot Capability Brown - who else would it be?

Lake from Palladian bridge

A Palladian bridge overlooks the main lake and there are plenty of majestic, mature trees to enjoy

Upper part of lake with cascade

The less formal end of the lake is complete with a cascade.

Of course there was a plant sale and you wouldn't expect us to come away empty handed would you.
We bought a red helenium for the red and yellow border. The rain on the flowers is an additional feature added yesterday when the weather prevented a planned plot visit. 

The plants for sale had a descriptive label similar to those used in the garden.
As usual we took lots of photos and video.

I have set up a couple of photo albums containing some photos that we took here. 

and Martyn's videos of the Walled garden and Parkland are below.

If you're interested - take a look.

Wednesday, August 24

Foxy lady

Monday, August 22

Onions drying - cue rain.

16 August
Last week we dug the rest of our six trial variety potatoes. We planted five tubers each of Orla, Vivaldi, Valor, Setanta, Amour and Blue Belle which we bought at a local garden centre's potato day. Orla and Vivaldi, being early varieties, had already been lifted.

So far we haven't taste tested every variety but yields and observations are described below.
Martyn posted more about our potato harvest here.

The yellow courgettes are still producing but the green variety is very slow to crop. It seems to concentrate all its efforts into producing one fruit per plant which swells to an enormous size if we don't pick it quickly enough. Now the plants have been hit with mildew so I guess there will not be many more fruits.
The blueberries are almost done but the yellow autumn raspberry - All Gold is beginning to produce fruit. As I dug up and divided the red Joan J we are not likely to have a crop from them this year. The plants have sent up some short new growth which should be much stronger next year.

We are still harvesting autumn planted onions as and when we need them. The spring planted onions and shallots had completed their growing and so we decided to lift them and leave them to dry off. We have had some very dry weather with sunshine at times which was ideal drying weather. Then guess what happened. Yes it rained.

20 August
I mentioned last week that I was keeping my eye on the peas as they were carrying lots of immature pods.
This week they soon started to fill out and I harvested them before they had a chance to become past their best. There's hopefully still lots to come. A bonus was that there was not a pea moth caterpillar in sight.

Unfortunately the same couldn't be said for the Victoria plums which looked good but most were inhabited by plum moth caterpillars.
Strangely the yellow Oullins Gage plums growing alongside wasn't similarly affected.

A calabrese head was added to this week's harvest. This was produced by a plant that had regenerated after a slug attack at the time of planting and so has been a long tome coming,
Finally we have the salad harvest from the garden.
The Mini Munch cucumber is producing fruit faster than we can eat them. The small Sungold tomatoes are now ripening but their larger cousins are still hanging back.
I don't think we will have a whole truss ripen as consistently as the shops manage.

The Woodblocx raised bed is keeping us supplied with salad leaves and spring onions. More salad leaves have been sown so I hope the slugs and snails keep their distance.

Today I am linking to Harvest Monday over at Dave's blog  Our Happy Acres

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