Monday, November 7

Out after dark

Not a large harvest again as we have been out and about again and the days when we were free to go to the plot, the weather hasn't been encouraging.

We are carrying out some major clearance and tidying work on the plot which meant we ended up with quite a heap of debris.

Our allotment rules state that we can only light bonfires an hour before dusk so as not to upset the neighbours or other plot holders. As, here in the UK, our clock were moved back one hour at the end of October meaning dusk moved forward an hour. Whilst the weather remained dry, on Monday we took the opportunity and the fact that Bonfire Night was close by to burn as much as we could.
31 October
Monday was also Halloween and so it wasn't without considerable risk that we remained at the plot after dark.


Debris disappeared in a puff of smoke and we managed a small harvest.

Yes that's another bucketful of quince and still more remains on the tree. It is likely that the remaining fruit will be past its best especially as last week saw the first frosts of winter.
It was challenging picking alpine strawberries in the gloom. To give you some idea of the conditions, at one point Martyn had to ring my mobile as he couldn't find me in the darkness. No doubt the frost will have damaged any strawberry flowers and brought that harvest to an abrupt end.

I guess this may well be the last if the plot flowers too. The dahlia will definitely have been cut back by the frost.

The calendula is self sown and I just love the colour. I really must remember to collect seed. As it is growing in an isolated position I am hoping it will come true to the colour.


Having cleared the plot greenhouse, I was able to dig up and move the chrysanthemums under cover. As some have buds beginning to open I just managed to protect them from any potentially damaging frost and so my cut flower season will hopefully be prolonged.

We have been harvesting salad leaves from the garden but these are rarely photographed.


I harvested a handful of parsley to try cube freezing again.


This time I didn't dry the leaves before chopping and the frozen parsley did form cubes but the problem was that the cubes wouldn't come out of the ice cube trays easily. Still, never mind, I have some frozen parsley even if it isn't in cubes.




33 comments:

  1. It's nice when stuff for the bonfire is dry isn't it. Often at this time of year everything seems to be wet the whole time. There's been a distinct lack of rain though, and I can't see much forecast in the next ten days either. Lovely that you still have little strawberries and flowers. I noticed that the touch of frost here the other night withered the petals on some of the cosmos. Still lots of buds though and even the occasional bee so I shall leave well alone.

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    1. We haven't been to the plot since we had a frost, CJ so don't know what the damage is yet.

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  2. Still lots of busy-ness going on there. Love the bouquet! And yum-strawberries!
    Have a terrific week, Sue

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    1. We just need some busy-ness weather, Sue.

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  3. Mike treated himself to a bonfire yesterday. He found it very satisfying though got carried away and burnt my sweet pea frame! x

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    1. What is it about boys and fires, Jo?

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  4. Bonfires! Scary thought here, especially after watching the wilderness burn for nearly 3 months recently. More lovely quince and look at that cauliflower - wonderful. Beautiful flowers too.

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    1. I can understand your feelings about bonfires, Michelle.

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  5. Haven't had a bonfire for ages - nowhere to have one now we've got nearly all the garden straightened up.

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    1. We would have nowhere suitable in our garden either, Jayne. On the plot at least we have beds cleared of crops at this time of year.

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  6. Those calendulas are indeed gorgeous - love the buttery yellow. We will be having a bonfire soon too - I have several huge bags of tomato debris waiting to be incinerated :)

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    1. I just hope the seeds from them come true to their colour, Margaret.

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  7. Love the purple, yellow and white of the flowers.
    Have you tried lightly oiling the trays before freezing the parsley? Works for me.

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    1. I'll try that next time, Deborah, thanks.

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  8. Your cut flowers have been a big success, how lovely to still be bringing such a variety home at this time of year. Mick's uncle is keeping my vases full of chrysanthemums at the moment.

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    1. I love chrysanthemums at this time of year, Jo. I don't know whether any cosmos will have survived the frosty weather.

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  9. The flowers are lovely! Dr TR on the ice cube issue, I have heard that you can oil the cubes thingy first but I bought a silicon ice cube thing from Track in the summer.

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    1. Are things easier to remove from silicon trays, L? The thing is that if they take too long to remove the herbs thaw.

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    2. The silicon ones are "bendy" so easy to empty. The normal ones with removal grids are fine but the rigid plastic ones tend to snap unless rinsed with lots of water. Listen to me! I should get a life.

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  10. I save seeds from our calendula but I have to say the volunteers seem to do better than one I sow. And it takes a dedicated gardener to pick strawberries in the dark!

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    1. Or a dedicated strawberry eater, Dave.

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  11. Autumn bonfires are the best! Your flowers are so beautiful and perfect. I'm impressed that there's not a single nibbled on petal. And that sounds like a challenge to pick strawberries in the dark, but I'm sure they are worth it!

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    1. I did pick the best of flowers to bring inside, Julie. I must say though any flowers that were damaged outside seemed to have been damaged by the weather rather than anything nibbling at the petals.

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  12. There are still handful of harvest! ;)
    You have rules for bonfire?
    Happy Halloween!

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    1. We do on the allotment, Malar. We rent the plot from the council and they set the rules so that any neighbouring houses are not bothered by the fires too much.

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  13. All looking so nice ♥

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  14. That's an interesting rule about when you can have bonfires Sue. No such regulations on our site but the majority of plot holders are considerate as to when they burn. I smiled at the thought of Martin phoning you so that he could locate you in the dark. What variety is your quince and how long has it taken to provide you with so many quinces?

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    1. The quince is Meeches Prolific, Anna. We planted it in March 2010. This is its best year. We harvested some fruit in its first year and in 2013 it produced a reasonable crop. It had a good crop last year too. Just one poor year in 2014 when it produced lots of fruit but they had bitter pit. It's a pretty tree when it is in flower.

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  15. Strawberries this time of year, wonderful.

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    1. Probably no more now Brian as the flowers will have been frosted. The alpine strawberries usually fruit until the beginning of November.

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