Monday, June 21

Things are filling up


We've had another busy week. It's been a case of, not so much making hay while the sun shines, as filling the plot while the rain holds off. I have to be honest though, the allotment could really do with some 'proper' rain. We've had a couple of light showers but nothing like the forecasts promised. Any rain falling on the UK has fizzled out before reaching us, or has swerved to avoid us. This has meant one task has been to water everything - no mean task, as now we have so much planted and the water pressure, on our site, is such that if two people try to water at the same time it can take ages to fill a watering can.

We haven't spent all our time at the allotment though, as usual we had an afternoon walk in the parkland at Nostell. It's interesting to see how the dominant plant in the flower meadows change in just a week. The week before, buttercups took centre stage and last week, Ruby was running through clover.
Pathways have been mown through the long grass. Ruby doesn't stick to them, but she leaves no trace in the long grass to give away where she has been.

As well as clover, there are large patches of bird's foot trefoil and dog daisies,

I wonder what next will take over from the clover as the star flower?

The good news is all four cygnets are still doing well.
The family was some distance away, so the photos aren't brilliant, but hopefully, you can see how quickly the cygnets are growing.

Back at the allotment, Things are filling up ...
... but planting goes on.

 I planted some of the remaining climbing French and runner beans.
We planted more brassicas. This time, these were calabrese - Montclano, purple sprouting broccoli - Rudolf and Claret, red cabbage - Red Lodero and savoy - Wintessa, Cordessa and Rigoletto. Some filled a bed already half planted, and the others filled a second bed. As the ground was so dry, we filled the planting hole with water before planting. As brassicas are hungry plants each was given a helping of fertiliser to give them a boost and lime to help thwart club root.
The brassicas planted earlier are now starting to take off.
It also looks as though, this year, we will actually have some broad beans to harvest. The first batch is now producing pods, and the second batch is flowering.
It's always a tense time after sowing seed or planting out, when nothing seems to be happening so it is satisfying when things start to grow away.
I've planted out more annual flowers. This year they have been sown in trays, as conditions for sowing directly into the soil were never right, too dry or too wet! In this bed are planted, dahlias, cosmos, cornflowers, calendulas, godetia, scabious, poppies, sunflowers, nigella and one or two zinnias.

Sweet Williams that were sown last year are now flowering and producing the first cut flowers of the season.
As well as planting on the allotment, I have also been adding plants to our new bed at home.
As we are not yet adventurous enough to visit garden centres so plants were ordered online. They were quite small specimens, so once they arrived plants were potted up to grow on. Growers are, like us behind schedule so some plants have arrived later than expected. In fact, some have still to be delivered. I've chosen perennials with a long flowering period for this bed, although I don't expect many flowers this year. I planted, penstemon, rudbeckia, sedum. achillea, astrantia and geraniums. Each was a collection of a few varieties. There are some lythrums growing on in pots and we are awaiting delivery of some heleniums.

We managed to take time out from busily planting to smell the roses on the allotment and in the garden.
As others have mentioned on their blogs, the roses seem to be beautiful this year. Maybe they know that we need cheering up!
When it came to harvesting we had a treat last week. At the beginning of the week, we picked our first punnet of strawberries.
Then on Sunday, we came home with six large punnets full of lovely ripe strawberries. This poses a bit of a dilemma as they were produced by Elsanta and Sweetheart, two of the varieties in the old strawberry bed which we are digging up at the end of the year. I am intending to root runners from these two varieties, but we are now wondering whether we should leave these two varieties in situ. It's a decision for later.
Another first harvest was a cucumber - Pepinex, from a plant growing in the garden greenhouse.

As well as gardening at the allotment, we also filmed a plot tour which, if you are interested is posted here.

As always wherever you are keep safe and well.
This week, once again,  I'm going to join in with Dave’s Harvest Monday collection of posts over at Our Happy Acres.

Copyright: Original post from Our Plot at Green Lane Allotments http://glallotments.blogspot.co.uk/ author S Garrett

16 comments:

  1. Ruby looks to be enjoying her walks. Archie loves running through the long grass too, I wonder what they like about it, perhaps the swishing noise it makes. Your roses are gorgeous, mine are late this year, only one is flowering yet, though as soon as one flower opened the rest followed suit and the bush is now covered in blooms.

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    1. Ruby just likes running full stop, Jo. She's a bundle of energy. The roses are wonderful this u=year which translates to lots of dead heading.

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  2. Fabulous roses and a wonderful strawberry harvest, lucky you. Our allotments have troughs with a float on them that fill automatically in the same way as a toilet cistern which are brilliant because you only have to dip your watering can and you're done. Highly recommended, especially in extra dry weather when everyone needs water and lots of it. Bertie did some running through the wild flowers and grass at the country park a couple of weeks ago and his eyes really puffed up and went red. Not sure what it was, but clearly he reacted to some pollen or other. It is nice to see the different flowers coming through though. The country park has big areas that have been left to native flowers. It was buttercups, clover and ox eye daisies dominating this morning.

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    1. Are you allowed to use a hosepipe, CJ? Just wondered how it would work with your system. Do you think Bertie has hay fever, Ruby has been sneezing quite a bit an I wondered if she had a touch of hay fever but it doesn't appear to bother her though.

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  3. I know what you mean about tense times after sowing seeds. I just sowed the climbing beans here and I've been watering every day and waiting for them to sprout. We could use a good rain here too as overall it's been a dry spring. You have a lovely collection of roses! Your strawberries look yummy too. I miss eating the homegrown ones but I don't miss having to replant every few years. We also have a couple of farm markets that sell the close by us.

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    1. We loved the strawberries, Dave. Some were made into a compote to freeze. We used to have pick your own fields around here. Whilst you were picking you could eat as many berries as you liked. Your haul was weighed after picking and you just paid for that. The problem was that you couldn't stop picking and probably ended up with too many unless you wanted to make jam.

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  4. Your allotment looks like a little farm! Your annual flower bed will be beautiful. Roses are very nice. Meadow wildflowers--so cute with Ruby.

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    1. I hope that the annuals grow Sue. You never can be certain. One things that is certain is Ruby will not be allowed to run amongst them

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  5. I used to love watering, but then it became a chore and you have got so much to water. So, I'm not alone in not wanting to venture into places such as garden centres. Our lives are forever changed, even when we do feel brave enough.

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    1. You certainly are not alone, Deborah especially in light of the Delta variant causing the infections to rise. Watering is Ok in manageable amounts but we have to resort to a hose pipe set up to use as a watering can as otherwise we need to carry water so far. In te past I have strained my shoulder carrying heavy cans.

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  6. I'm so impressed by all those strawberries, Littl'urchin found five on my plants today and that's it. I love your roses, we all seem to be having a good year for them. Your allotment is looking wonderful, good to see everything thriving. We are in dire need of rain too. I loathe getting the hosepipe out. Lovely seeing Ruby enjoying herself and the changing flowers in the meadow. Lovely to see the cygnets doing so well, swans are super parents.xxx

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    1. I'm really happy to see all four cygnets whenever we visit, Dina. Who would dare take on their dad?

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  7. As I was reading this I was thinking how lovely it is to see everything growing and bare patches turning green. Then I reached those luscious red strawberries and could almost smell them! With hindsight, June has been a great month!

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    1. It's always an eagerly awaited transformation. Belinda. Sadly it doesn't last ling enough.

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  8. It always seems to me that plants sulk and remain in suspended animation after they are planted and then all of a sudden take off. They certainly appear to be doing that now on your allotment Sue. As well as plants being behind in growth I've heard and read that many are in short supply too as a result of Covid 19 and Brexit. We are being very careful too Sue but have ventured out more recently. We have been to a couple of garden centres but not on sunny days. Do you have any local nurseries? Often better for buying plants and usually so much quieter than garden centres.

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    1. Our local nursery has an adjoining tea room which is so popular it has expanded, Anna. We use click and collect for compost etc, as you pick up in the parking area, The last time we went, the place was heaving and the car park was full to overflowing,

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