Wednesday, 25 June 2008

They're at it already!!!!

Yes! Tatty and Hilda must have started a trend already - well what did you think I meant??? Honestly!
Yesterday, after my excitingly amazing potato harvest, I spied this little chappy on Kirsty's plot.
Isn't he wonderful. I love his eyes and that smile! Well done Kirsty - all I need to find out now is his name.

My sweetpeas are coming along beautifully now - I have already picked two lots of flowers - one for me at home and one for Susan next door.

1st Earlies - 1st Potato Harvest - WOW

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My very 1st potatoes - home grown - and they were YUMMY

I simply boiled them and added some salt and pepper. They tasted sweet, but not in an overpowering way - more, more, more - my mouth is watering just typing this!!!

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Sweet Peas, Funny Carrots & the ones that don't want to die.....

At last - the sweet peas are in bloom

They are going to look SO pretty with a little more sunshine

Ah - the carrots - maybe a bit more thining needed?

I am not going to chuck them - I will just wash away the soil and chop them up for tonights dinner - I will then start again but this time I will remember to thin them more!

A quick peak in the compost bin this morning was a pretty sight indeed - yes the Nasturtiums that were thrown in there last week some time are refusing to die and continue to flower - how special is that?

Monday, 16 June 2008

Susan's Peas

I just had to share these Peas with you. Susan kindly popped some over to me after our morning at the lotty as I told her that I was having Chateaubriand for dinner
Don't they look YUMMY??

Well they tasted wonderful. I don't know if I could ever eat frozen peas again!

That's all folks - I just had to share this wonderful lotty experience with you.

From the lotty to the table in 5 minutes - that's the way to do it!!

Sunday, 15 June 2008

Hilda Arrives at 144

After setting Hilda's stake in a bucket of quick drying cement & with no wheelbarrow available as our last one went to the dump, this was the only way to get Hilda to the lotty!

Rather uncermonious I know, but it was the only way to do it

This is hubby Ian, carrying Hilda over the threshold - not quite what I had in mind but he did the job!

And here is Hilda & Hubby tesing out her new position - bucket all sunk in and about to be filled up with earth.
Ah bless - doesn't she look lovely - maybe too lovely to be a Scarecrow do you think?

Well - there she is - bringing a bit of Glamour to the lotty & Plot 144

Now another glamourous lady that I would like to introduce you to is Mavis. I have mentioned her many a time, as she is my lotty neighbour & gives me heaps of advice, is always up for a good old chat and works 4 plots!!! 4 plots! can you believe that? Well I recently discovered that she grows alot of fruit & veg for her charity work and makes 100 Christmas Cakes every year - again to sell for Charity - what a remarkable lady.

Mavis told me yesterday, that she was 3 ft from the Queen - Queen Elizabeth II - that very morning as she had tickets for the trooping of the colour - a magnificent event - a Royal "must see" and there she was, a few hours later - squishing the black fly on her broad beans!

That's me below on plot 142 watering the Beetroots & Parsnips - can you make out Hilda in the background on 144??

This is Susan's bed with her pink Twirly

My Orange (now Yellow) Twirly is in the picture too. I think we started off a Twirly trend as there are quite a few Twirly's on the lotty now - maybe a scarecrow trend will follow?

Monday, 9 June 2008

Mad dogs & Englishmen...... & a day full of surprises

......go out in the mid-day sun (Noel Coward)

What a scorcher! I was at the lotty yesterday (Sunday) nice and early (1oam) but sensibly packed up my tools at 1210 and went home to sit in the shade. However there were LOADS of lotty people still hard at work when I left - a little bit of sunstroke must have been had by some I think!

As mentioned in a previous blog, I am always excited about arriving at the lotty, because you NEVER know what is going to surprise you next. This was my surprise for the weekend - a courgette/zuchinni flower! I like this so much I have set this picture as my desktop!!

Well, as I only had 2 hours, I got on with some serious weeding. I don't know where all the blighters come from. Still, it all added up to a good work out.

My lotty friend Susan, kindly bought me a little plaque for my herb trough.

How cute is that!

Another surprise was my first Nasturtium flower

And another........

These wonderful flowers on the potato plants. The flower above is from my Earlies & the flower below from my Late Earlies

My next surpise was the size that my pepper plants had got to!

And then my pumpkin plant surprised me as that too was in flower!

And if that wasn't enough, my husband then surprised my by asking if he could have his own little bit on my new plot 144 - Well I never - I am soooooo pleased!

Thursday, 5 June 2008

Allotment Therapy.....

This note was kindly attached to my post which had the "Runner Beans - Free to a good home" sign attached - it's nice to know where they have gone! I must pop down to 106a / 107a to have a look one day!

This is little Laddie - he is a rescue dog from Cornwall and now lives with lotty hero Derek who adores him - well actually, we all adore him (that's both Laddie & Derek you understand!) Laddie is a fiesty little thing - I think a cross between a collie & a jack russell, but Derek is training him well and he has come on leaps and bounds since he first arrived at the plot.

I finally managed to escape to the lotty yesterday evening at around 6.40pm. I desperately needed to get away from the 12 hour days that I was spending at my computer for work. So I thought to myself "lotty therapy" that's what I need!

My first 20minutes was stood there speaking to the wonderful Mavis who is always a pleasure to chat to. We discovered that I know her son in law through work - small world eh!

I was just saying to Mavis that coming to the lotty was and adventure an exciting adventure because you never know what you would or indeed could find on each visit, and to my astonishment I had my own excitement there and then - yes - something to get VERY excited about - a COURGETTE flower!

And finally - this was my parting picture yesterday as this is what I get to see last as I walk to the gate - my newly erected (courtesy of Lotty hero Nigel & my plot neighbour Paul) bean wigwams - don't they look admirable? I can't say thank you enought to Nigel & Paul as I just don't have the height (I am 5ft 1inch and YES the 1 inch is important) to tie the tops which of course is the KEY to the cane wigwam!

Sunday, 1 June 2008

slugs, snails and puppy dogs tails!

Its the 1st of June today, but does the weather reflect this? NO in fact that's a big NO - where is the sun shine? It's been cloudy all day today - that is apart from now 1755hrs and after 2 visits to the lotty already, the sun has just peaked from behind the clouds - typical as I am sat here on the sofa with a glass of wine and typing up my blog!
The title of this post today, is courtesy of Doug. He walked through the gate and I said "Hello Doug," to which he replied "Hello." "How are you?" I enquired & his answer was - "I'd be alright if it wasn't for all the slugs and snails"in a very glum voice. Well I couldn's resist and asked "What about the puppy dogs tails Doug - how are you getting on with those?" I think I saw a glimmer of a smile, as he carried on walking down the path towards his own plot.

Well let me tell you about my day. I went to the lotty at around 10am and bought some 8ft canes, multi purpose compost and horse manure + the services of a tall man for the canes !

John kindly delivered the heavy stuff for me and after a tour of "this side" of the plot (he is from the other side - of the lotty I mean) I got on with planting my tomatoes.

Now before you get excited and think that I have cleared more of my plot - the answer is simple - grow bags & grow pots! Yes you read it right. I put grow bags on my plot 144! They look something like this.......

So I now have 6 "normal" tomato plants growing in front of the runner bean wigwam.

At 12 I had to go home and I returned at around 2pm. My intention was to plant my cobra bean plants which have been in my cold frame, but Nigel must have been well busy (bless his cotton socks - he was probably planting some of his 200+ broad bean plants !!!) as my canes were still on the floor/soil. To my great fortune I was rescued by Paul and Dr. Doom.

This IS Dr. Doom!

Paul kindly put up the wigwam for me whilst Dr. Doom looked on and breathed like Darth Vader. So the Cobra bean project was still on schedule! Hooray!!

They can be differentiated from the runner beans as the leaves are more crinkley &

the fact that the seed pod is half way up the stalk!

I also made up a sign "free to a good home" as mentioned on my earlier blog of today, so hopefully someone will want them and take them to a good planting place.

I then returned to plot 142 to have a natter with my co allotmenteer Susan and her husband Robert who were busy weeding away. I also weeded around and about and thinned my carrots and beetroots. I also discovered that I might have a pumpkin growing as there is a little round ball underneath one of the flowers! How very exciting it all is!

Robert complimented me on my lovely radishes that I shared with them the other week. I have sown some more between the parsnips and will probably sow another lot between the brussels as there seems to be a bit of space available here now.

In my Bed #2 - the sweet pea, chilli & pepper bed I planted some more tomatoes - a mixture of marmande, cercise & normal where the garlic failed. I have now taken the poly tunnels from the previous planted tomatoes (see "Read all about it - my 1st radishes") and they are doing VERY well - well I think they are anyway!

What a busy busy day! I just hope that the weather is good to us all - vegetable growers worldwide for the next few months.

A greeting to my worldwide bloggers -

"Sawadeeka" (Thai) "Namaste" (India) "Bonjour" (France) "Guten Tag" (German) "Buon giorno" (Italy) "Merħba" (Maltese) "G'day" (Australia) "Hi" (USA) "Selamat datang" (Malaysia) "Jambo" (Kenya) "salaam aleikum"(Arabic) "konnichiha" (Japanese) "Hola" (Spain)

Lotty withdrawal symptoms.....

With all this rain and with a MANIC week at work - there were two obstacles in the way for me to get the lotty and I was suffering - BIG time. I felt wierd, like something was missing from my life! I had to make do with reading my vegetable growing books. How sad.

I worked 10-12 hour days and the weather only seemed to be sunny in the mornings. Depressing.

By Friday I had had enough - at 6pm on the dot, I donned my gardening attire, grabbed my trug and raced down the lotty as fast as my own two feet could carry me.

I couldn't believe my eyes on arrival - my lotty hero Derek had heard (or had it been mentioned by another lotty hero ?) that I would need another bean wigwam as I had been given Cobra beans by Jamaican George, and low and behold, Derek & his trusty spade had cleared me an area big enough. All I had to do was de-root it, which I did with gusto.

I then found some old small branches and placed them around to match the Runner Bean wigwam. The sign that I bought in Sainsburys which was inteded for my pumpkin / courgette bed was placed in this bed as it seemed to make a nice fininshing touch.

So, something small acheived for this week at last.

I also thinned down my runner beans as according to lotty wisedom, I had too many plants round a cane. The extra's I popped back into the ground in a clump just outside the wood edging and will put a sign next to these - Free to a good home.

Today is Sunday 1st June and I woke up to rain. However it does look as though it is brightening up and the forecast says that we will have sunny spells later, so I am off to the lotty shop now to purchase some 8 ft canes and a tall man!

I would also like to clear a small area to put my tomato grow bags down, and plant my "normal" tomatoes into. My Marmande & Cercise are doing very well indeed and I even know what to do with the side shoots - thanks to Mavis!

Will update later......