Archive for Garden visit

Allotment currants and seedlings

pruned currant bush goblet shapeIt was a year ago today that we picked up our fruit trees. Then, this December, we drove to Brogdale again, to collect our final tree, a grafted Krasnyi Standeart, which is still waiting to be planted out – the weather really hasn’t been on our side!

I can assure you there’s nothing less interesting to look at than a fruit tree in winter, so I didn’t bother to photograph them. Instead, I have a nice picture of one of our currants which I pruned a couple of weeks ago and has a lovely goblet shape, if I say so myself!

Today was the half marathon on Brighton seafront, which apparently had to be snow-ploughed to remove all the shingle that was thrown up in the big storm the day before yesterday before the runners got down there! It was a gorgeous sunny day, and I knew lots of people who were running so I was a little torn about whether to go and spectate but it’s been such a rotten year that I felt obliged to grab any chance to get up to the plot and check things were okay. They were okay, although apparently two sheds were flattened on our site.

february rhubarbOf course the long (looooong) wet winter has had some upsides, although they are mighty few. One of them is the rhubarb! Rhubarb is doing well this year, and ours, which was well mulched with the last lawn clippings of 2013, has roared into the new year and I will be harvesting our first fresh fruit of 2014 next weekend!

broad beans and leek seedlingsAfter yesterday’s excitement of spending time in the glasshouse at RHS Wisley with the wonderful butterflies, my day seems really mundane, although it was very productive. My glasshouse is not exactly to Wisley standards although with a little bit of sun it seems just as warm, and my plants may not be nearly as exotic as theirs, although I’m happy with my broad beans which got off to a late start and are looking beautifully healthy. I hope to be getting them planted out next week too, if the windy weather abates a bit. They’ll go out under a cloche to give them some protection from the winter.

I also got on with some sowing: winter lettuce (two kinds: winter density and winter gem), the first batch of radishes and a tray that contains half kohl rabi and half leeks for later transplanting. I felt so happy to get some seeds underway at last!

I harvested leeks, red kale, thyme and a tiny amount of purple sprouting broccoli …I do wish the psb would hurry up, it would be lovely to have a bit of home-grown veg that I wasn’t already eating three times a week!

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Flowers from Hampton Court

I haven’t blogged even a quarter of the photos from the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show so here’s some Monday beauty for you. Enjoy!

begonia 2

begonia 1

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Brighton and Hove Open Gardens – tomorrow!

open allotment floral borderPlot #103 is taking part in the Open Gardens scheme – come and see us tomorrow between 11am and 5pm at Weald Allotments, Weald Avenue, Hove, BN3 7JN. There are two other plots on the same site open to visitors aAnd plot # 326 is selling an amazing range of cakes and jellies (and home-made elderberry squash), while plots 238/239 offer an insight into organic growing of vegetables and fruit – come and see us!

We have a ‘bran tub’ although the tub is full of compost, not bran and for a donation of your choice you can fish around and pull out a packet of Mr Fothergill’s seeds: anything from lettuce to basil and melons to onions … and I’ll have copies of Minding My Peas and Cucumbers and The Allotment Diaries for sale.

Tickets available from http://sussexbeacon.org.uk/opengardens/ – at a very special rate for tomorrow only.

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Open Gardens – Sunday 30 June

103 edible border 1 aug 2011Plot #103 (aka The Voodoo Plot) is taking part in the Open Gardens Scheme this year. You can find all the details of the gardens that are open, and pre-order tickets: here. Two other allotments on the site are opening too, so there’s a nice variety of growing styles and allotment philosophies to experience.

We’ll be having the horticultural equivalent of a bran tub, where for a small donation of your choice you can plunge your gardening gloved hand into the bucket and pull out a packet of seeds! There are some excellent varieties on offer, so there will be some lucky growers! And, of course, I shall have books on sale …

So if you’ve ever wondered if the plot on which “Minding My Peas and Cucumbers” and “The Allotment Dairies” is based was real, this is your chance to come and find out!

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