Monday, 15 November 2010

The thaw after a frost

I think the plants look so pretty after they thaw out from a frost.  They sparkle like they are covered in jewels as the droplets glisten in the sunshine.  I got caught out again by my neighbour who I'm sure thinks I'm quite dotty. I was in my PJ's with my wellies on, crouching down in the flower bed to get a good shot of the Delphinium that still refuses to wither and die.  It looked beautiful this morning with it's little water droplets glistening. I spotted it from the kitchen window and just had to grab my camera to try and capture it. I didn't get a good photo, somehow the camera just couldn't capture it well.

We spent a couple of hours at the allotment this afternoon, spreading the manure on the beds.  I put a good layer on the Rhubarb as it didn't do too well this year, so hopefully the extra manure will do the trick. I think another couple of  weeks tidying up and spreading manure then covering with black plastic should see the end of our visits for a couple of months. The purple sprouts 'Rubine' don't seem to be doing well and they are covered in white fly even though I have them in a cage of 'enviromesh'. I don't think the enviromesh is  keeping out the whitefly even though its so fine. I did notice that the sprouts in RHS Wisley were covered in them as well.

Friday, 12 November 2010

Ramblings of a plotholder

Hi there ! it's been a few weeks since I last did a post, doesn't time fly ?? the weather has been dreadful here as I expect it has been in your area as well. I don't mind the rain, but when you get the windy days as well and especially together, well what are we gardeners supposed to do ?  well there's always next years planting to plan and maybe a new layout for the beds on the allotment, then there's planning the rotation of crops. Hmmm  So maybe it's just as well we get some days like this so we can take stock and plan.

Yesterday I took delivery of a HUGE mountain of shredded farmyard manure. There are four of us (girls !)plot-holders sharing the £50 load, so that's great value at £12.50 each and you would only get 3 bags of compost at the garden centre for that money, which wouldn't go very far on an allotment. We had some from the same supplier last year and it is great stuff, and from the last load we all got more than enough for our whole plots and even some to stash in a corner.

If someone had told me 3 years ago that not only would I be paying out good money for a load of S**te but be wheeling it about in the early morning !! well I would have laughed my head off at such a foolish remark !!!  I have done things I never dreamed I would do since becoming an allotmenteer, such as crawling into a water butt complete with snails and creepy crawlies in there ! to unscrew the tap so I could replace it with a new one.  Another No No a few years back would have been using the chemical loo we have on the allotment, I'm even grateful for that now , I don't know how people get on with no loo on site.

I did take some photo's in the garden the other morning, but it was so windy that they were blurred as the plants I was taking pics of were whizzing about in the wind. The plants in question are a a very defiant delphinium that refuses to believe it's  autumn and has produced  a tall flowering stem and some rudbeckias that are sending forth blooms as if it were still summer, amazing, but very welcome.

There's not much else to tell really as I have been manuring and covering the beds ready for spring.  I have to cut the raspberries back yet and manure them and the rhubarb.  I still have lots of baby beetroots to pull up, also parsnips.  I planted some cabbages which seem to be growing slowly and I also have purple sprouting broccoli and purple brussel sprouts 'Rubine' which have both grown very tall and leafy.

I have to say I am looking forward to the break from gardening and veg growing for a few months and look forward to getting on and catching up with other hobbies such as crafts and reading. These other things take back seat during the busy planting and growing seasons.

Christmas will soon be upon us once again and I have decided to get the present shopping done early. I have also volunteered to work on Christmas day in a shelter for the homeless in London and again on the 27th Dec ( you have to do 2 shifts) I am looking forward to doing this as it's something I have wanted to do for a long time. The family have been fine about it and in fact my younger son and his girlfriend are volunteering with me. So it will be a very different kind of Christmas this year. I can't bear to think of all the lonely homeless people at Christmas, in fact not just the homeless, even just lonely people with no family or friends, so hopefully my little bit will help others. I think I will gain a lot by it too.

Well this has turned into a long rambling post and not even a photo YET, so here we go I will leave you with these three very different images to make up for rambling on.

I don't much care for the occupant , but I love his house

Remembering Summer

Longing for summer