Garden blogging, Six on Saturday

Six on Saturday – 21 July 2018

My first Six on Saturday is Roselily ‘corolla’ which after a very long wait just looking at buds, eventually flowered in a spectacular fashion this week!

As promised here are the photos – aren’t they beautiful!

They are so different to other lilies, for a start they are pollen free so won’t stain anything that touches them. Also they have a very delicate light fragrance, which will please those who love lilies but dislike their heady perfume.

My second is pumpkins!

At first I though someone or something had thrown an apple into my pumpkin patch until I looked closer and found baby pumpkins. I’ve never grown them before and it’s only a little thing but I felt really quite excited.

Third are my Sunflowers.

I have always had this idea allotments should have sunflowers and am surprised there are very few to be seen on our allotment site. I raised a number of plants from seed, some are in my daughter’s garden and I planted the rest on my plot. Much to my annoyance, and ignorance I suppose, they were cut off at the pass by snails, leaving me only 2 to rescue. They are now enormous, standing proud for everyone to see, so it’s sunflowers 1: snails 0. Today, this little bee was feeding away, totally oblivious of me taking photos of him.

Fourth is Scarecrow and sweetcorn.

Along with sunflowers, I have this idealistic view that scarecrows are part and parcel of allotment life – again they are far a few to be seen. I know they don’t scare anything but they are a bit of fun. I made mine out of a pillow, and when I asked my granddaughter to name her she said “GRANNIE”!!! 🤣🤣🤣

What started as eight tiny sweetcorn plants are starting to reach for the sky, nowhere near as tall as some on other plots but they will get there. They appear to be the one vegetable thriving in this unusually hot, dry, summer.

My fifth Six on Saturday is Poppy (Pom Pom Shaggy somniferum)

This is one of only three wonderful shaggy poppy flowers that were successful and have more than made up for only being three. I sowed a whole packet of seeds direct into the raised bed I dedicated to flowers hoping for a big display. However I will collect the seeds with better luck next year.

Last but not least is blackberries.

At the back of the plot is a resplendent thornless blackberry growing along a very rickety fence. I have read that even the best flavoured thornless blackberries don’t quite have that aromatic sweetness associated with the true wild blackberry, but I bet they still taste good. There are so many of them I will be making lots of jam very soon.

So that’s my Six on Saturday. Please pay a visit to The Propagator Blog and take a look at the many contributions to this weekly weekly meme.

allotment, Garden blogging

Sunday Morning on the Allotment

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Oh boy it’s hot hot hot!  It is far too hot to do any work on the allotment, anyway the ground is so hard you can’t get a fork in to do anything.  All that can be done is massive amounts of watering.  I have two large watering cans which I fill from one of the strategically placed troughs on the site.  All of this has three benefits (1) free exercise (2) firm biceps and (3) in this summer of 2018 – a healthy tan.

Of course there are other benefits, good fresh food.

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Today I picked my first mangetout peas.  Only a few but it’s a start.

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On 5 June I planted out tiny sweetcorn plants, they were only about 4” tall.  A month later they are romping away and producing ears which is exciting to see.  Clearly the sweetcorn is relishing this weather, on some of the other plots it is a good 6 foot high.

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The other plants enjoying this weather are the pumpkins, now full of flowers.  I was given three tiny weedy plants only about 3 weeks ago and they have really taken off.

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I’ve inherited an enormous thornless blackberry which is laden with berries just about to ripen. Fingers crossed I get to pick them before the pigeons have a go.  They are not in a cage, and I’m thinking I will buy some blacknet to drap over them, my only concern with is I read that any netting should be taut to prevent birds catching their feet.

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The flower bed is looking promising too, the sunflowers have beaten the snails and are sporting some large blooms.

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When I took over the plot at the end of April, there were three small globe artichoke plants.  I’m not sure that happened to two of them, I suspect it was my fault being too  gung-ho with the strimmer.  As this is an old plant I let it go to flower and it now has a very fetching purple bonnet.

This hot dry weather appears set for sometime and whilst we all like a sunny, dry summer day, it is about time now we had some decent rain.  Everything is looking parched and all the grass has gone brown.   So from a gardener’s point of view I am hoping for a bit of a wet spell, but perhaps only at night please.