This Morning – If Wenlock Still Had Larks – I would Have Been Up With them


6 am and I’m up and dressed and heading over the field to the allotment. No sign of the sun this morning, but there are plenty of yellow flowers standing in for it, including the ragwort with departing red-tailed bee (a female, I think). And it’s only when I reach my plot that I remember that early mornings are the time to catch the courgette (zucchini) flowers looking their best. I discover a real cracker by the polytunnel. Not only is it making all its own sunshine, but it is also hosting some very busy ants. I can only think they are grazing the pollen.


Inside the polytunnel, the French marigolds are in full flower too. I planted them out among the pepper and aubergine plants to deter white fly. It seems to work. And they are cheery too, but difficult to photograph as they seem to reflect the light and end up looking remarkably surreal; as if they might be made of marzipan.


There’s nothing surreal about the cucumber flowers though. The plants are churning out fruits at a rate of knots. I pruned off excess stems and now think I may start restricting their water intake. There are only so many cucumbers one can eat – even mini ones.


The allotments are a lovely place to be in the early morning. I got lots of jobs done: feeding beetroot and leeks, tying up wayward tomatoes, sowing Florence fennel, Paris market carrots and Boltardy beetroot, harvesting cylindrical and golden beets, leeks and Russian kale, and a single huge globe artichoke, which may be past its best, but we’ll give it go this evening. If it’s too tough to eat, the garlic butter will do on something else. What a trial that will be!

In the raised beds the sweet corn is tasselling, the French beans and raspberries are cropping furiously, the borlotti beans are making pods, the Crown Prince squash are blooming, and soon there may be a couple of crunchy Greyhound cabbages to pick.


All in all, it was a very yellow kind of morning, brimming with bright prospects, though it is a shame about the lack of larks. I dashed home at 9.30 for cup of tea, only to think that I might have left the allotment tap running. So it was back up the field, through the towering wild oats, and past the browning rapeseed crop. I hadn’t left the tap on, but I had forgotten to collect the Russian kale, so it was worth making the second trip. Then home again to make raspberry jam.


44 thoughts on “This Morning – If Wenlock Still Had Larks – I would Have Been Up With them

  1. Tish, You are as busy as the bees. Of course that is why every thing looks so good . Your take care of each and every one of the plants. They all look good enough to eat. lol

  2. Goodness, you’re always on the go, Tish! I am super-envious of your stamina! In this hot, humid weather I am a total couch potato, alas……

    1. Not sure why I’ve become so hyper-active lately, hot or not. I don’t care for the humidity either. I think, though, the more I do, the more I’m able to do, which is pretty darn lucky, however one looks at it.

  3. Your veggie allotment is fantastic Tish. I know it must take a lot of hard work, but you do reap the rewards.
    And lots of sunshiney yellows too.

  4. What a superbly productive day, and all that lovely yellow and rhapsodising. I’m envious. For the first time the possums have attacked my deck garden, including precious panama passionfruit seedlings that J’s been nurturing.

    1. Oh that is a shame, Meg. It’s hard to feel charitable to wildlife vandals. I spend so much time trying to protect stuff from pigeons. Am only thankful there are presently no rabbits, which is a bit strange actually.

  5. Where are the larks? Have they been gone a long time? I love all the sunshine yellow on display in your allotment. How satisfying to have so much produce literally at your fingertips.

  6. I applaud your industrious morning Tish you are really reaping the rewards with all those amazing veggies. As you know yellow is my favourite flower colour so I loved this post

  7. Gordon Bennett- such industry! I haven’t even gone out to pick up the rose petals yet 🙂 🙂 A fabulous rockin and rollin thunderstorm here last night so we’re all freshened up. Marzipan marigolds sound rather delicious, and Florence fennel glam, but you’ve just made me feel guilty- I sprayed my zucchini because I wasn’t happy with the little black bugs making whoopee! Are they just harmless ants? I don’t think so. And how you differentiate your zucchini from your cucumbers, and then peppers too! I’m an abject failure 😦

    1. Well your little bugs may well have had bad intentions, but I’m giving the ants the benefit of the doubt – SO FAR! Good to hear you had some proper rain. We were promised, but it was only a spit when it came. As to knowing what’s what, I grow things in different places, and sometimes I even remember to label them 🙂 🙂 🙂 Also you are not an abject failure.

  8. Sue said, “you’re always on the go, Tish!”, and I’ll second that. It is an inspiration to see all you do. Keep on trucking, and at least we can have a small share in your accomplishments.

    1. You have made my morning, Shimon, with those very kind words. Sometimes I feel I’m getting out of hand, like a butterfly, (a very very large one) flitting hither and thither and not accomplishing a great deal of anything in particular, which tends to make me a bit grumpy. Which then makes me more grumpy when I think how ungrateful I’m being. By the way, I have been pondering over your latest fictional piece – learning where the food comes from. In fact I’ve been thinking of it a lot. Resonantly written.

  9. I’m glad you enjoyed my comment, Tish. But I have to tell you that among my circle of friends here in the real life, I’m known for not giving compliments. I usually say what’s on my mind when I speak, ad when I don’t think I’ve anything to add, I’m able to hold my tongue. I’m not a good gardener, but I did grow bananas in my youth. When it comes to photography though, I was once considered something of an expert, and I can tell you candidly that I am really impressed by your flowering as a photographer. It is a pleasure for me to see your work. And so when you speak of frustration because you’re not accomplishing enough, I say to you, that maybe you are comparing yourself to what you could do as a younger person… or maybe it’s some other consideration. But it seems to me that you could be quite pleased by your work in more than one field.

    As for that piece I wrote, I still haven’t come to the point of it. And when I first started writing, it was kind of a problem for me, because I didn’t wan’t to publish any personal confessions in public. But you may find the next chapter of this story a bit surprising.

    1. It is too easy to be too revealing on one’s blog, and there was certainly a sense of discretion in your fictional piece. Enigmatic too. But I shall look forward to the sequel. And you may well have put your finger on something when you say I might be comparing myself to what I could do when younger. Mostly I’m cross because I’m not getting on with various writing projects – that suddenly seem too hard to grasp, and age may have a lot to do with that too. I do appreciate very much your appraisal of my photography. It is most heartening. I suppose I take the photos in the way I would wish to write if I were putting the scene into words, if that makes sense. Happy weekend to you, Shimon – you and Nechama.

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