This was my shed when I took up allotmenting eleven years ago. He who builds sheds stopped it leaking and leaning into a complete state of collapse, and I and the snails and mice were very glad of it for several years. But then two years ago I left behind the plot it stands on to concentrate on my polytunnel plot. No one has taken it over, and this year it is doing a good imitation of the prairie with elephant’s eye high grass and thistles. Rather sad after all the hours of digging I did there. But at least the shed is still standing, and this year, the greengage tree that stands over it has quite a bit of fruit in the making. The artichoke, though, was eaten long ago.
Traces of the Past: Black & White Sunday Please visit Paula to see her dramatic seascape
Self-sown and grown on my plot.
Six Word Saturday
As vegetables go, cauliflowers are sneaky entities. I could swear there were no signs of this one a few days ago. In fact when I ventured to lift the protective mesh to give the outer leaves a prod, I decided it was probably a cabbage. It and the four other ‘cabbages’ were looking pretty healthy too – an astonishing feat after three lots of winter snow and months of never ending rain.
I bought the seedling plants on line in October from Delfland Nursery, along with sprouting broccoli plugs which have also grown strongly and served us well. I’ve used this company several times, and they are brilliant when you have forgotten to think ahead and sow for autumn and winter crops. Or just forgotten.
Anyway, after the long overwintering I thought the ‘cabbages’ deserved a feed and gave them the last of some vintage homemade comfrey liquor which I discovered in the polytunnel during an unlikely phase of tidying. That was a couple of days ago. And look what happened. I’m going to try for giant beanstalks next, though promise not to facilitate the advent of any outsize fee-fi-fo-fumming individuals. A hen that lays golden eggs might be fun though.
copyright 2018 Tish Farrell
Now is the time of year when I often meet the Three Ducks on the path to the allotment. Despite all their owners’ fencing-in strategies, they continue to escape through the hedge from their nice garden pen – out into the big wide world of Townsend Meadow. Clearly a duck finds far more exciting things to do in a field, though they always stay together, keeping up a constant reassuring chatter.
I usually try to shoo them home, but the other evening they were so busy with something on the path, I took them by surprise. Then it was a case of ducks all of a dither.
‘Now what shall we do?’
Regroup for a more dignified retreat and take ourselves home.
This marigold had its photo taken on 22nd January. She was growing in my strawberry bed, one of several plants that have spread themselves hither and thither on my allotment plots and been quietly flowering all winter. They make their own sunshine, don’t they. Though I think even they will have been defeated by the current Siberian onslaught. I have not ventured over the field to see.
For hundreds of years the marigold has been much loved by herbalists. Its properties comprise a complete pharmacy – from healing skin conditions to boosting the immune system and many disorders in between. I usually just add the petals to salads, or as a garnish to rice dishes. The colour alone is enough to lift the spirits.
I’m also hoping that Debbie and Becky won’t mind my killing two challenges with one marigold:
Six Word Saturday Please visit Debbie to see a very shaggy sheep.
March Squares For this month Becky has set us the daily challenge of posting square photos featuring either squares or circles. You may post as inclination strikes.
Several things spurred me to the allotment on Saturday – sun, dryness under foot, onion sets in the post, and the need to get a 2” covering of compost onto the raised beds as per the ‘no dig’ methodology, a job I had forgotten to do in the autumn.
For once the field path was not all of a slither, and along the way I found these crocus (tiny in real life). Clearly they had grown bored with the confining domesticity of suburban flower beds, and so taken off over the garden hedges to try things on the wild side.
Breaking bounds with a flourish – one could learn a few things here…
Cee’s Flower Of The Day
It looks pretty dreary on the plots, and these days the only person I see at the allotment is an elderly man who likes to walk his dog around the perimeter path. But there’s still stuff to harvest – parsnips, carrots, leeks, kale, perpetual spinach, Swiss chard, purple sprouting, and in the polytunnel lettuce and various Chinese mustards. There are also 8 compost heaps to turn or add to, and now is the season for collecting leaves to make leaf mould. I’ve filled three new bins with leaves from the wood, and last autumn’s caches are beginning to rot down nicely; I’m hoping they’ll be ready for spring sowing. So despite these gloomy looks – all is filled with new possibilities.
copyright 2017 Tish Farrell
Six Word Saturday ~ Please visit Debbie at Travel With Intent for more six-worder photo posts.
Out of the blue it came, a sunflower the size of a small tree, and towering over my bed of dwarf French beans. I think I must have a mouse or bird to thank for dropping a seed from someone else’s plot in my compost heap, whence it was transported to the bean bed early in the summer. I have certainly never grown a monster like it. Anyway, its suddenly overbearing presence hasn’t deterred the beans – a variety called Ferrari which have been more than living up to their name.
I’ve read conflicting reports as the companionability of sunflowers and beans, some sources saying that climbing beans will grow up a natural trellis of sunflowers, others saying that bush beans and sunflowers both should, and should not be grown together. Ah well. All I can say is beans and sunflower are doing well, the beans still producing even as autumn approaches, and despite some chomping by slugs. But it goes to show, anything can happen out on the plot.