Yesterday's post should have gone to my Patchwork Blog. What a dope!
At last I've got my plot!
The trials and triumphs of Plotting!
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
Sunday, August 20, 2006
The Festival of Quilts at Birmingham was wonderful!!!!!! Here is a series of photos of the quilt that our party of three thought should have at least been given some acknowledgement by the judges.
The reason why we loved it so....and entered it as our choice for the public vote...was that it was a hexagon quilt. Now I normally loathe hexagon quilts...probably because they are often badly designed....in my humble opinion. But this one was amazing!!!!
It was quilt number 709. Called Liberty Floral Wreath. Designed by Doreen Plumridge, and made by the Clandon Group of the Guildford Quilters. (P.Bennet, D.Plumridge, V.Oatridge, J.Ellis, J.Coombes, G.Jones and S.Beaman)
The blurb in the catologue reads...."Our group love of traditional design together with our love of liberty, no "brainwork" involved, whilst we discussed further quilts."
Info: Liberty tana lawn hexagons, colour blended to create larger flowers, background bleached, hand pieced and quiltedin chainstitch using embriodery thread.
It was for sale at £545....a bargain!
If you click on the photos you can enlarge them and see the detail. I didn't shrink them to make them load quicker as I figured you'd all want to see them close up too!!!!
Don't ask me which was the out and out winner of the show. I find the way they hang the quilts very confusing. They don't do rosettes either, which I find help to let me know what the judges thought. We came across plenty of group winners, most of which I didn't agree with, but some I did.
I'll be posting more photos over the next few days as and when I have the time. DH is in hspital at the moment so my time is rather taken up!
Friday, August 11, 2006
I have been so busy at home that I haven't been to the plot other than walking through with the dogs. I have, though, been working hard on the Kitchen Garden and the front lawn at home. As it is still so powder dry I decided it would be a good idea to pull out the weeds in the front lawn. This entails kneeling for hours on the rock hard grass and digging up the dandelions and other yellow headed weeds that look similar but aren't. They were the only reason for mowing as the grass is very dead and hasn't grown for weeks. But the weeds did still, and the flower stalks were too tough for the Concorde mower, so it had to wait until DH was in a suitable mood to use the petrol mower. (I may be a big girl but I just cannot start the bally thing!!!) Anyway....the weeds are now all gone and it looks much neater.
I decide too to green manure some of the back garden beds as it seems silly to start any more seeds off to just wither away. The Sq Ft bed I started a couple of weeks ago is now sprouting well.....I water and shade it assiduously. And the first Sq Ft bed has provided us with turnips already, as well as lots of salad pickings, of lettuce and baby spinach leaves. The beans in that bed are flowering, so we'll soon have dwarf beans.
I seem to be able to feed us every day with veg we've grown here. The runner beans are a big flop here at home. But the ones on the plot that I didnt sow until after the first earlies were harvested are streaking up the netting. I am hopeful of a decent crop if the weather stays mild here as it usually does. We don't get many frosts at all in the winter so they should be ok.
Tomatoes are doing very well. As are the cucumbers. We have enough salads each day, and I've pickled some beetroot and some shallots. I have re-netted the brassica bed and the butterflies can't get in now so I'm hopeful of a good crop of brussels and purple sprouting broccoli later.
I went to enquire at Ryde House Nursery about cabbage plants and they say they will have them soon, as well as leek plants and other brassicas besides cabbage. I will put a good few up on the plot to keep us fed through the winter.
The carrots we were eating at home are now finished. I have a few coming up in one of the Sq Ft squares but not enough just now, so have to get them at Tesco's.
We are also doing well for courgettes. And there are an abundance of green peppers in the tunnel that I am leaving on the plants as we much prefer them red or yellow. So much sweeter!
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
Hours at the plot so far......64 1/2. Yesterday I went twice to the plot. In the afternoon I spent a half hour measuring all the different areas and making a chart of what went where this year, and planning out a three area system for crop rotation. In order to make it easy to have 3 equal sized bed areas for the three main food types, legumes, brassicas and roots, I have nabbed another yard of the plot holder's area.
In the evening I went and dug the new bit deeply and removed a stack of bindweed etc. It was rock hard as it is so dry. But now if we have a drop of rain it will penetrate through.
I also ordered some green manures on-line to go into the bits I won't be planting up again until next spring.
At home I bottled up the shallots I have been brining for two days. We got three large pickle jars full.
Today we ate some of the turnips from the Sq Ft garden. Tomorrow I'll be picking some salad leaves from there too. Sown on the 4th July they have done very well! Especially the turnips. Little oasis...about the size of golf balls. Perfect!
In the Kitchen Garden we used the petrol mower to help chop up loads of garden waste. I have borrowed a compost tumbler to see if it'll work quicker than my regular compost "Daleks". I want to buy one if it does work well.
Thursday, August 03, 2006
Hours at the plot so far 62 1/2.
I went down this evening to have a bonfire as the wind was in the right direction. Whilst it was at its hottest I felt I ought to hang around and watch it so I cut the grass around the shed and generally tidied up the plotholders third of the plot. The parsnips they left in from last year were seeding everywhere....so they got burnt as well. I left it smouldering.....it should be ok.
Here is the promised photo of the onion crop. Once they are strung it doesn't look much, but I am very pleased with them. We are eating the ones that wouldn't string...they are tasty!
Earlier today I sowed the seeds in my Autumn Salad Bar Sq Ft Garden (Bed 2). I did Rocket, Mizuna, Lettuce Clarion, Lettuce Sherwood, Fennel, Chives, Parcel, Parsley, Bush beans Purple Teepee, Bush beans Sonesta, Chard, Turnips, Beetroot Boltardy and Forono, Spinach, carrots Autumn King, peas (for tips...if the mice leave me any!) spring onions Ishikura, and onions (forgotten the name). I covered the bed with fleece to keep the cats from laying all over it.....and watered it copiously.
I also had to fleece the first Sq Ft bed on top of the netting over it as the butterflies were getting through the net! I have sent for a sample of the butterfly net from Harrod Horticultural and will probably order it from them before I grow cabbages again!
All in all a busy day....and now I'm ready to get horizontal!!!!!
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
Hours at the plot so far.....61.
I spent a couple of hours down at the plot yesterday morning as it was windy and cloudy and I had some strenuous things to do that I'd been putting off whilst the weather was so hot and humid.
First I hoed off all the weeds that had flourished whilst the weather was so hot. Then I emptied and tidied the shed (not really my responsibility but the plotholder hasn't been near this year other than one trip to water everything with Roundup!). After that I weeded the patio because it was looking bad, and emptied out the pots that had all the dead plants in. It all looks much more respectable now.
I'm going to go up this evening to dig over the spare ground ready for the winter brassicas that I'm hoping to put in if I can buy some. The ones I started off in pots last month are a bit sparse. The mini greenhouse stageing I have them on outside collapsed (it wont do that again....I've wired it to death!) and all the little pots fell out. I saved some, but haven't really got enough now. I could buy from one of the magazines, but the ones I got last year were a complete waste of money....we didn't eat a single cabbage or cauli from them and only one Kale plant came to anything....likewise only one broccoli "sprouted"! I'm hoping to find some tomorrow at the very good nursery that is on the way back from town.
In the afternoon I worked in the kitchen garden. I spent a while sorting out the next sq ft bed which is much easier since we've had some rain. Then I went caterpillar hunting....got lots! Then I netted the existing sq ft bed because I hadn't realised Pak Choi (doh!!!) was a brassica and the cabbage whites were all over them! They'd also laid eggs on the broccoli rhab leaves. I ripped off every little clutch.
Then a spell in the greenhouse stringing up my onions and garlic. I had enough veg to make three strings of onions, and one of garlic. I'm really pleased with them......! I'll photo them later when I've worked out where to hang them up.
Today I'm going to mark out and plant up the next sq ft bed. This one is going to be my Autumn Salad Bar! I need to go through my seed box to see what I've got and what I need before I go to Newport tomorrow. The local garden centre has seeds but quite honestly they are a waste of money. They sit on racks in the full sun and I've been very disappointed with the yield with every packet I've bought from them.