Subscribe with Bloglines At last I've got my plot!: May 2007

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Photo a day.....31st May. (Posted this on the 31st but the photos didn't come out properly!)
This was the Amnesty International Garden at Chelsea this year. I don't remember which medal it got if any, but I did think it had "something"!As it was meant to be a rooftop garden there was no lawn......a plus in my book! The trees were all in planters. The walking areas were either gravel or decking....not a favourite of mine but it wasn't obtrusive....the design melded together well and I wasn't really aware of the decking until looking at the plan before typing this up.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Not much on the plot front this week. I have had visitors, gone this evening, and have been rather busy.
I have filled the Rumtopf 1/3 full...strawberries, sugar and a bottle of Lidl brandy.
Other than that I have only watered where necessary.
Tomorrow afternoon I hope to do some digging!

Photo a day....30th May.

This was the Andy Sturgeon, Cancer Research Garden with the theme "Together". I don't think my photos do it justice.
It was quirky but had "something" about it which I liked. I wasn't particularly struck with the wooden sculpture, but I did enjoy the planting.

It was very irritating the way there were people in most of the gardens getting in the way of decent photos. The only plus to them being there is that they do give an idea of size!!!
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Monday, May 28, 2007

There was no chance at all for a plot visit yesterday.......stair rods all day. It looks like today will be the same. It means I don't have to worry about the cabbage plants in pots waiting to go in at the plot....they'll not need watering!

I think we'll batten down the hatches and do insidey things instead!

Photo a day....28th May

The Linnaeus Garden was a real joy. Inspired by a Swedish man who started the Latin naming of plants....and all the rest of the living world....animals too.

Apparently the apple trees bloomed on Friday and Saturday. On Thursday when I was there they were still in bud.

I think this garden would need a lot of work to keep looking so beautifully neat which is a large part of its charm, but they don't have to worry about that at Chelsea......after all it doesn't exist anymore except in photos!

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Sunday, May 27, 2007

Here are the photos again for this morning's entry. Hope they work this time...!

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Photo a day...27th May.

The Fortnum and Mason Garden was really lovely. I love the beehives, the grottos, the way the paths divide it up, the terrace. It was classy....!

It is not clear from my photos, and it certainly wasn't clear on telly, but the beehives have the most beautiful copper roofs. I suppose they will go green if not polished. If they were mine I'd polish them just to maintain their beauty.

I was so inspired by the beehives. There was a stand in the big pavilion where I asked a lady all about bees. Might be tempted one day soon.

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Saturday, May 26, 2007

I have just watched the final BBC Chelsea coverage.....seems funny to think that it will all be gone by the 7th June and turfed again!

I was absolutely delighted that Chris Beardshaw got the People's Award. So what if he didn't get gold.....the people's Award counts for much more, especially as he got ten times the votes that anyone else got.

I think I saw a tear in his eye....there was certainly one in mine!

Today will be just a watering day again. My ankles are still huge (now strapped up) and I must get ready for visitors. Yesterday was taken up with the fridge repair man and a Market Researcher (...stayed an hour!) so I am really really behind!!!!!! (I have to get more food in....10 packs of butter bought ahead for this weekend have gone all cheesy, so I suppose all the cold meats are suspect too!!!!!!! And this isn't the best day for a s'market trip!!!)

I bought some seeds at Chelsea (Crystal Lemon Cucumber from Robinson's) and was given some others (Nigella "Persian Jewels",and some Mini Finger carrots for pots) and really need to get them in but they'll have to wait....! )

Looks like rain for the Bank Holiday so I'll have moping visitors....not my sister, she'll be very happy to just read or natter to me, but her DH really gets down if the weather is dull. But the rain will mean I don't have to worry too much about the plot, and I'll be able to finish the digging after Wednesday..... when they all go home again. Every cloud has a silver lining!!!

Photo a day....26th May.

How could they not give this garden a gold medal? It is fabulous. I'd have it like a shot!

On the BBC Gardening website you can vote for your favourite, and I am glad to see this one is on their list, even though it only got Silver Gilt. I have already voted for it.

There was always a crowd round this one, I waited hours to get my pictures.....! I think the public know a good garden when they see one....!

I think I'm tempted to copy lots of features of this one when re-doing the flower part of my back garden. I don't have the luxury of this amount of space (if I did it would be down to veg anyway!!!) and the dogs are a problem with pulling out everything I try to do here, but I can see elements of this
I'd like to try.....such as the separate "rooms", the little summer house with big pots in front, and the huge herbaceous borders with just a path in between....especially that!

Now....where to put the washing line.....?

Friday, May 25, 2007

Early this morning I watered everything here and at the plot. Other than that I have done nothing garden related. I have to clear up for visitors, and I had the fridge repair man gutting the fridge before fixing it today. That meant a fridge was out after he'd gone. So still behind indoors too!
Hopefully I might get a chance for some proper work at the plot. And I have seeds still to plant here...!

Photo a day....25th May.

More photos of yesterday's garden.

I just loved everything about this garden. It is simple, but really well thought out. If you click on the link in yesterday's post you'll see more about the ethos behind it.

Basically the big mechanical "flower" in the centre is a rain catcher and a pump. When the little glass domes sense that the garden is dry they communicate with the mechanism to draw water up from the borehole. This irrigates the garden through five very narrow streams (photo 3) and eventually drops down and is returned to the underground reservoir.

The planting is also very simple but beautiful.
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Thursday, May 24, 2007

Photo a day....24th May

Guess where I've been today! Easy! Chelsea.

This is just beautiful. Impossible to photo well because the best angle was into the sun, but be assured it is beautiful. I am a sucker for modern technology if it serves a useful purpose and it looks good too...this does. When it is operating it is so graceful.

The contraption is a rain catcher, a wind pump and more. For more info look here
The planting was rather good too.....and the hard landscaping.

More tomorrow....I've just got back (having made an earlier ferry by the skin of my teeth) and need to get horizontal as soon as possible! My ankles are twice as wide as they should be, and I'm definitely melting. (The fridge has packed up so my beer was warm....ugggh! Guess what I'll be doing tomorrow...waiting all day for the repairman!)

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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Photo a day....23rd May.

Just for Lottie....the strawberries are ripening in the garden bed. I have had two or three already, and, as you'd expect, they taste better than the ones from the tunnel!
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First thing this morning I planted out the two courgettes I kept here, and the sweetcorn, into the deep bed that had the broccoli in until last week. There are 16 sweetcorn plants.

Because of the Three Sisters bed topic that is causing a lot of interest at the moment I decided to put some beans at the end of the bed. These are Yard Long Beans.....four at each end of the bed. I still have to put the strings up for them to climb.

I also weeded the tomato bed and the lettuce bed.

This evening I walked the dogs through the allotments and watered all the newly planted stuff. I won't get there tomorrow and couldn't risk leaving them until Friday.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Photo a day.....22nd May.

Here is my Rumtopf.....German for Rum Pot. I have had it many years and we love the fruit compote that emerges from it. Ideally it should be rum which you put in with the fruit, but we prefer it done with Brandy.

The principle of its use is to add the fruits when they are in season, with sugar and rum (brandy), layer by layer, until it is full. Then you leave it 3 or 4 months to steep, and then you have the most beautiful fruit/rum concoction to have with ice cream or any other way you want it.

I have just resurrected mine as it is time to start with the strawberries. We are getting enough now to begin the preserving of them.
Blueberries will follow, then the raspberries. Ooooh! Can't wait!

For more details you can look here
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DH and I went to the plot very early this morning with the rotovator and the strimmer. We made such a row for about half an hour! I rotovated all that I'd recently dug, then raked it into long heaps for the courgettes.

After bringing the machines home, having my elevenses and sorting out his lunch requirements I returned to the plot with my courgette plants. Each one is now planted with two good shovels full of manure. Hopefully they'll get away now.

There were 13 plants altogether....possibly a bit OTT, but last year we didn't get enough from my 6 plants here in the back garden. I expect the ones on the plot will do much better though. I do hope so. We love them. I will probably have enough to be able to leave some regularly on the surplus seat for others to enjoy.
After all that I set to to dig the bit that was covered by the manure heap until this morning (DH kindly moved it for me!) I've done about 2 sq yds.....yield 2 tubtrugs full of white roots . The soil is beautiful and knocked into a fine tilth with just the fork, so I don't think I'll need to rotovate this bit before planting out my squashes and cabbages.

Although nothing needed watering I gave everything a foliar (?) feed with the hose attachment.

I feel at last as though I have caught up with the season as all that could be in is, except for the cabbages. Which are perfectly happy in the bigger pots that I put them in.

The raspberries....Autumn Bliss.....have little raspberries on already!
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Monday, May 21, 2007

I have been asked to enlarge on my findings on the Three Sister's Method as championed by Carol Klein on her Veg gardening programme and now on Gardeners' World.

I first read about this method some years ago and always wanted to try it. When we moved here I had my chance...the summer before last. I used sweetcorn, courgettes and climbing French beans. Everything grew beautifully....we had lots of courgettes...two cobs on most of the sweetcorn....and healthy looking bean plants with plenty of flowers. Then it came to harvest. No problem with the courgettes, the beans were not ready, but the sweetcorn were. But we couldn't get at them without unwinding the bean vines from the cobs. This was a real pain.....every cob we wanted was bound tightly by vines. I ended up snapping the bean stems unintentionally. We got almost no beans from this method.

When Carol Klein showed this on her Veg programme I was almost screaming at the telly. Had she tried it herself? Then I found her new book has a comment on this method )page 194). She describes the method, attributing it to the Native American Indians, but ends up the paragraph with this advice...
"but this works only if you are growing both beans and corn for drying, and can harvest by chopping the whole lot down at the end of the season" of course the Native Americans would too!

Now why couldn't she say that on telly. There must be thousands of people all over the UK growing a bed like this now, who will expect to use the cobs and beans fresh....the way we like to eat them.

"Welsh Girl" asked if it would work if you pinched out the bean tops. I haven't tried it so I couldn't say. If I ever do it again I'd use either short French beans, or train the beans up individual bamboo stakes. This year I was going to be growing s'corn and courgettes together and forgetting the beans. But having become interested in the controversy I am stirring up I think I'll try to do it with short beans....hoping they don't get smothered by the courgettes. I haven't enough bamboos to do the other suggestion. (Or....perhaps I might string a row of beans up through the s'corn bed. I'll give it some thought.)

Photo a day....21st May.

A doorway on the island of Burano in the lagoon where Venice is situated. I thought the "door" collectors might like this one....!
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Sunday, May 20, 2007

I have had a bad head, and visitors, today so only managed to straw the remaining strawberries, outside and in the tunnel, and plant six more of the tomato plants into the tunnel beds.
I also picked a meal's worth of broad beans.

I've just watched the Chelsea Flower Show preview. Looks like I'll have plenty to see on Thursday!

DH has promised that if my head is better we'll go and rotovate and strim tomorrow.

Photo a day....20th May

On our first trip to Venice we made a tour of the islands in the lagoon and were particularly taken with Burano. The houses are very small and brightly painted. The people make their living from fishing.

One of the notable things about Venice and its islands is the number of churches with leaning spires. In fact I seem to remember the only upright one was the one that was rebuilt in the last century after it collapsed (killing only a cat!)

I photographed a number of these and will show a selection of them from time to time when I haven't been out to snap anything local, like today (bad head, and visitors!)
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Saturday, May 19, 2007

Photo(s) a day....19th May.

In 2001, in September, we went to New England. It was our 30th Wedding Anniversary (Sept 11th! I can assure you we will NEVER forget what we were doing that day!)

Earlier in the week we visited the huge Folk museum (Name escapes me) in Vermont along the shores of Lake Champlain. I am always drawn to vegetable gardens and this one was a delight. I tried to get the whole thing in the photo but it just wasn't possible. I did get the plans and the plant lists and the "whys and wherefores" of its design, reproduced below.

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