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

Monday, August 27, 2007

Photo a day...27th August.

Here is another photo from my Saturday jaunt. This was my view of the stage at The Globe Theatre in London. We weren't allowed to take photos during the play so this was the intermission.

On Sunday and today I have had a funny migraine. One where there is no headache just flashing lights, nausea and vertigo. I'm not sure what brought it on, but suspect it might be the "dope" from the 7000 Scooters we have had buzzing round the roads here on the Island this weekend. The smell was horrible. I had to follow a load of them on Sunday afternoon and ended up in bed really dizzy.

I had planned a full day of gardening but honestly couldn't face it. Hope I can do it tomorrow....! Lots to do!
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Saturday, August 25, 2007

Photo a day.....25th August.

I'm back from the big City...totally wiped out! But I need to do a photo a day so here is one I took in London.
We had lunch at the very quiet cafe at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre before the play. This was the flower decoration on the table. The flowers were real, held in a sort of golden wire spiral thing in the bottom of the goldfish bowl, with pebbles in the bottom and water. It was very effective but very simple.

No gardening done today, but I did look out for allotments from the train. I saw two lots on the route from Portsmouth Harbour to Waterloo.
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Friday, August 24, 2007

No photo...sorry. I meant to photograph the path we've worked so hard on but I forgot and it's dark now. I was so busy today in the back garden. Then I walked the dogs through the allotments and got up a row of carrots, which we needed for dinner.
I've cooked a large batch of courgettes with onions, garlic and chopped tomatoes. I'll freeze it tomorrow when it's cool.
Tomorrow I'm away to London from quite early. We're going to see "The Merchant of Venice" at the Globe Theatre. i won't be standing....we shelled out £19 for seats way up high. I went once before to see Midsummer Night's dream there and it was magical. I hope tomorrow is as good.
I won't be blogging tomorrow...see you Sunday.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Photo a day....23rd August.

This week is Regatta Week here in Seaview, and tonight was the fireworks display. I didn't go down to watch as it means a walk back uphill in the dark, and DH isn't fit to do it at the moment (knee problems) and I didn't fancy it on my own. So I watched from our back bedroom window. This poor shot is handheld and therefore rather shaky....but I like it.

I got to the plot to harvest some veg today and pick the raspberries. I have a stack of courgettes to freeze for soup, and some cabbage to make into freezer coleslaw. Also we brought home a half sack of Desiree as the earlies are now finished.

I noticed that I have a beautiful spaghetti squash nearly ready for picking. I managed to track one down last year to try and it was over £ I am chuffed!

I pickled 4 jars of red cabbage today as well. Tomorrow I must do another lot. I get 4 jars from one head.
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Photos for yesterdays blog.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Also today....I started to install the replacement water butts from Blackwall. I reported the problems we had with the bases collapsing a few weeks ago. They have sent me new ones as there is a 5 year guarantee on them.

Unfortunately one of them had a crushed bottom! I could go ahead and install it, but am loth to do all that work in case it does what the old buckled one does when it is full....see next picture.

So....I phoned their Freephone number and explained and a new one will soon be on it's way to me.

Thank goodness I have that skip in the drive.....I'd have a number of trips to the tip otherwise with the two old buckled ones and the new buckled one.

I have a feeling this saga could go on and on and on!

The second picture shows the full old buckled butt leaning precariously, supported by a stick. I have my Hoselok water pump working to empty it before installing the new one. That pump was a wonderful buy and enables me to move water all over the garden....and if we have a drought it will enable me to re-use the bath water too.

Photo a day....22nd August.

Here is why I haven't been very busy blogging....or at the plot. We have a skip for 10 days and I'm working like mad to make sure I fill it before it goes away.

We have had a strong young man in doing the paths....gravel and paving slabs over terram, and so a lot of this was filled by him; but I've done a fair bit too. I moved a heap of soil (about 12 barrow loads) from a flower bed I'm converting to a shrub bed and which was the dumping ground for a lot of sub-soil for a few weeks. I have also cut down loads of branches and dug up some old rose roots and piles of bindweed roots from the bed too.

We are also taking the opportunity to clear away lots of rubbish we had accumulated. I expect we could really do with another skip.....but I'll have a rest first I think. I hope!

Come the Autumn we'll be re-doing the front garden another skip will be coming then presumably.

Tomorrow and Friday I plan to carry on with the soil shifting....back permitting. The bed we're converting to shrubs is rather mounded up the fence at the moment. It was like that when we moved here. It isn't our fence to replace but I still feel it would last longer without the soil heaped up. There is a lot to move as well as weed out so I'll be busy....!
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Monday, August 20, 2007

Sorry photo today. I am run off my feet with busyness!

We have a skip on the drive and DH assures me they collect it after 10 days. He ordered the huge one...! I am run ragged trying to fill it up in that short space of time.

We are doing new paths around the house, gravel over Terram with some slabs as well, and they take a lot of effort. I have help for the heavy stuff but I'm still doing a lot of physical work and am tired and forgetful. Hence no photo, and no blog reading today.

I'll catch up tomorrow.....!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Photo a day....19th August.

Guess what the name of this quilt was.......! I was delighted to see that one of the quilts at the Festival of Quilts at Birmingham NEC combined my two main hobbies. It was entitled "The Allotment"!

It was about 3 ft square. Made by Margaret McClory, of Newtownlands, Northern Ireland.

The blurb said...."Design based on a shed, plants and objects found at my daughter's allotment. Also contains writings related to nature and growing things."

In the lower picture you can see a close-up, which shows the detail in the quilting.

My sister and I had a wonderful two days at the show and feel we could still have done with more time. Perhaps we'll do three days next year!!!

Now that my visitors are gone, and the weather is supposed to improve this week, I'll be able to catch up with the mountain of work I have to do here in my Kitchen Garden and at the plot. I also have huge quantities of vegetables to be frozen.....!

NB Lucky-1 has nominated me for a Blog Award. Thanks Lucky-1.!!!
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Thursday, August 16, 2007

Photo a day....16th August

As promised....a picture of my old plot. I got this to a clean, weed free state last year, and was sort of pushed off by the plotholder who wanted to come back and do it on her own again....with another friend. This is the state of it now.....!

I am rather disappointed, but glad to have my own plot where I am boss and not subject to the whims and fancies of someone else....!

I won't be posting on here now until Sunday as I'll be away. My sister and I are off to the Festival of Quilts at Birmingham NEC. We are going for two days this year as there is sooooo much to see!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Apologies for no post since Tuesday. I have visitors and had no time to take photos today, nor to do any gardening. Normal service will be resumed tomorrow!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Photo a day....13th August.

Another of the sculptures from Robin Hill Country Park. It is called "The Twins". I must admit that although I don't usually like modern art I do like this one.
It wasn't 'til I started "editing" the digital picture that I realised that it had that surface texture...!

I went through the Allotments when walking the dogs this afternoon in order to water the little cabbage plants. I didn't water anything else as we are expecting lots of rain tomorrow. It is actually raining now....!
Anyway, on the way through the rest of the plots i decided to have a look at the plot that I was sort of pushed off last Autumn. I expect you won't be surprised to hear that it is overgrown with weeds. I forgot my camera today but I'll get a picture when I'm next there.
It's a bit disappointing, especially as it was sort of inferred that I hadn't pulled my weight during my tenure!!!!!
Still....I'm much better off where I am now....except that I could do with a bit more sun on my current plot. The soil is much much better.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Photo a day.....11th August
There is a shrub hedge between us and next door and I just love the way the branches arrange themselves and mingle their blossoms.
I've been much too busy today to go to the plot or to do anything in the back garden either. I blitzed the house ready for company tomorrow evening....and then...whadd'ye know...but someone else dropped in this evening I was very glad I was tidy, and I had also done some cooking for tomorrow which went down well! Will have to do some more tomorrow but no matter....I'm glad I was prepared....!

Friday, August 10, 2007

I know this is a rather boring picture of some cloches, but they show the result of my work this morning before it got too hot to work outside. This is the bed in the Kitchen Garden that had all my early cabbage and romanesco caulis in. I cleared it on Tuesday (I think) and today I square footed it and sowed a variety of saladings for Autumn and Winter. I cloched them to prevent attention from my cats!

I sowed.....
French Parsley
Perpetual Spinach
Fennel "Perfection"
Salad Leaves "Oriental Mixed"
Raab Cima di Rapa
Spicy mixed salad leaves
Autumn King carrots
Heritage lettuce "Stoke" (free when I joined the Heritage Seed Library last week.)
Ruby Chard
Buffalo Onions
and Beet Cylindra (for leaves for salad)

You can see that the bindweed has rather got away from me in the edge bed against the fence...a job which can wait as I have so much else to do.

After an early lunch I went to the plot to do some weeding around the cabbages and the courgettes. I also pulled some of the cabbages that were being attacked. I spent this evening making freezer coleslaw with some of it.
I have also done a crockpot full of Delia's Red Cabbage recipe. This will do all night on 'low' and will be ready to freeze in the morning.

I took this photo when I arrived at 12.30 as a record of how late my plot gets the sun each day. An hour and a half later it was sunny all the way to the right of this I gave up and came away. I was dripping...!

Photo a day.....10th August.

We walked along to here this afternoon to try to get some breeze. Not much about but it was very pleasant. Can you see the Spinnaker Tower at Portsmouth on the other side of the Solent?
It is Cowes Week this week so attention is drawn to Cowes at the moment. I think next week is Seaview Yacht Club's big week of the year....the village will be buzzing then. We have fireworks from a barge off shore on the Thursday of our regatta week. I love them!

How about this.....?
I e-mailed Blackwall as Ruth and SWD suggested and just had a phone call from them. They say there is a 5 year guarantee on their products so they are sending me two replacement kits....! They also apologised profusely!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Photo a day.....9th August.

Don't you just love boys' minds?
I took the boys to Mini golf at Puckpool Park on Tuesday afternoon. We had a great couple of rounds...mostly tied finishes...then a super Minghella ice-cream (toffee, and ginger for me!).
At one point I saw Toby casting his shadow on the green, holding the golf club in such a position that it looked like it was going in one ear and out of the other.....he was also moving it from side to side.....but unfortunately this is a still photo not a video! Their minds never stop inventing, do they?
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A warning to all who have purchased Blackwall water butts and the plastic stands that go with them......! The plastic stands aren't up to the job. Both of mine collapsed within a week of each other. This resulted in me having to use all the water at once to be able to move the butt, and also the butts warped.
Surely they are made to be able to cope with a full tank.....?

DH has now made two stands using breeze blocks and bricks. This is not so easy to do once you have established the butts at a certain height against the downpipes. This height is crucial once the diverter is installed and is really difficult to match in bricks!

Anyone who already has these which have not yet collapsed would be well advised to put some support under them, within the plastic base, and touching the inner top of it....perhaps some bricks or breeze blocks.

I didn't get to the plot today as my sore throat returned (!!!) with a vengeance and a bad head and nausea!

Hopefully these'll load OK too!

When I got to the plot yesterday morning I was a bit ashamed at the state of it....weeds everywhere. So, after digging out the spuds from the end of the bed in picture two I cleaned the bed, cultivated and raked it, then sowed white clover as a green manure. I don't need the bed for a few weeks, not until my cabbage plants arrive from Marshalls towards the end of September, and I hate to see bare soil in summer.

The long clean bed you see behind the courgettes (first photo)was the
onion bed and
now has phacelia in it as a green manure also.

The carrot seedlings on the left here were a bit weedy so I knelt and finger weeded them.

The older carrots in the front of this picture are currently being eaten (picture of yesterdays haul in next post) and most have avoided the carrot fly, but some have succumbed. That'll teach me not to be so blase about not covering them....!

The next time I get to the plot will possibly be Friday. I still have lots to do there but do at home of the Back garden plot will follow when I have that looking a bit more respectable...

OK....the blog does that red x thing if I load four, so I'll try two at once instead!

There were vast quantities of courgettes waiting for me! I'll be making these into ratatouille for the freezer using a recipe I saw on Allotment Lady's site.

These still need a good weeding....will do it Friday.

This is the haul of potatoes. The last of the Nicola sign of blight. The Desiree were a few plants I used to fill up the end of the earlies bed. No sign of blight here either.
The other plots all seem to have it and have lost a minimum of a fifth of their crop. It seems to me either that mine were more blight resistant (Desiree was a two tick for BR in my De Haan catalogue), or that my plot is extra good this year because it was fallow for so long. It makes me think that it would be good to plan for fallow in the rotation, although I expect green manuring would have a similar effect.

As other plotholders agree that I seem to have missed it completely I am tempted to go with my earlier plan and only lift these when I need them. I'll pile more mulch on top of the rows to guard against light infiltration and hope that they'll be OK when I dig them out this winter.

The little cabbage plants in the bottom corner were some of another plotter's surplus. I potted them on for a while 'til they are big enough to fend for themselves. They are Golden Acre...spring cabbages.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Photo a day....8th August.

Not terribly interesting but a memory for me. I really worked hard this morning and afternoon at the plot, and also enjoyed watching the boats in the Solent every time I stood up to stretch my back. It is Cowes week and there is a lot more activity on the sea all round the Island.

You can see that I still have a lot of clearing up to do to catch up with the neglect whilst it was too wet and then I couldn't get there. The courgettes in the foreground need a lot of attention. And the pumpkins over on the right.
Malcolm said my cabbages could be entered in a competition......! They need a good weeding too.

My next trip to the plot will most probably be Friday. I'll try tomorrow afternoon but am doubtful as there is such a lot of other stuff to do tomorrow.....and my back garden here is crying out to me too.
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Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Photo a day.....7th August

Another of the woodland sculptures at Robin Hill.. I have no idea what it is meant to be as I forgot to look at the little sign, but I call it the "Wishbone" in my head!

I'm not much better this morning....thick headed! I may be taking the boys back to Robin Hill today (when they get up!) as the ticket we bought last Friday allows for a re-visit......!
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Photo a day....6th August.

At Robin Hill last Friday I wandered through the Sculpture Garden. It is woodland really with an ongoing collection of mostly wooden sculptures smattered around amongst the trees. This one was about 8 ft tall. I considered smuggling it home in the car but thought better of it as I think they'd have noticed it under my jumper!!!

There are lots of these wooden sculptures dotted around the Isle of Wight. There is a sculptor who specialises in them and people call him in to modify their tree trunks after a tree falls down. When I see them I snap them!

I still have the boys staying, and still have an awful cold and thick no gardening at the plot today!
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Sunday, August 05, 2007

Photo a day....5th August.

I have been indoors most of the day with a cold and a sore throat. But as I was sewing in the sunroom my eye was caught by the Hebe in my shrub hedge. It is so divinely pretty at the moment I just had to "snap" it.

Still no gardening....just don't feel like it....and I have visitors too.
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Photo a day......5th August

Not a good photo but I was intrigued by this cloud formation. I took it whilst waiting on my seat for the boys at Robin Hill. I was drawn to the circles with the centre pierced by the plane trail.

I love clouds. I like to wear polaroid clip-in sunglasses whilst outdoors so that I can see the cloud formations better. In some parts of the world, and some parts of this country, the sky seems much bigger. I felt this particularly in Norfolk, in Central France, and in Florida. I think this appears to be so when the land is flat. I do like to be amongst hills, but I think flat land is well compensated for by the wonderful skies.

Not much gardening going on whilst I have visitors, and have this awful throat. Wednesday should see a return to the plot and the garden here.
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Friday, August 03, 2007

Photo a day.....3rd August

I took the boys to Robin Hill Adventure Park today. They ran about and did everything whilst I sat and crocheted on a bench watching the ducks, peacocks and red squirrels. I saw them once in 6 hours for re-fuelling with sandwiches.
I had a good rest and caught up with reading my garden magazines.

These beauties were there....! Do you like their hairdo's?
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Thursday, August 02, 2007

Photo a day......2nd August.

More photos from Wisley.

This is a corner of the vegetable garden area devoted to container vegetable gardening. They seem to be able to grow anything in containers......! (It is a pity I have to resize these pictures for the blog as the detail on the orignals is good.)

Today I worked a bit in the back garden veggie plot. I cut down the haulms from the finished climbing pea Magnum Bonham, harvested a load of veg for the freezer, and gave the greenhouse a jolly good watering. I emptied almost a whole barrel of rainwater over the beds in there and over the outside bean bed. The latter was looking very dry in spite of the amount of rain we have had.
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Wednesday, August 01, 2007

One of the other plotholders warned me this morning that we have blight at the allotments. Apparently everyone has it. He said it was due to the humid weather that followed all that rain.

So I found a slot today to go and check my spuds (Desiree maincrop). I pulled off one haulm and showed it to him.....most leaves were a crispy brown or a soggy yellow. He identified it as blight but said it might not necessarily have got to the tubers yet. So I dug up one plants worth to see.
This was the haul from one tuber! 5 pounds 2 1/4 ounces. Not a sign of blight!!!!! Malcolm said they were"b****y beautiful" and showed me his sorry harvest....half the size and two thirds had blight.

So I am very pleased with my plot. It may be shady, but it does grow beautiful spuds. As I mainly wanted it for root crops I am quite satisfied.

As a precaution, at Malcolm's suggestion, I have cut off all the haulms at 3 inches and taken them to the communal bonfire. I will leave the tubers in the ground for the time being as I am too busy this week to do anything else with them. Malcolm suggests that I might want to lift and store them, but I had planned to leave them in the ground until I need them....digging up one or two plants a week all winter. I already have the sacks but am not sure what would be best now that blight has struck. I don't need the ground for anything else....I have some cabbage plants coming along but I have plenty of room for them. So they could be left. Any suggestions anyone?

My freezer came today. It is only 6 cu ft but will quadruple my present freezer capacity, so hopefully it'll be sufficient for my surplus crops. I plan to blanch and pack little and often....when cooking dinner the crops are steadily producing more than we can eat (not this week though...I have visitors....two teenaged boys with hollow legs!!! I am filling them up with good veg.)
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Photo a day......1st August.

On Monday I went to Kent to see my mother and tp pick up some young visitors. On the way I went into Wisley to see the 3 x 3 vegetable garden. They seem to be keeping it up well, and the crops had been picked, and the gone over crops replaced with new varieties.

I took a few moments to look over the rest of the veggie section there and I'll post those photos gradually....(I wish I had worked out how to resize AND load more than one photo at a time.)