The love of gardening is a seed once sown that never dies. Gertrude Jekyll

Annie's Little Plot

Annie's Little Plot

Friday, 19 July 2013


I can't believe its been 2 weeks since I last posted, I've got so much to blog about I'm not sure where to start. I apologise for not commenting on my favourite blogs, I've been away and with this weather.... I just want to spend every spare moment in the garden or at the allotment! So as I say, I've got lots to write about including my trip to River Cottage, the fabulous weather, Dunham Massey's gorgeous Rose Garden in all its glory and my resident hedgehogs. I won't get that all in one post so I'd better get going.
Well can you believe this amazing weather what a difference to last year. It started here, I guess, on Friday the 5th, the day my sister and I travelled down to Devon for our trip to River Cottage. I keep checking the weather forecast and its here until at least next week, they say the end of July, some even say August. Who knows, I just hope we don't get a hosepipe ban. I'm trying to be very careful with my watering I always use a hose with a on-off switch so its controllable, I'm not watering everything and when I do I make sure I give a really good soaking right at the roots. Some people on my allotment site just get the sprinkler out and have that going for an hour. Seems such a waste to me. I even had to give strict instructions to my other half, Martin, for watering the allotment while I was down in Devon. I think he ended up with more water on him than on the plants. But everything survived and things are growing well. What a star.
Bob, my cat, has turned nocturnal, staying inside in the cool asleep all day and then out at night when its a nice temperature.
 Or else he's keeping an eye on the neighbourhood from the top of the shed.
Its all go at the allotment harvesting, weeding and watering. I've picked tons of peas, mangetout and broad beans. I've picked my first courgettes, first of many, I always plant too many in case of slug devastation and this year they have all come through. I've even now got some small fruits on my squash plants.
My first early potatoes have been dug up, My lettuces have been fab though too many all at once, but my first successful growing of hearting lettuces at my allotment so very pleased. I had some Iceberg, some Little Gem and another Cos type lettuce called Freckles which is very pretty.
I'm getting my first fruits setting on the cucumber and also on my cucamelon, can you spot it. I'm intrigued to find out what they taste like.
The first heads are developing on my calabrese. They seem to be growing so quickly.
 Very pleased with my beetroot on the whole, I posted in one of my blogs earlier in the year that I had often struggled with beetroot in the past, but I seem to have a technique now, I have to sow in modules, they don't seem to germinate or the slugs get them if I sow them direct, then once a reasonable size I plant them out and they seem to have grown on well. My first planting are just cropping now. I've just planted another batch and I'm going to sow some more this weekend. So hopefully that will keep me going I love beetroot.
Another crop that I often struggle with are Spring onions, many people on the blogs seem to grow them in pots and I have had some success with that, but I've also managed to grow a small row on the plot.
My strawberries have been amazing, it is their 3rd year so they should be at their peak and they certainly are. I've had many punnets full off them, one batch went to make some Strawberry and Gooseberry jam. I've also had a good crop of redcurrants though I have lost some to the birds.
My apples are growing well, very excited about my first crop of James Grieve.
There are some things that are struggling a bit, the shallots have not swelled as much as they could I don't think, though will get a reasonable crop from them, the spinach has all bolted now, there is some mildew on my peas, however I have managed to get a good crop off them, though I've just started spotting a few pea moth caterpillars in some of the peas which is a bit off-putting. I'm wondering whether to sow another batch of peas now. Some of the Beetroot and Chard is bolting but have still had some stems and leaves which are a good alternative to the spinach.
Its so dry on the plot there are big cracks in places.
I'm usually an evening allotment goer but this morning I had some time to head up there before it got too hot, you see a whole different set of people.
Its looking very colourful on my plot, I've got some lovely Iceland poppies.
Some echium 'Blue Bedder' which contrasts well with some Calendula on the plot .
My sunflowers are just starting to flower too, my favourite cheery flower.
All in all everything is growing well, what a change to last summer when all I seemed to do was complain about the weather. I've just been looking at my blog post from last July and things are much more advanced than last year. Hope you are all enjoying harvesting your crops.


  1. Everything's looking great. It makes a change to have a prolonged period of good weather, though I've heard some people complaining about it already. I'm just hoping that it hangs around for a while as we go on holiday tomorrow. I'm looking forward to hearing about your trip to River Cottage.

    1. It has probably been a bit too hot the last couple of days but I'm definitely not going to complain. I'm just avoiding being outside in the midday heat and in the garden till late at night when its cooler.
      Have a great holiday Jo, hope you get some good weather.

  2. I think we all suffer from planting too many courgette plants - just in case!

  3. Oh I do love Bob lazing on the bin!!! Goodness, that crack shows how dry the ground is!!!

    I try to go easy on the watering and have my fingers crossed that no ban comes in!

    I LOVE freckles and those berries and strawberries are to die for!!!

    You have courgettes?????? I'm still at the first flower stage, y'know....where they drop off!!!xxxx

  4. Your crops are looking great Annie! Like you I've found it hard to get posts out and I take photos ready to post, then don't get round to it and then my garden has changed yet again and my posts are too out of date!!! Still, the time in the garden is worth it and I'm enjoying it so much. Hope you are too! x

  5. Lucky you having resident hedgehogs, I hope that you're providing them with food and water.
    I think that Bob has got the best idea in this weather! One compensation is what we're now harvesting to enjoy eating as you show in the pictures.
    I've got cracks like that on the plot. Stay cool, and happy gardening. Flighty xx

  6. It's all looking wonderful. I love the Freckles lettuce and your summer fruits look delicious. My spinach has bolted as well; it just wasn't going to do very well this year, for some reason. And I'm looking forward to my courgettes - plenty here, too!