Saturday, July 21, 2007

Saturday 21st July 2007 - Weather: bright and breezy again.

We have been so lucky here in this part of Essex not to get any floods. The allotment is actually quite dry in places, as is my garden at home and I am having to water pots and hanging baskets!

I popped to the plot today just for a pick and to plant some leeks that a kind member of Allotments 4 all sent me. Picked another vast trug full of French Beans. Now have 6 bags full in the freezer, have 2 bags to take to mums and am keeping my friend and neighbour regularly supplied. She is chuffed as her kids wolfed the beans down and they aren't usually keen on veggies. Great what home grown can do.

A few more courgettes and my third cucumber. Also a handful of peas ripe for popping and half a dozen beetroot. The last thing to do before I left was to pick the few gladioli and a couple of huge alliums to take to mums.

All things considered, and yes, I mean the weather, the allotment is looking pretty fine. Everything is lush, apart from the blighted spuds, and although some things took a long time to germinate because of the long hot start to spring and then the chilly end to it, pretty much everything I wanted to be growing, is growing nicely.

Back home I am embarking on a bit of a garden make-over. Our garden is very shady thanks to the huge willow in the middle, a selection of fruit trees, and lots of mature shrubs. I have stood in the garden on sunny days and have spotted the various sun spots and these are areas I plan to clear and fill with bright flowering plants. I don't mind all the lovely lush green plants in the shady places, but I want more colour, more flowers and scent in the garden. This will mean removing a few older shrubs, which is fine, and also cutting the rest right back. I am going to be quite rutheless, but do it over a few seasons rather than be harsh now. Today I got into the black bamboo and cut about a third out, and in the monster green bamboo I probably cut out about a half. I always keep all the long stems of the bamboo to use as supports. The black stems are like mahogany! So next Spring I am going to have to take advantage of my trade discount and go to the trade nursery and start buying pretties for the garden. I don't think I will follow a theme, and design is not my thing. I will select plants that I know and love. I fear lots of bright yellows will come into it! If I can work out how, I will probably try to start another section within my blog to keep a diary of the garden and how it changes. It will help me to keep track of what I am doing, and you can point out any obvious mistakes. Now, to work out how to sub-blog................


Jo said...

Hi Emma Jane,

Jo here from A4A. I love your blog. It's been my bedtime reading for the past few nights. I decided to read it from the beginning so it's taken me quite a while to catch up on all your archived posts.
I don't have an allotment so have been growing in containers this year. Those first Pentland Javelin spuds that I upturned from their container has me hooked!!!
I have harvested Early Onward peas and they were lovely, tonnes and tonnes of raddish, lettuce, at the moment harvesting Dwarf French Bean The Prince, and I don't even like French Beans, but they're lovely.
I agree with you completely about the kids eating home-grown veggies, this is why I originally 'got into' it. My son won't touch anything if it's associated with veggies. My daughter will try most things, but I don't think I buy enough veg anyway because there's really only me that will eat it (hubby is the most finicky of the lot!!!).
Anyway, I've got them all trying what I've grown and suprisingly, they will now all eat at least something that they wouldn't before, success!!!
I love the blog Emma Jane, it's really easy to read and I will continue to keep up with your antics on the lottie. By the way, I hope you're not overdoing things too soon after your op!!

Emma Jane said...

Hiya Jo, I'm glad you like my blog. I love writing it, it has acted as a good reminder if what I sowed when, and has been interesting looking back at what was happening a year a drought for example! Picked brocolli today, another veg that my little girl loves when it is fresh. It is much more squeaky apparently.

When I lived at home with mum and dad I grew mini veg in pots and containers. Dad got me a little mini plastic greenhouse and I grew lovely sweet melons in there so in the end, dad and I got an allotment. Now I am in Essex and have an allotment on my own, with hubby doing the building and the kids doing the picking.

I think I am 99% recovered now from my op, dug spuds today and didn't get any twinges, so am looking forward to really being able to launch myself into some gardening now the kids are off school!