Wednesday, August 05, 2009


Last visits before hols

yep off on holidays at the end of the week (the UK for once, hoping to avoid swine flu, inflation and midges). Went down this morning for a quick hoe and I picked my first two aubergines (so sweet and perfect)! Unfortunately all the toms are still dark green so they will just have to be left on the vine for now. I hope it is not all rotted when I get back.
I found something amusing though. One pumpkin vine has stretched around the compost box. I hadn't realised that there was a second one also thriving. And that was winding a path OVER THE TOP of teh raspberries! Cheeky beggar, hoping they would hold it up! Well after some struggling and a few scratches I unhinged it and laid it on the ground. Must be good for pollination though, there are fruit on it already!! I didn't have a camera, shame as it was a funny sight.
For once the garden is looking nice and tidy before I go on holidays. grass trimmed, hoed, mulched, hopefully it will not be a complete dog's dinner by the time I get back.
Now, off for some real ale, bangers and mash, fish and chips, ploughman's lunches and crap UK roads... see you later!

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Sunday, August 02, 2009


Big cleanup

As I am soon off on two weeks' holiday, it was time this weekend for a big cleanup.
First attempt was yesterday: I had the whole day to myself and had planned out an ambitious work programme: hoe intensely, cut the grass, tidy up the edges and weed some of the untidiest bits. I left home under a menacing sky but I was sure it would blow over. How wrong I was.
I had time to dig over the little patch I had been using as a leek nursery. they were still fairly puny but I thought what the heck, I might as well plant them and see what happens. I sorted out leek from weed and made a little pile of about 25 leek plants. I started to realize that the air was getting very damp instead and I was starting to work in a fine drizzle. The fine drizzle started to become more tangible so I left the leeks on the ground and beat a hasty retreat into the shed. There was nothing for it: I sat down on an old esky that I use as a stool and started sorting out my onions that were still in the shed. I trimmed them, cleaned them and sorted them into trays, brown onions, some lovely big ones too, the red onions and echalotes into a separate box.
And the rain came down and down...
I finished the onions and the rain seemed a little easier so I went out and quickly dug a few spadeholes in the ground and lined up the leeks. I just had time to pour some water into the trench and then I decided enough was enough, i was soaked. So home I went with a heavy heart. It poured non stop for the rest of the day...
Today, Sunday. Pretty crappy cloudy weather all round but less rain. At the end of the afternoon, the others went out for a bike ride but I chose to go and tackle the allotment again.
Second time round I had more luck. I got stuck into that bloody bramble. It is a right pain in the arse. It is growing out from under the shed it seemed to me. Bugger. It is in my little herb bed which has also been well overrun with bindweed. So I got stuck in with branch cutters and secateurs, avoiding poking an eye out on something pointy and dug out the bramble roots as best I could. Trimmed down the lemon balm, huge parsley stems and ripped out all the bindweed.
Realised that my rosemary bush has karked it. Dunno why, it went all brown. :-( Maybe it was a bad place for it, near the water barrels? Still, it seemed well drained. sigh...
Hacked down the artichoke too, so it is now a little tidy green baby. cute. Chopped down loads of grass and dug out a lot of weeds, the ground was very damp and loose and it was a doddle.
Tidied up the strawberries. They haven't given as much this year, I think that maybe I will need to buy new ones in the spring and replace them. This is their third year. That will give me a chance I guess to make the beds straight, tee hee, as right now they are crooked as a dog's hind leg.
By then I was knackered and it was time to go home, sure enough. I fear that most of my tomatoes will ripen when we are away! There is a lot of fruit but all green yet. Bugger. I have had two so far and they were quite nice. I took a few moments to admire my aubergines which are going great guns and thinking of how I will bake them in the oven this week, yum yum. They are definitely on the agenda for next year. I ate the first green peppers: but they are not hot at all!! What is a pimiento then? Is it a capsicum? Well it was very nice, just like a green sweet pepper.
All in all, it is looking much tidier than last year and what has grown has grown well. I did less variety but mabe better quality. Pics may come in the week, if I can
Oh and I noticed that the leeks were very well watered in!!!


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